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Educational Technology Essay

Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.” The term educational technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory and learning theory. While instructional technology is “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning,” according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology Committee,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, such as wikis and blogs, and activities. But there is still debate on what these terms mean.[3] Technology of education is most simply and comfortably defined as an array of tools that might prove helpful in advancing student learning and may be measured in how and why individuals behave.

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. Media psychology is the field of study that applies theories in human behavior to educational technology. Consider the Handbook of Human Performance Technology. 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.

A classic example of an Educational Psychology text is Bloom’s 1956 book, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.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 orInstructional 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 such as “educator.”The transformation of educational technology from a cottage industry to a profession is discussed by Shurville, Browne, and Whitaker.

Definition of terms

Evaluation is a systematic determination of a subject’s merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards. It can assist an organization to assess any aim, realizable concept or proposal, or any alternative, to help in decision-making; or to ascertain the degree of achievement or value in regard to the aim and objectives and results of any such action that has been completed. Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species’ ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.

Educational technology is the use of technology to improve teaching and learning. the treatment of the process by which people learn, as a systematic process based on objectives, with strategies and systems to achieve them; a set of expensive tools sold to schools purporting to improve learning but not actually proven to do so information and communication technology (ICT), is often used as an extended synonym for information technology (IT), but is a more specific term that stresses the role of unified communications[1] and the integration oftelecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessaryenterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio-visual systems, which enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.

Classifications of Educational Technology

When we hear the word technology today, we would immediately think of the mediated instructional materials particularly those, which are computer-based. But technology also includes the indigenous materials which have been used in the past and which have been proven as reliable. They have proven their worth especially to the teachers in the early days. According to the Equilibrium Theory of Education, the schools which are supposed to transmit accumulated knowledge and skills to students, that students are given balance of the old and new learning so that they will not lose track of the finest pedagogical culture which have been developed and accumulated all through the years. The classification of Educational Technology is divided into two which is the following:

* Material Technology

Material Technology is divided by two which is the lo-tech paper technology and the hi-tech mediated technology Lo-tech paper technology

* It is also called traditional instructional materials; these are indigenous materials usually real objects or those that are made of paper and cardboards. They are still here to stay because not all schools are equipped with technology tools and not all teachers are ready to embrace modern technology.

Hi-tech mediated technology

* Often called as the mediated technology, it includes those, which are presented using media equipment or hardware. The most persuasive modern technology for teaching and learning in these contemporary times is the computer and its various applications. In fact all educational efforts are being geared toward its used. Its effectiveness in teaching and learning has been widely recognized.

* Non-Material Technology

This includes theories, laws, principles, methods and strategies of teaching. They evolved results of researches and studies in order to facilitate teaching and learning.

Applications of Educational Technology

A proper application of educational technology can result to improved sensation and perception that will lead to quality learning. Educational technology transcends geographical barriers, expose students to experiences beyond classroom, disseminate instruction across large areas and make education more accessible to more people. If Educational Technology is properly selected and used the students can do the following: * Arouse and sustain the interest and attention of the students. * Concretize concepts and ideas to promote meaningful learning. * Make learning more permanent by providing rich experiences. * Provide self-activities for independent learning.

* Increase one’s vocabulary by eliminating verbalism
* Promote continuity of thought
* Increase the quality of learning while decreasing the time spent
* Check student’s preparedness
* Make learning more interactive
* Choosing and applying educational technology
.

Evaluation in Educational Technology

As education systems, in particular Technology Education, adapt to new expectations for secondary students entering an uncertain workforce, the time is appropriate to investigate the need for school facilities to meet these present demands and those that continue to change curricula. This study has been conducted in order to determine the facility requirements for the delivery of the evolving technology/manual arts curriculum in Queensland. A set of validated design criteria for evaluating technology education and vocational education settings was developed and trialed to assist the designer of such facilities to meet the needs of this area on schools designed in different eras from the 1960s to the present. A review of the published literature would indicate that little has been written on this aspect of facilities design. While related studies have been conducted in North America, they were not confined to the designing of the facilities and only had specific relevance in that country.

