As part of their establishment of an e-learning research observatory, the HE Academy have commissioned a landscaping study. The observatory will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for identifying, collating, assessing and disseminating national and international e-learning research. Given the incredible diversity of research going on, this is very much needed and is to be welcomed. Further information on the reseach observatory is available from the HEA website. The landscaping study is being undertaken by Rhona Sharpe and colleagues from Oxford Brookes. They have set up a consultation wiki which provides more information on the scope and purpose of the study. One way in which they are collating views is via an online survey, so if you have any views on how the observatory should work fill it in!!! I think this is a very exciting development and has the potential to offer a very valuable service to the community. It is now, more than ever, critical that the good research being done on technologies and their impact on students, teachers and institutions is synthesised and then targeted at both the policy and practice levels, because technologies are now having a profound impact on all aspects of education and this impact is only like to increase in the coming years. If we don’t find a way to use the research as a means of understanding these profound changes, we as a sector are likely to make some bad decisions which could have disastrous effects.