Elements of Educational Technology (reposted)

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) currently defines Educational Technology as:

  • The study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

The diagram shown here in Figure 1.1 is a visual summary of this definition.
The universal set (outermost circle) essentially represents “EdTech”.

This blog post is my opinion on one element, “Facilitating Learning”, in the current AECT definition of Educational Technology.

In my opinion, the element of Facilitating Learning should be at the core of this definition. If you were to stop any teacher, one that had been teaching 30 years or one that is not yet finished their first practicum lesson, they will both agree that “fundamental deep learning” is what they try to achieve in their lessons.  However there is rarely much thought by teachers in changing their previous approach, there is still a lot of “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it”.  But “broke” is a subjective term here, who measures it? The teacher certainly doesn’t, they barely have the time to reflect on a single lesson let alone on an entire unit of work and how it was assessed, learnt, retained and actively applied by the students.

I wholeheartedly agree with the AECT’s underlying intent of “facilitating learning” to mean:

Pursuing deep learning implies different instructional and assessment approaches than surface learning, so this shift in connotation has profound implications for what processes and resources are appropriate.

Educational technology is not about surface learning.  It has to be so much more because it CAN be so much more.  Via Educational Technology we as educators now have the ability to provide dynamic, engaging environments where our students can learn the way they want to learn, the way they think. It’s a little like this Yogi trying to communicate to his IT yoga group.

We have to put ourselves in the shoes of our students and look at the world through their eyes…
if you were a kid now, how would you expect and want to learn?



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