Technological developments facilitating lifelong learning have already been the focus of a number of papers in the British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET) during the 36 years since its inaugural edition in 1970, notably in the 2004 special edition on ‘Technology and Lifelong Learning’ edited by Rob Koper (2004). This 2006 special edition takes forward that earlier work, extending and updating it, building on the themes of earlier years. In a content analysis of the journal in 2006, Latchem, citing an earlier study by Hawkridge (1999), noted that the ‘...original vision for BJET’ of inaugural editor Norman MacKenzie (2005) has remained relatively unchanged over more than three decades. BJET continues to be ‘...concerned with the theory, application and development of educational technology and communications’ (Latchem, 2006, p. 504) and has included an impressive range of theoretical and empirical research papers and reviews. However, during that time, as Latchem noted, only 3% of BJET papers were concerned with colleges, industry and other learning and skills sector providers (p. 507). Some other learning technology journals, for example, ALT-J, have previously focused on e-learning in the learning and skills sector (see, eg, Jameson and Conole, 2000) but there is a considerable need for further work to be done in this area. This issue therefore builds upon the formative work begun in 2004, to address this imbalance, by focusing on lifelong learning and the use of educational technology.
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- lifelong learning