Thursday 16 February 2017

What is Educational Technology?

Educational Technology

Educational Technology
Educational Technology
“Educational Technology” consists of two words “Education” and “Technology”. In order to understand in a better way the concept of educational technology, let’s first understand what education is.
Education is product as well as a process of acquiring and imparting knowledge which is crucial to the development of an individual or learner. Technology refers to the application of scientific knowledge. Therefore, educational technology means the application of the principles of education to improve human learning. It refers to the systematic application of techniques and principles to achieve an objective; it improves human productivity.
Educational technology is defined as the application of the scientific knowledge about learning and conditions of learning; it’s about improving effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and training. Thus, the main role of educational technology is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the teaching and learning process.
Today’s educational technology is the result of the integration of the technological devices with the psychological principles of learning, teaching, behavioral modification, and so on. In short, educational technology is the development, application and evaluation of systematic knowledge about learning and instruction to teaching and training with an aim at improving their quality as well as efficiency.
Effective learning could come through the effective application of educational technology, for example, an interactive television cannot provide quality output, if it does not have quality educational programs. It is very much essential to have both hardware and software for the effective use of educational technology. Hardware and software both are needed and important components. Therefore, technology in education and technology of education is inter-related for educational technology.

Hardware Approach (to Educational Technology):

It refers to the use of the existing technology to the field of education. Technology is not specially developed only for the field of education, for example, radio, television, tape recorder, computers, etc. This type of technology, according to Silverman (1968), is called as “relative technology” or “borrowed technology”. It is borrowed from other fields and is used in the field of education. This technology is called “technology in education”.
Audio-visual aids like maps, charts, models, etc. have brought a revolution in the teaching-learning process. Use of the technology makes teaching effective and interesting. Students get more interest in teaching; they are motivated to learn with the help of these aids. This type of educational technology is used in not only in preserving and passing on knowledge but also in enriching the knowledge base. The teacher can reach a large number of students using this type of educational technology; he can even reach out the people residing in rural areas.

Software Approach (to Educational Technology): 

Software approach uses the principles of psychology for the purpose of behavior modification. A teacher, having added knowledge of software approach, can use films, flash-cards, tapes, etc. for various purposes. The teacher can plan better teaching which results into better learning.
Both hardware and software approaches are so inter-linked that they cannot be separated from each other. One without the other is incomplete. It is the software approach which makes the hardware approach function well.
Following are the some of the benefits of educational technology:
1. Easy to Access Course Material: Instructors can post the course material or important information on a course website which means students can study at a time and location they prefer and can obtain the study material quickly.
2. Wide Participation: Learning material can be used for long distance learning and are accessible to a wider audience.
3. Subject Made Easier to Learn: Many different types of educational software are designed and developed to help children or teenagers learn specific subjects, for example, graphics software, pre-school software.
4. Differentiated Instruction: Educational technology provides the means to focus on active student participation and present differentiated questioning strategies. It broadens individualized instruction and promotes the development of personalized learning plans.

The use of the internet in education has had a positive impact on students, educators, as well as educational system as a whole.

System Approach (to Educational Technology):

Education is regarded as a system and system approach is a systematic way of designing an effective and economical educational system.
The new technology has influenced the educational administration and organization to a great extent. This is the modern approach. The teaching-learning process has become quite complex. The system approach can be used to systematize this process. The system approach (to design and analysis of teaching and training situations) is the basis of great majority of modern technology-related developments.
The system approach acts as a link between hardware and software approach. It is also known as “Management Technology”. It has brought to educational management a scientific approach for solving educational administrative problems.