Definition of Educational Technology – 504

Educational Technology is the field responsible for the integration of ever-changing processes and electronic resources to all facets (including but not limited to: training, planning, preparing, researching, organizing, communicating, collaborating, documenting, student acquisition of information, implementation, networking of both/between faculty and students) of education to improve and enhance the performance of learners, teachers and administrators as they work toward their purpose and learning goals.

If you asked my 99-year-old father what laptop was when he was my age, he would have pointed to the tops of his thighs. Technology is changing and morphing as I type. I fear I might be outdated when I finish this program in December of 2014. I read recently that my iPhone’s processor is faster and more capable than a 2005 desktop machine. With this rapid evolution, the challenge for public schools is to educate the public on Educational Technology.

My struggle with the definition process? It is altitude-based. Are you viewing from within the field or from a different elevation? Much like James Finn’s viewpoint that we view technology as a process over objects (Dorbolo, p. 69, 2003), the public has not caught on. The general public spells technology, c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r-s (Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, 2013). States cannot agree on Science and History curriculum. Even the National Education Technology Plan of 2010 does not attempt to define Educational Technology (2010).

The Harkness Table, where students and teacher sit at an oval table and all have an equal voice, positively changed classrooms at boarding schools starting at Philips Exeter in 1931. Teachers had to retrain the way they do business to make that change effective, as it was not just a tool but a concept and process. You may have the best computer, the most sophisticated curriculum software, and the fastest Internet connection…but if that teacher does not know how to use any of that, its not going to improve education (Rivero, 1999, p. 54). Training teachers to plan, teach, utilize and incorporate technology creates potential to impact all schools in a similar fashion as device-bearing students in every classroom then have the ability to hold the chalk.

References:

Dorbolo, J. (January 01, 2003). Alan Januszewski, Educational Technology: The Development of a Concept. Ethics and information technology, 5, 1, 68-70.

Executive Summary | U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Retrieved June 13, 2013 from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010/executive-summary

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. (2013). Technology Education. Retrieved from http://www.famu.edu/index.cfm?TechEd&DefinitionofTechnologyEducation

Rivero, V. (April, 1999). Top state edtech leaders talk about data-driven decision making. Coverage, 52-54.

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About "B" Bernheim
“B”, his nickname, returns to the other side of the desk after many years. Graduating from UNC-Charlotte in 1983 with a BA in Education (K-12), he entered active service with the US Army. He began teaching high school upon completion of his tour of duty. B taught Language Arts and Social Studies for one year at the middle school level. English, Composition, Public Speaking, Theater, Forensics, and Technical Theater are among the subjects he has taught in public high school settings. Most recently, he was a Strategies of Instruction teacher, Assistant Dean of Students, dorm parent, girls’ hockey coach and rock climbing instructor at The Forman School in Litchfield, CT. The Forman School is a 9-12 boarding school specifically targeting students who learn differently.

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