An expert group consisting of prominent Queensland educators provided the impetus for developing the criteria which had been generated through a systematic search of the literature. The methodology utilised to involve the expert group was the Nominal Group Technique. After the criteria had been developed, they were validated by questionnaire through a 30% random sample of practicing heads of department across Queensland in both state and independent systems. A trial evaluation using current facilities was subsequently conducted to determine the effectiveness of the criteria in terms of teacher acceptability as well as establishing a pattern of needs for modification.

Practitioners who use the facility for teaching technology education and/or vocational education could use the set of criteria to evaluate their facility in a similar manner to that of evaluating their students. Such evaluations could then become the basis for ffiture school planning and budgetary allocations as well as asset management of existing facilities. The study proved to be valuable as the validated criteria have the potential of being used as a tool by teachers to evaluate their facilities. At the systems level of operation, the criteria will provide assistance for designers, architects and teachers to prepare informal educational briefs. Such briefs would provide a consistent approach to the some times difficult task of clearly defining the function of a facility. The modem facility must meet the needs of current curriculum and be sufficiently flexible and adaptable to provide the educational requirements well into the twenty-first century. These developed criteria will greatly assist in this process.

Overview

It is a great honor for me to join in the celebration of the 100th birthday of National Taipei Teachers’ College. In the United States, this year is also the 100th anniversary of a famous march, the “Stars and Stripes Forever,” composed by the revered bandmaster, John Phillips Sousa in 1896. I learned this when I attended a band concert this fall, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Department of Bands at Indiana University. During the concert I was thinking about what I might say today, and I realized that National Taipei Teacher’s College, the IU Department of Bands, and the “Stars and Stripes Forever” are all 100 years old this year. I plan to talk today on the topic: evaluation of use of information technology in education.

First, I will discuss the use of information technology as a lever for change in educational systems and practice. Second, I will talk about the development of criteria for evaluating information technology systems in K-12 education. During 1993-95, I played a central role on a team of faculty and graduate students at Indiana University who helped develop these criteria for the National Study of School Evaluation. I will provide a brief overview of the criteria for use of information technology in K-12 education in the United States. Finally, I will share my personal philosophy on use of technology in education.

Stability and Change in Education

The publication of A Nation at Risk in 1983 helped to renew U.S. efforts to further improve public schooling. We have given names to these reform efforts such as: site-based management, school restructuring and educational systems design (cf. Banathy, 1991; Reigeluth, 1992; Frick, 1993). One difficulty in changing a system is that it tends to remain the same. Systems try to attain and maintain some level of stability (cf. Maccia & Maccia, 1975; 1966). The big challenge is: How can we overcome this stability in our education systems in order to make positive changes, without harming what is already good and should not be changed?

One educator in Indiana has joked that the problem of getting our schools to change is like trying to change the direction of a big elephant going 100 miles per hour. Indicators of Quality Information Technology Systems in Education The National Study of School Evaluation recently published Technology: Indicators of Quality Information Technology Systems in K-12 Schools (NSSE, 1996). This publication provides: * a vision for student learning in technology through suggestions of performance indicators at the elementary, middle and high school levels, * indicators for judging how a school’s instructional system supports learning achievement in technology, and * indicators for evaluating how a school’s organizational system supports its vision.

History of Educational Technology during ancient times

There is no written evidence which can tell us exactly who has coined the phrase educational technology. Different educationists, scientists and philosophers at different time intervals have put forwarded different definitions of Educational Technology. Educational technology is a multifaceted and integrated process involving people, procedure, ideas, devices, and organization, where technology from different fields of science is borrowed as per the need and requirement of education for implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions to those problems involved in all aspects of human learning. Educational technology, broadly speaking, has passed through five stages. The first stage of educational technology is coupled with the use of aids like charts, maps, symbols, models, specimens and concrete materials.

The term educational technology was used as synonyms to audio-visual aids. The second stage of educational technology is associated with the ‘electronic revolution’ with the introduction and establishment of sophisticated hardware and software. Use of various audio-visual aids like projector, magic lanterns, tape-recorder, radio and television brought a revolutionary change in the educational scenario. Accordingly, educational technology concept was taken in terms of these sophisticated instruments and equipments for effective presentation of instructional materials. The third stage of educational technology is linked with the development of mass media which in turn led to ‘communication revolution’ for instructional purposes. Computer-assisted Instruction (CAI) used for education since 1950s also became popular during this era.

