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Thursday, April 15, 2010

What is Educational Technology...

The following are definitions from various sources:

Educational technology (also called learning technology) is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources."[1] The term educational technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory and learning theory. While instructional technology covers the processes and systems of learning and instruction, educational technology includes other systems used in the process of developing human capability. Educational Technology includes, but is not limited to, software, hardware, as well as Internet applications and activities.

Educational technology is most simply and comfortably defined as an array of tools that might prove helpful in advancing student learning. Educational Technology relies on a broad definition of the word "technology". Technology can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines or hardware, but it can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. Some modern tools include but are not limited to overhead projectors, laptop computers, and calculators. Newer tools such as "smartphones" and games (both online and offline) are beginning to draw serious attention for their learning potential.

Those who employ educational technologies to explore ideas and communicate meaning are learners or teachers.

Consider the Handbook of Human Performance Technology.[2] The word technology for the sister fields of Educational and Human Performance Technology means "applied science." In other words, any valid and reliable process or procedure that is derived from basic research using the "scientific method" is considered a "technology." Educational or Human Performance Technology may be based purely on algorithmic or heuristic processes, but neither necessarily implies physical technology. The word technology, comes from the Greek "Techne" which means craft or art. Another word "technique", with the same origin, also may be used when considering the field Educational technology. So Educational technology may be extended to include the techniques of the educator.[citation needed]

A classic example of an Educational Psychology text is Bloom's 1956 book, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.[3] Bloom's taxonomy is helpful when designing learning activities to keep in mind what is expected of—and what are the learning goals for—learners. However, Bloom's work does not explicitly deal with educational technology per se and is more concerned with pedagogical strategies.

According to some, an Educational Technologist is someone who transforms basic educational and psychological research into an evidence-based applied science (or a technology) of learning or instruction. Educational Technologists typically have a graduate degree (Master's, Doctorate, Ph.D., or D.Phil.) in a field related to educational psychology, educational media, experimental psychology, cognitive psychology or, more purely, in the fields of Educational, Instructional or Human Performance Technology or Instructional (Systems) Design. But few of those listed below as theorists would ever use the term "educational technologist" as a term to describe themselves, preferring terms like "educator".[citation needed] The transformation of educational technology from a cottage industry to a profession is discussed by Shurville, Browne, and Whitaker.[4]

Boise's Definition:

Educational Technology is an innovative way to design, deliver, facilitate, and manage instruction for learners of all ages, whether it is face-to-face in a classroom, online, or a combination of methods.

SDSU's Definition:
Educational technology is the application of research, learning theory, and emergent technologies along with child and adult psychology to solving instructional and performance problems.

Every school, institution, business, government agency, and organization is concerned with optimizing productivity and enabling stakeholder contribution. Analysis, education, training, and evaluation are essential to achieving these goals. Our classes and programs provide students with the knowledge, skills, perspectives, and abilities to serve in leadership roles helping organizations reach these goals and thrive in the Information Age.

Rapidly advancing technology is leading to a future in which learning is a lifelong activity in both business and personal endeavors. There’s an endless demand for people who know how to design learning and performance sys-tems while making best use of technologies such as personal computers, the Internet, digital video, netcast audio, simulations, and electronic performance support systems.

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