Ed Tech 504 Discussion 4

Discussion 4:  Relate how your views and your original definition of educational technology have changed or not changed from the beginning of this course.

In my first discussion for Ed Tech 504 I stated that: Educational technology is the study and/or practice of the use of technology to facilitate learning. Educational technology can refer to the use of various techniques to reach students such as “application of senses, memory, and cognition” (Garrison & Anderson, 2003). These techniques may be administered through a variety of mediums. Educators study the theory behind educational technology in order to “ethic[ally]” apply these teaching techniques and achieve effective results in the classroom (Garrison & Anderson, 2003).

Through my research in this class I have greatly expanded my definition of education technology.  In the modern classroom, technology has become both a requirement and an important instructional tool. Educational technologies are the tools used to enhance understanding and comprehension of a subject matter.

I focused much of my research on constructivism, since it is the methodology that most closely reflects my teaching style.  Technology can be the bridge that connects constructivism principles and the modern online student.  The constructivist principle that “all knowledge is personal and idiosyncratic” can be achieved with the appropriate structure.  Modern online curriculum have the ability to individualize instruction and respond to diversity of learning cultures and motivations.

Student-centered learning environments are critical for both constructivism and technology and marrying the two.  They allow for the implication and implementation of technology.   In an article by Hannafin and Land they assert that “Student-centered learning environments represent significant potential for optimizing the capabilities of both technology and learners” (Hannafin, Land 1997 p.172).  To completely represent or define education technology we need to address and analyze our, as educators, approaches to education.  In a traditional classroom where the teacher lectures, the ability to fully utilize technology is limited, often to what the students do on their own.  But in a student-centered environment, especially an online environment, the opportunities to utilize technology are optimized, if not maximized.

As a math teacher, I appreciate quantifying a definition.  Originally I referenced an article by Djordje Kadijevich and the ISTE (International Educational Technology Standards for Teachers and Students) there are 23 standards for teachers, divided into six broad categories. The teaching standards are: technology operations and concepts; planning and designing learning environments and experiences; teaching, learning, and curriculum; assessment and evaluation; productivity and professional practice; and social, ethical, legal, and human issues. The standards for students must also be linked to any definition of Educational Technology, these standards have 14 indicators, which are organized into the following six categories: basic operations and concepts; social, ethical, and human issues; technology productivity tools; technology communications tools; technology research tools; and technology problem-solving and decision-making tools( Kadijevich, 2005).  Through my extensive research I found these standards too broad to be helpful.

What I discovered is that educational technology cannot truly be quantified.  Instead, it is better to focus on how to implement technology.  Technology is more than the internet and computers.  I see now that any definition needs to be fluid.   Luppincini stated that the “… goal oriented problem-solving systems approach utilizing tools, techniques, theories, and methods from multiple knowledge domains …” (Luppicini, 2005 p. 107).  Instead of quantifying the definition of educational technology, it would be better to align methodology with guiding principles.

In order to implement education technology the methodology must be student-centered.  Student-centered learning environments allow for the implication and implementation of technology. By adapting and interacting multiple pedagogical models and technology educators can facilitate and optimize learning in the modern era.  When used properly, technology can offer a multitude of options for higher-level thinking, creative problem solving, and meaningful learning.

References:
D. Randy Garrison and Terry Anderson (2003). E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice
E-Learning in the 21st Century: A Framework for Research and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hannafin, M., Land, S.M. The Foundations and Assumptions of Technology-Enhanced Student-Centered Learning Environments, 1997 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. retrieved from Boise State Library http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/65/art%253A10.1023%252FA%253A1002997414652.pdf?auth66=1361161836_5b151fbc086ad72c0f13a768aee54498&ext=.pdf

Kadijevich, D. (2006). Achieving educational technology standards: the relationship between student teacher’s interest and institutional support offered. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 22(6), 437-443. Retrieved from http://www.math.uoc.gr/~ictm2/Proceedings/pap196.pdf

Luppicini, R. (2005). A systems definition of educational technology in society. Educational Technology & Society, 8 (3), 103-106. Retrieved from http://www.ifets.info/journals/8_3/10.pdf

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