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What is Educational Technology?
Educational technology refers to the study and ethical practice of facilitating education and learning, to improve the performance of students, through the creation and use of management appropriate technological processes and resources. The term, educational technology, is typically associated with learning and instructional theory.
Although instructional theory typically covers the systems of learning and instruction in a learning environment, educational technology will include other systems used in the process of developing and subsequently augmenting human capability. As a result of this goal, educational technology will include, but is not limited to the introduction and use of software, hardware, as well as Internet applications and various educational activities.
Educational technology is most simply defined as the use of various tools, typically technological resources, which prove helpful in advancing a student’s learning capabilities. Educational technology, as a broad definition, can refer to material objects that are of use to humanity, such as the teachings of various machines or hardware, but the educational platform can also encompass looser themes, including various systems, techniques and methods of organization. In a specific sense, educational technology utilizes modern tools to augment a student’s understanding in a particular industry or educational subject.
The modern tools used in educational technology include, but are not limited to, laptop computers, overhead projectors computer programs, computerized games, smart phones and calculators. Those who employ or utilize such resources aim at exploring ide to streamline traditional educational efforts.
Theories of Educational Technology:
There are three primary theoretical schools or philosophies (Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism) attached to educational technology. Behaviorism is the theoretical framework, developed in the early 20th century through various animal learning experiments.
These various studies and experiments were enacted to elucidate upon human learning and the capability of the human mind.
Although this philosophy has lost favor with the majority of educators in the United States, this subject of educational technology enabled science to transform the way we understand the ability to obtain and utilize information.
Cognitive science has also changed how educators view learning. Since the beginning of the cognitive revolution (1960s and 1970s), learning theory has undergone a face lift; cognitive theories look beyond human behavior to explain brain-based learning. Cognitivists, using this philosophy of educational technology, consider how human memory works to promote learning.
Constructivism is a learning theory used in educational technology and educational philosophy to explain how and why learners construct their own meaning from new information as they interact with their own reality or others with different perspectives. A constructivist learning environment will require students to utilize their prior knowledge and personal experiences to formulate new and adaptive concepts in learning.
Using this framework, the role of the teacher becomes that of an intermediary, providing guidance to aid the learners in constructing their own knowledge. Those educators within this field of educational technology must ensure that prior learning experiences are appropriate and related to the concepts being taught.