Definition of Education Technology
Last week I had to write a vision statement for EdTech 541 and I as ponder what my working definition of “Educational Technology” is, I keep coming back to some of the thoughts I included in that Vision Statement. I hope it is all right to quote some of those thoughts I wrote. I will include a link to my Vision Statement HERE.
Although Wikipedia is generally not an acceptable place to find information, I did appreciate the succinct definition of Educational Technology. It is defined as:
…the use of modern technology, such as computers, digital technology, networked digital devices and associated software and courseware with learning scenarios, worksheets and interactive exercises which facilitate learning. Edtech encompasses both material objects, such as machines and networking hardware, and also aspects such as instructional theory and learning theory.
While the Wikipedia definition is adequate and probably the most stable/basic in terms of longevity, I would add that it is missing just a few key components. Educational technology is a tool. Much like the construction of a skyscraper in my vision statement, some tools make the process easier and more efficient. Without proper knowledge of those tools however, they become useless. Furthermore, “…no technology is a panacea for education” (Roblyer & Doering, 2012). “Computers and tablets are nothing more than tools that have the ability to enhance learning. When teachers use these tools students are able to explore great cities of the past and present, communicate with other children and experts across the world via video-conferencing, take field trips to far off lands, create and design engineering marvels, draft and publish their own writing, and so much more” (Crook, 2015, p. 1).
Educational technology is ever changing and evolving. When educational technology is seen as simply a tool, it puts the power into the hands of those delivering instruction. Whether training in a human resource department at a large corporation or a teacher in a classroom of first grade students, educational technology is the means by which instruction can be delivered. Teachers used to rely on pencils, paper, and encyclopedias, etc. for teaching and researching. Teachers now have the entire world of information at their fingertips if they choose to open the door and allow it to enter the classroom.
Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (6th ed.). [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.
Crook, J. (2015). Vision statement: Builders of tomorrow. Unpublished manuscript, Boise State University.