Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My definition of technology

There are two types of technology: educational technology and instructional technology. These technologies have three types of uses: social technologies, networking technologies and collaborative technologies.

Instructional technology is used to instruct. It presents curriculum to students. It may be used in small groups, seminars, labs, and lectures. The control of this type of technology rests with the teacher, and not with the students.

Educational technology is used in the process of education. It may be used by both teacher and student. Control of this technology is shared, between teacher and student. This type of technology can be used in any setting, any curricular context.

Traditional technologies that are naturally associated with the classroom space, chalkboard, pencil/pen, paper are common place and should not be considered to be exclusively instructional or educational.

With the pervasive presence of computers (whether netbook, laptop, or smart phone), this technology may be approaching traditional technology status. Digital assets, digital media, digital projection are finding greater uses in education, as well as life, and as such may soon approach traditional technologies.

Technology is shifting. Technology is becoming present in every aspect of teaching and learning, and is used in different and differing ways.

Instructional technologies are: desktop computers, multimedia projectors, graphics cameras.

Educational technologies are: small, lightweight, portable computers - netbooks, smart phones.

For further reading:

Anglin, G. (Ed.). (1995). Instructional technology: Past, present, and future. (2nd Ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

Bates, A., & Poole, G. (2003). Effective teaching with technology in higher education: Foundations for success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (Eds.). (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentary. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

2 comments:

Matt Townsley said...

Thanks for laying out some definitions here. I have a rew more follow-up questions.

Is a Netbook "instructional technology" as well as "educational technology?" Using some of your definitions...

Students could be reading the same powerpoint on their screens that a teacher is lecturing from (think Google Docs or slideshare). Students could also be discussing the lecture via CoverItLive. Furthermore, what are your thoughts on the term 'student-centered instruction'? For example, I have created inquiry-based activities that students complete using what you would call "traditional technology", rulers, pencils, protractors, but I have also created those types of activities using Geometer's Sketchpad. Students participate in 'student-centered' instruction designed by me using their laptop computers (instructional technology). In some classes, we don't have access to laptops, so we go to the computer lab and use desktops, but complete the same activity. Is one 'instructional technology' and the other not? I see quite a bit of overlap in your definitions and thought the questions raised above may help continue the conversation.

Carol said...

I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog! Appreciate your clear definitions of the different types of technologies integrated today.

Carol Tonhauser

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