The fourth stage of educational technology is discernible by the individualized process of instruction. The invention of programmed learning and programmed instruction provided a new dimension to educational technology. A system of self-learning based on self-instructional materials and teaching machines emerged. The latest concept of educational technology is influenced by the concept of system engineering or system approach which focuses on language laboratories, teaching machines, programmed instruction, multimedia technologies and the use of the computer in instruction. According to it, educational technology is a systematic way of designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of teaching and learning in terms of specific objectives based on research.

Educational technology during the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age Educational technology, despite the uncertainty of the origin of the term, can be traced back to the time of the three-age system periodization of human prehistory; namely the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Duringthe Stone Age, ignition of fire by rubbing stones, manufacture of various handmade weapon and utensils from stones and clothing practice were some of the simple technological developments of utmost importance. A fraction of Stone Age people developed ocean-worthy outrigger canoe ship technology to migrate from one place to another across the Ocean, by which they developed their first informal education of knowledge of the ocean currents, weather conditions, sailing practice, astronavigation, and star maps. During the later Stone Age period (Neolithic period),for agricultural practice, polished stone tools were made from a variety of hard rocks largely by digging underground tunnels, which can be considered as the first steps in mining technology.

The polished axes were so effective that even after appearance of bronze and iron; people used it for clearing forest and the establishment of crop farming. Although Stone Age cultures left no written records, but archaeological evidences proved their shift from nomadic life to agricultural settlement. Ancient tools conserved in different museums, cave paintings like Altamira Cave in Spain, and other prehistoric art, such as the Venus of Willendorf, Mother Goddess from Laussel, France etc. are some of the evidences in favour of their cultures. Neolithic Revolution of Stone Age resulted into the appearance of Bronze Age with development of agriculture, animal domestication, and the adoption of permanent settlements. For these practices Bronze Age people further developed metal smelting, with copper and later bronze, an alloy of tin and copper, being the materials of their choice.

The Iron Age people replaced bronze and developed the knowledge of iron smelting technology to lower the cost of living since iron utensils were stronger and cheaper than bronze equivalents. In many Eurasian cultures, the Iron Age was the last period before the development of written scripts. Educational technology during the period of Ancient civilizations According to Paul Saettler, 2004, Educational technology can be traced back to the time when tribal priests systematized bodies of knowledge and ancient cultures invented pictographs or sign writing to record and transmit information. In every stage of human civilization, one can find an instructional technique or set of procedures intended to implement a particular culture which were also supported by number of investigations and evidences. The more advanced the culture, the more complex became the technology of instruction designed to reflect particular ways of individual and social behaviour intended to run an educated society. Over centuries, each significant shift in educational values, goals or objectives led to diverse technologies of instruction.

The greatest advances in technology and engineering came with the rise of the ancient civilizations. These advances stimulated and educated other societies in the world to adopt new ways of living and governance. The Indus Valley Civilization was an early Bronze Age civilization which was located in the northwestern region of the Indian Subcontinent. The civilization was primarily flourished around the Indus River basin of the Indus and the Punjab region, extending upto the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab, (most of the part is under today’s Pakistan and the western states of modern-day India as well as some part of the civilization extending upto southeastern Afghanistan, and the easternmost part of Balochistan, Iran). There is a long term controversy to be sure about the language that the Harappan people spoke. It is assumed that their writing was at least seems to be or a pictographic script.

The script appears to have had about 400 basic signs, with lots of variations. People write their script with the direction generally from right to left. Most of the writing was found on seals and sealings which were probably used in trade and official & administrative work. Harappan people had the knowledge of the measuring tools of length, mass, and time. They were the first in the world to develop a system of uniform weights and measures. In a study carried out by P. N. Rao et al. in 2009, published in Science, computer scientists found that the Indus script’s pattern is closer to that of spoken words, which supported the proposed hypothesis that it codes for an as-yet-unknown language.

According to the Chinese Civilization, some of the major techno-offerings from China include paper, early seismological detectors, toilet paper, matches, iron plough, the multi-tube seed drill, the suspension bridge, the wheelbarrow, the parachute, natural gas as fuel, the magnetic compass, the raised-relief map, the blast furnace, the propeller, the crossbow, the South Pointing Chariot, and gun powder. With the invent of paper they have given their first step towards developments of educational technology by further culturing different handmade products of paper as means of visual aids.

