“Technology can become the “wings” that will allow the educational world to fly farther and faster than ever before – if we will allow it.” – Jenny Arledge
I kept thinking about the term ‘educational technology’ while researching about it. I was thinking and making connections between old traditional teaching styles and modern teaching approaches. I was thinking why Ecmp courses are a part of Education courses at university. Is it just to prepare pre-service teachers to use technology effectively in their future classrooms or it is time for a change in our teaching styles and classroom setup? I kept thinking, am I missing something here? Is something overlooked? I used to be a teacher five years ago, and I was very passionate for my profession. Since I started taking courses at U of R, specially ecmp355 and ecmp455, I am thinking do I need to learn technology just for teaching purposes or there are some other aspects of educational technology as well. And then Alec asked us to write a blog post about it, a chance for me to throw out all the questions that I have in my mind.
After reading so much stuff online, I really liked this one article on “Educational Technology”. It is quite a long article and I just read portions of it. I am including those points here that helped answer most of my questions and gave me a broader spectrum of thinking about educational technology.
Educational technology may be divided into following three components, I am going to review these three components and how science/technology can be used in a better way to achieve educational objectives. Components of educational technology mainly concerns with methodology of teaching and related aspects to achieve the objectives of education.
Every teacher should possess the precise knowledge of child-psychology i.e. the age, standard, mental capacity or capability and individual variations etc. Only in that case, the teacher can acquire the desired behavioral changes. I think science and technology in today’s classroom has made it possible to practice differentiated teaching and it aids teachers to have a better understanding of child psychology and to promote student-centric education. These tools help to create better educational ‘contents’ and better ‘communication’ between teacher and students.
Instructional technology is based upon Hardware approach. The teaching material prepared based on machines like tape-recorder, record player, television and projector etc. comes under this. With the help of this, large groups of students may be provided with the knowledge in minimum time and expenses.
It needs attention that the instruction is no doubt helpful in making teaching easy, precise, interesting and effective but instructional technology cannot replace a teacher. In teaching, interaction between teacher and student is must while in instructions, especially in programmed instructions, the student can learn himself. Instruction is used in teaching and hence, teaching can be named as instruction but instruction cannot be termed as teaching because in instructions, interaction between a teacher and students is not essential.
The basis of instructional technology is the machine system. It aids in teaching work through machines prepared with the help of science and technology. Instructional technology motivates learning process and the instructional material is selected keeping in view the objectives. Simultaneously, for presenting the lesson, various methods, techniques, strategies and audio-visual aids are used so that the objectives may be achieved
Teaching is an art. Teaching technology makes this art more easy, precise, practical and objective by using scientific principles and tools. As mentioned earlier that the teaching has two elements— ‘Contents’ and ‘Communication’ (Classroom behaviors). Teaching technology includes both contents and communication. Hence, teaching technology includes both instructional technology and behavioral technology.
After knowing all these aspects about educational technology, I am in a better position now to use educational technology in my future classrooms. It will be easier for the students to learn and remember the lesson which is taught in a most interactive and interesting way. I also realize that there is still a need to bridge the gaps between old/traditional and state of the art teaching approaches and I think I am on the right track by taking these Ecmp courses.
Please let me end my post with this YouTube video which is worth watching to understand the basic idea behind educational technology.