Elements of Educational Technology

Educational Technology Definition:

Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

In this discussion, I will reflect on the word resources in the definition of educational technology. I will discuss what resources are. I will point out its importance and  describe how resources are the central component of the definition.  Finally, I will state some of the challenges of facilitating learning with relation to resources.

Resources are meant to help people construct knowledge or learn and they come in many different forms. Resources can be located in communities (such as businesses, natural environment, or elders). They can also include audiovisual material, books, and magazines or digital media (such as web sites, e-books, online games, or virtual worlds). Some resources can be provided with no monetary fee or they can be commercialized and be very expensive. The assortment of resources available is vast and ever expanding.

The hub of educational technology is resources. Educational facilitators help students learn by providing resources. Students will use resources to activate background knowledge to make connections between new and known information. Then, they can use the information to integrate new understandings. In this process they use the resources that are pertinent. They will then use other resources as a vehicle to express the meaning or structures they have created. Resources are not only used to discover knowledge, they are used to construct it. Resources propagate resources. Januszewski and Molenda (2008) suggest that “The many resources for learning are central to the identity of the field.”

Educational technology is more and more important in schools than ever before. Teachers/facilitators are expected to plan with new curriculums and not afforded the luxury of being provided with resources. They are expected to find resources that fit their content level. The use of the Internet is common practice for finding resources to implement curriculum. One of largest hurdles for planning this way is finding resources that are reliable and fit the content being taught. Another hurdle is finding resources that engage students or are at their reading and understanding level (particularly in elementary education). School division administrators, consultants or coordinators are faced with the challenge of providing the appropriate collection of resources for use by teachers and students. The dilemma is knowing which ones will fit your students and curriculum best, and which resources will be obsolete or not supported shortly after being employed.

Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Chapter 1: Definition. In Educational technology: A definition with commentary (pp. 1 – 14). NY: Lawrence Erlbaum, Inc.

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