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Educational Technology. Definitions and Domains By: Dr. Q. Li Base on (Ely, 2002; AECT, 2000) . The course. We will touch a variety of areas and fields in educational technology and none of them we will be discussed in as much detail as we would like.

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Educational technology l.jpg

Educational Technology

Definitions and Domains

By: Dr. Q. Li

Base on (Ely, 2002; AECT, 2000)


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The course

  • We will touch a variety of areas and fields in educational technology and none of them we will be discussed in as much detail as we would like.

  • The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the basic concepts, issues, ideas, and topics in Ed tech.

  • If you are interested in a particular area, you can further explore and generate a project that examine the area in more depth and make suggestions/recommendations.


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Definition of Educational Technology (AECT, 1996)

  • It is a complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, devices, and organization, for analyzing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions to those problems, involved in all aspects of human learning.

  • The solutions to problems take the form of all the learning resources which are identified as: messages, people, materials, devices, techniques, and settings.


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Learning resources

  • Message: information to be transmitted by the other components; takes the form of ideas, facts, meanings, data (e.g. any subject matter).

  • People: e.g. teacher, student, speaker.

  • Material: traditionally called media/software (e.g. pictures, books)

  • Device: traditionally called hardware (e.g. radio).

  • Technique: routine procedures for using materials, devices, settings, and people to transmit message (e.g. field trip).

  • Setting: the environment in which the messages are received (e.g. physical and environmental).


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Educational Technology or Technology in education?

  • Not the same!

  • Technology in education is the application of technology to any of those processes involved in operating the institutions which house the educational enterprise. It includes the application of technology to food, health, finance, scheduling, grade reporting, and other processes which support education within institutions.


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Definition of the Field (in a more concise form)

  • Educational technology is the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning.

  • It is a discipline devoted to techniques or ways to make learning more efficient based on theory but theory in its broadest sense, not just scientific theory.


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Field Definitions (2)

  • theory consists of concepts, constructs, principles, and propositions that serve as the body of knowledge.

  • Practice is the application of that knowledge to solve problems. Practice can also contribute to the knowledge base through information gained from experience.


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Field Definitions (3)

  • Design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation refer to both areas (e.g. theory & practice) of the knowledge base and to functions performed by professional in the field.

  • Processes are a series of operations or activities directed towards a particular result.

  • Resources are sources of support for learning, including support systems and instructional materials and environments.

  • The purpose of instruction technology is to affect and effect learning.


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Train & Certification

  • Educational technology has guidelines for training and certification. There is a competency-based framework for training people who perform tasks in educational technology.

  • groups of specialties: 1) instructional program development, 2) media product development, 3) media management

  • levels of performance within the specialty: aide, technician, specialist.


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Educational Technology

  • Educational technology operates within the total field of education. In its relationship to other professions also involved in the field it advocates a coequal & collaborative relationship among these professions.



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Domain Definition

  • design refers to the process of specifying conditions for learning

  • development refers to the process of translating the design specifications into physical form

  • utilization refers to the use of processes and resources for learning


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Domain Definition (2)

  • management refers to processes for controlling instructional technology

  • evaluation is the process for determining the adequacy of instruction.


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Roots of the Field

  • It’s a 20th century movement with the major developments occurring during and after World War II.

  • It began with an emphasis on audiovisual communications media.

  • Gradually it became focused on the systematic development of teaching and learning procedures which were based in behavioral psychology.


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Contributing Fields to Educational Technology

  • Major contributing fields are cognitive psychology, social psychology, psychometrics, perception psychology, and management.


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What do educational technologists do?

  • Most carry out one or a few of the functions performed in the field.

  • E.g. some design instruction, some produce instructional materials, and others manage instructional computing services or learning resources collections.


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Major Professional Organizations

  • AERA

  • Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT)

  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

  • International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI)

  • Association for Media & Technology in Education in Canada (AMTEC)

  • American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)


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Major Journals

  • British Journal of Educational Technology.

  • Learning and Leading with Technology (ISTE)

  • Innovations in Education and Training International.

  • Educational Technology

  • Educational Technology Research & Development (AECT)

  • Journal of Research on Technology in Education (ISTE)

  • TechTrends (AECT)


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Where are they employed?

  • Most educational technologists are employed in schools and colleges as directors of resource centers and developers of curriculum materials.

  • Increasing numbers are being employed by training agencies in business, industry, government, the military, and the health professions. Colleges and universities employ them to be involved in instructional improvement programs that use various technologies.


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