Research into learning technology has developed a reputation for being driven by rhetoric about the revolutionary nature of new developments, for paying scant attention to theories that might be used to frame and inform research, and for producing shallow analyses that do little to inform the practice of education. Although there is theoretically-informed research in learning technology, this is in the minority, and has been actively marginalised by calls for applied design work. This limits opportunities to advance knowledge in the field. Using three examples, alternative ways to engage with theory are identified. The paper concludes by calling for greater engagement with theory, and the development of a scholarship of learning technology, in order to enrich practice within the field and demonstrate its relevance to other fields of work.