What Is Educational Technology? Definition, Explanation And Impact.

msiqbal

Muazam S. Iqbal
Staff member
Educational Technology:

From the ancient abacus to handheld calculators, from classroom slide projectors and film strips to virtual reality and next-generation e-learning, educational technology continues to evolve in exciting new ways, inspiring teachers and students alike.

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Technology continually changes the way we work, play, create, and communicate. Therefore, it is natural that advances in digital technology are also creating game-changing opportunities in the world of education.

For teachers, technology is opening new possibilities to enrich and stimulate young minds. Today, there is growing excitement around the potential of assistive technology, virtual and augmented reality, high-tech collaboration tools, gamification, podcasting, blogging, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, personalized learning, and much more.

Here, we will explore some of the most promising examples of educational technology and some specific tools and trends. But first let's take a closer look at what we mean when we talk about "educational technology", because the discussion may refer to both:

  • The theory and practice of educational approaches to learning, as well as
  • The technological tools that help in the development and communication of knowledge.
Tools and Media in Educational Technology?

An important definition of educational technology focuses on "technological tools and the means of communication that aid in the communication of knowledge, and its development and exchange."

Take augmented reality and virtual reality, for example. Writing on the "Trends in Digital Transformation in Education" on Forbes.com, technology innovation specialist Daniel Newman talks about using AR and VR to "improve teacher instruction while creating immersive lessons that make them fun and engaging for the student. " It invites us to imagine using virtual reality to transport students to ancient Greece.

Gamification combines play and learning by using play as an instructional tool, according to Newman, who explains that incorporating game technology into the classroom "can make learning difficult subjects more exciting and interactive."

Regarding artificial intelligence, Newman notes that a university in Australia used IBM's Watson to create a virtual student advisory service that was available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Apparently, Watson's virtual advisors answered more than 30,000 questions in the first quarter, freeing up human advisers to handle more complex matters.

Whose curriculum-aligned free math game for grades 1-8 is used by millions of students, teachers, and parents, offers specific tips for leveraging educational technology tools in a report titled Ways to Use technology in the classroom. His ideas include:

  • Take a Virtual Tour: - Explore famous landmarks like the Empire State Building or the Great Barrier Reef, or view real tours using technology to "visit" the places beforehand.
  • Participating in a Webquest: These educational adventures encourage students to find and process information by adding an interesting twist to the research process. For example, they could put themselves in the role of detective to solve a specific "case", collecting clues on a curricular topic by investigating specific sources and web pages.
  • Podcasting: - Playing relevant podcasts, or helping students create their own, can be a great way to complement lessons, engage listening learners, and even empower students to develop new creative skills.

Educational technology strategist David Andrade reports on EdTechMagazine.com (“What's on the horizon for educational technology?”) That current tools and trends include online learning and creative spaces, “with robotics and reality which are expected to be widely adopted in the near future... "Looking a little further into the future, Andrade says studies indicate that" artificial intelligence and wearable technology will be considered mainstream within four to five years. "

In practice, future innovation will come from the hearts and minds of teachers who develop the knowledge and skills necessary to discover the most engaging and effective ways to use educational technology strategies in virtual classrooms and classrooms, everywhere.

Theory and Practice of Educational Technology:

Another essential definition of educational technology centers on the theory and practice of using new technologies to develop and implement innovative educational approaches to student learning and achievement.

Behind all the high-tech tools, digital bells, and whistles, are the teachers who have the skill and inspiration to use these new technologies to expand their students' educational universe.

According to a report by the International Society for Technology in Education, "The most compelling issues among educators adopting technology for learning and teaching are not at all about technology but to the students. " "

The benefits for students include increased opportunities for personalized learning, more collaborative classrooms, and new strategies such as so-called "flipped learning," in which students are introduced to subject material outside of the classroom (often online), and Classroom time is used to deepen understanding through discussion and problem-solving activities with peers.

For teachers aspiring to make an impact in this discipline, earning a master's degree in educational technology is obviously about learning new tools, strategies, and practices, but it's also about understanding the support structures that must exist to ensure the most successful results. These include:
  • Policy and legal issues
  • Ethical issues (student privacy, etc.)
  • Financing, subsidies, and budgets.
  • Real-world applications (the world of work, partnership opportunities, etc.)
  • Basic concepts of networks, hardware, learning management software.
  • Equity (community/school access and assets, student access)
  • Ability to complete a school or district needs assessment/site technology survey analysis
Therefore, for educators who are inspired by the immense potential of educational technology, the value of a master's degree cannot be overstated.

Value of A Master's Degree:

"We need technology in every classroom and in the hands of every student and teacher," says educational technology pioneer David Warlick, "because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience great part of our world. "

In recent years, the growing interest in educational technology has led to the emergence of new advanced degree programs that are designed to prepare educators to change the mindset of an innovator and become transformative technology leaders in their classroom, school, or district.

The best programs are structured to impart a comprehensive understanding of the tools used in educational technology, theories and practices, and related topics of critical importance (budgets, legal/ethical considerations, real-world partnership opportunities, educational equity, etc. ) that are essential for these technology-enhanced programs to deliver their potential to inspire student learning, achievement, and creativity.

For example, the University of San Diego, known for its innovative online Master of Education program, is launching a new program designed to prepare teachers to become effective K-12 technology leaders and trainers, virtual educators, and Instructional Innovators that Adopt technology-influenced teaching practices to enhance student learning.

The program's fully online format, in which students learn from expert instructors with deep experience in the field, while interacting with other teachers across the country, enables busy education professionals to complete their master's degree in 20 months while working full time.
 
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