Educational Technology

Educational Technology

Educational Technology is the process of using the appropriate technology to improve the learning process and performance, including both hardware and software. Instructors can also make use of internet applications, including blogs, in the training.

Educational tech first started to bloom with the use of audio visual aids, including slides and films, which delivered instructional information. They were found to be a much more complete and useful tool for learning than regular books and lectures. Computers and computer based systems joined these around the 1990’s, and the term educational technology came into common use. Policies for the use of this technology come from the Office of Educational Technology (OET).

Technology has improved learning in many ways.

Open source software allows instructors to teach students through the use of demonstrations using digital simulations or models. Students are able to experiment with everything from how evolution came about to how an electron may interact with matter. Rather than explain how mixing two specific chemicals may produce a dangerous reaction, this software can provide a demonstration.

Global learning allows a student to learn about other countries in a much more natural way than through reading books or listening to an instructor. Through the marvel of video-conferencing, a student is able to speak to a native of the country, learn about the culture, and hear the language spoken. There is no substitution for learning a language to hearing it spoken by a native and interacting with that person through social media, short of students actually travelling to that country.

Computer and video gaming has become an integral part of most students’ daily lives. Now, Epistemic games can use game – like simulations to introduce students to important real world concepts. The student is cast in a role, such as an engineer or mayor of a city, and has to make the choices to solve problems. He must use innovative thinking to solve these problems –solving a medical controversy, redesigning city planning, creating a science exhibit. This also calls into play justifying their solution, and developing moral, professional and ethical standards. This helps them to learn to deal with the thought processes necessary in the new digital age.

More new technology is being introduced every day. Some instructors now have students use their cell phones to take notes while in the field, and organize schedules and homework. They can even make virtual tours of interactive web galleries and museums.

Virtual classrooms allow students to take courses online which they would never have had access to before. Courses from universities as well known as Harvard are available to students everywhere.

Educational technology has revolutionized the way a student learns, and provides for opportunities that we would never have believed possible.


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