Misericordia University TED 121 -- Educational Technology

Module 1: Educational Technology


What is Educational Technology?


Aspects of the Definition of Educational Technology (Hackbarth, 1996)

  1. process: Systematic process involving application of knowledge in search for replicable solutions to the problems inherent in teaching and learning.
  2. products: Products of this process (software, TV programs, interactive multimedia, self-instructional programs, CBT, integrated learning systems).
  3. profession:
  4. academic specialty: An academic specialty within the discipline of education (evidenced by existance of ed. tech. journals, degree programs, and books).


Brief History of Educational Technology

Educational technology really began in the middle 1400's with the invention of the movable type printing press. According to Hackbarth (1996), the history of the use of educational technology can be divided into four major eras. They are described below:

  1. print media
    Read about the history of the printing press.

  2. audiovisual media

  3. teaching machines and programmed instruction (1950's)
    Read (and download) a Morse Code teaching machine for the PC.

  4. computers (late 1970's)
    Timeline of Computer History from the Computer History Museum

Things to Think About:
  1. Every time a new technology is introduced, people tend to want to do the same old thing with the new technology, even though the new technology provides new opportunities. How did this happen with the following technologies?

    • television (influenced by radio): In early television broadcasts of the 1950's, people sat in front of the camera and read as if they were on radio. People had not yet explored the expanded capabilities of visual part of the medium.

    • PowerPoint (influenced by overhead projectors): In the first PowerPoint presentations, speakers projected static text as if the slides were printed on plastic and placed on an overhead projector. People had not yet explored the expanded capabilities of animation, graphics, and sounds.

    • Web pages (influenced by books): In the early days of the Web (early 1990's), and still existing today, Web pages were developed as if they were books (linear, intended to be read from front to back). People had not yet explored the expanded capabilities of hypertext and modular design.

    Briefly compare the following three Web pages about archeology. Which site(s) make better use of technology and why?
    1. Archeology Link 1
    2. Archeology Link 2
    3. Archeology Link 3

  2. Throughout history, people have looked toward the promise of technology?
    1. What is the promise of technology?
    2. Has technology lived up to its promise?


Rationale for Using Educational Technology

Educational technology seems like a "natural" to use in education. But are there any real advantages to using educational technology in instruction? Should teachers use educational technology in their classes? Why or why not?

In small groups, we will now take a brief look at some educational software. As you preview the software, write down a list of advantages of using technology (multimedia) in teaching/learning. Don't be afraid to write down your "gut" feelings. As you work, answering some of the following questions may be helpful to you:
  • What is different about learning with multimedia than learning in the traditional classroom?
  • How does multimedia differ from...
    • reading a book?
    • listening to a lecture?
  • What can multimedia offer that the traditional classroom cannot?
  • What advantages does multimedia offer to the student/learner over traditional classroom learning?

When you are done, click the following button to see some advantages to using multimedia in education:


Technology and Changes in Traditional Classroom Structure

Many traditional elements found in the modern classroom were established in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Schools were greatly influenced by factories. Today, with the greater influence of technology in education, the traditional classroom is being challenged.

Compare the following two images. Notice the similarities between the factory and the school. Do you know of any schools today that still look like factories? Are you maybe the product of one?

Factory of the early 1900's
Factory of the early 1900's
School of the early 1900's
School of the early 1900's

  1. Describe the traditional classroom setting.
  2. What are the influences of the factory on the classroom? Do any of these influences still exist today?
  3. Considering the increased use and capabilities of technology, what might the classroom of the future look like? What might the teacher of the future look like?
Click the following button to explore some predicted changes to the classroom structure due to the influence of technology:


Hot Topics in Educational Technology

Technology is an important topic in education today. The public is demanding more and more use of technology in schools. Many political officials run for office on a platform of improving technology in education. The use of various technologies is cutting edge, and some technologies are still undergoing experimentation as to how they should be implemented. Proper use of some technologies is even controversial! Thus, there are many hotly debated and discussed topics in technology today.

The following are online professional journals where you can locate some "hot" topics in educational technology. Select one or two links, and briefly scan the table of contents and any articles of interest. List several hot topics in educational technology today.


Information Literacy

Information literacy is an important hot topic as we make further progress into the information age. It is debated in the political arena, and it is a concern for schools.

The following link deals with the issue of information literacy. Review the resource and try to answer the following questions:
  1. What does information literacy mean?
  2. Why is this topic so important?

  Overview of the course.
  Introduction to educational technology.

Go to Module 1.

Go to Topics.

Go to home page.

E-mail Dr. Steve.