Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

V28(1) Winter / hiver, 2002


Rick Kenny

Welcome to the first issue of the journal under the new name, the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (CJLT) / La Revue Canadienne de L'Apprentissage et de la Technologie (RCAT). When Mary Kennedy and I agreed to take over the reins last summer, we were well aware that CJEC had been in some trouble recently in that it had been published infrequently over the last few years. We agreed to be Editors because we felt strongly that CJEC has had a long history as a quality, scholarly journal and we did not want to see it lost. However, we also believed that, if we were to have any chance of reviving it, the journal required a face-lift. Consequently, we proposed several changes: an expanded Editorial Board, a new name, and an online version of the journal.

First, I am pleased to say that, in addition to retaining many of the experienced Canadian academics in the field of Educational Technology who have provided yeoman service to our Editorial Board, we have been able to add a number of top notch new members from both Canada and the US, as well as one member from Australia! We have already put them hard to work reviewing a goodly number of new submissions and have received excellent feedback from them both on the manuscripts submitted and on our proposed changes. Their contribution will be critical to re-establishing CJLT's reputation as a solid journal in the field and their participation is much appreciated.

Second, after 20 years, the journal has a new name. Denis Hlynka has written a thoughtful editorial on this change and I invite commentaries in response. Mary and I both felt strongly that the former name, Canadian Journal of Educational Communication, no longer reflected the nature of our field of study. We thought to bring it in line with the definition of the field advanced by AECT (See Seels & Richey, 1994, Instructional Technology: the Definition and Domains of the Field) and initially proposed the title, Canadian Journal of Instructional Technology. This provoked a variety of strong responses, which eventually dragged us into the 21st Century! After some consideration, we put several choices to a vote of the Editorial Board and the final selection was the more broadly based title, Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (CJLT). As well, CJLT / CJEC has always been a bilingual journal, publishing articles in English and French, but this has not until now been reflected in the name of the journal. Therefore, the journal now officially has a bilingual name, with the title en français being La Revue Canadienne de L'Apprentissage et de la Technologie (RCAT).

And third, you can expect an online version of the journal to be launched in time for the next issue, which will be published in May. While we succeeded in getting the SSHRC Publication grant renewed for CJLT (with many thanks to Maureen Baron and Wendy Stephens for their hard work on the application), we unfortunately did not receive the same level of financial support as in past. It is probable, therefore, that we will have to drop the print version after this year. The online version, however, will allow us to move beyond the print version by allowing "value-added" publication of multimedia and other audiovisual elements. Thanks to the efforts of Wendy Stephens and her staff at University of Calgary, we will also be able to provide a complete online archive of the last 10 years of back issues in PDF format. This archive will be mirrored on the main AMTEC website and also at the National Library.

In this issue, we present three very different and interesting articles. The first article, Student Access to Information Technology and Perceptions of Future Opportunities in Two Small Labrador Communities, by Healey and Stevens, provides a case study of the perceptions of students in two isolated Labrador communities of the benefits of information technology for their educational and vocational futures. The second article, Effects of Surrounding Information and Line Length on Text Comprehension from the Web, by McMullin, Varnhagen, Heng, and Apedoe, reports on an experimental study of the effects on the reading comprehension of undergraduate university students of the variable use of "whitespace" in web page design. The final article, What Early Childhood Educators Need to Know About Computers in Order to Enhance the Learning Environment, by Specht, Wood, and Willoughby, presents a survey of early childhood educators to determine what areas of support educators require in order to provide a smooth introduction of the computer into the early childhood classroom.

Finally, I want to assure AMTEC members and CJLT subscribers that Mary and I intend, with the support of our Editorial Board, to publish CJLT on a regular basis and to ensure that it remains a quality, scholarly journal. Volume 28, Issue 2, will be published in May and will present some interesting papers that were originally presented at the AMTEC 2001 Conference. In addition, you will find, in this issue, a Call for Papers for Volume 28, Issue 3. This will be a special issue on Learning Objects and will feature Griff Richards of Telelearning as Guest Editor. In closing, I want to encourage you, the reader, to make this your journal and to get your articles in to us. Ultimately, CJLT depends on you!

ISSN: 1499-6685