Ancient Egyptian language was at one point one of the longest surviving and used languages in the world. Their script was made up of pictures of the real things like birds, animals, different tools, etc. These pictures are popularly called hieroglyph. Their language was made up of above 500 hieroglyphs which are known as hieroglyphics. On the stone monuments or tombs which were discovered and rescued latter on provides the evidence of existence of many forms of artistic hieroglyphics in ancient Egypt.

Educational technology during Medieval and Modern Period

Paper and the pulp papermaking process which was developed in China during the early 2nd century AD, was carried to the Middle East and was spread to Mediterranean by the Muslim conquests. Evidences support that a paper mill was also established in Sicily in the 12th century. The discovery of spinning wheel increased the productivity of thread making process to a great extent and when Lynn White added the spinning wheel with increasing supply of rags, this led to the production of cheap paper, which was a prime factor in the development of printing technology. The invention of the printing press was taken place in approximately 1450 AD, by Johannes Gutenburg, a German inventor. The invention of printing press was a prime developmental factor in the history of educational technology to convey the instruction as per the need of the complex and advanced-technology cultured society.

In the pre-industrial phases, while industry was simply the handwork at artisan level, the instructional processes were relied heavily upon simple things like the slate, the horn book, the blackboard, and chalk. It was limited to a single text book with a few illustrations. Educational technology was considered synonymous to simple aids like charts and pictures. The year 1873 may be considered a landmark in the early history of technology of education or audio-visual education. An exhibition was held in Vienna at international level in which an American school won the admiration of the educators for the exhibition of maps, charts, textbooks and other equipments. Maria Montessori (1870-1952), internationally renowned child educator and the originator of Montessori Method exerted a dynamic impact on educational technology through her development of graded materials designed to provide for the proper sequencing of subject matter for each individual learner. Modern educational technology suggests many extension of Montessori’s idea of prepared child centered environment.

In1833, Charles Babbage’s design of a general purpose computing device laid the foundation of the modern computer and in 1943, the first computing machine as per hi design was constructed by International Business Machines Corporation in USA. The Computer Assisted instruction (CAI) in which the computer functions essentially as a tutor as well as the Talking Type writer was developed by O.K. Moore in 1966. Since 1974, computers are interestingly used in education in schools, colleges and universities. In the beginning of the 19th century, there were noteworthy changes in the field of education. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), right from its start of school broadcasts in 1920 had maintained rapid pace in making sound contribution to formal education. In the USA, by 1952, 20 states had the provision for educational broadcasting. Parallel to this time about 98% of the schools in United Kingdom were equipped with radios and there were regular daily programmes.

Sidney L. Pressey, a psychologist of Ohio state university developed a self-teaching machine called ‘Drum Tutor’ in 1920. Professor Skinner, however, in his famous article ‘Science of Learning and art of Teaching’ published in 1945 pleaded for the application of the knowledge derived from behavioral psychology to classroom procedures and suggested automated teaching devices as means of doing so. Although the first practical use of Regular television broadcasts was in Germany in 1929 and in 1936 the Olympic Games in Berlin were broadcasted through television stations in Berlin, Open circuit television began to be used primarily for broadcasting programmes for entertainment in 1950. Since 1960, television is used for educational purposes. In 1950, Brynmor, in England, used educational technological steps for the first time.

It is to be cared that in 1960, as a result of industrial revolution in America and Russia, other countries also started progressing in the filed of educational technology. In this way, the beginning of educational technology took place in 1960 from America and Russia and now it has reached England, Europe and India. During the time of around 1950s, new technocracy was turning it attraction to educations when there was a steep shortage of teachers in America and therefore an urgent need of educational technology was felt.

Dr. Alvin C. Eurich and a little later his associate, Dr. Alexander J. Stoddard introduced mass production technology in America. Team teaching had its origin in America in the mid of 1950’s and was first started in the year 1955 at Harvard University as a part of internship plan. In the year 1956, Benjamin Bloom from USA introduced the taxonomy of educational objectives through his publication, “The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook I: Cognitive Domain”.


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