Definition of Educational Technology [Updated]
[original entry by Laura Gekeler]
I try to stay current with the blog “T.H.E. Journal: Transforming Education through Technology” but don’t always get to. Yesterday Hap Aziz published an article including this definition of educational technology. What do you think?
Educational technology is the considered implementation of appropriate tools, techniques, or processes that facilitate the application of senses, memory and cognition to enhance teaching practices and improve learning outcomes.
Updated June 20, 2013
This blog post became very popular and, given the title, I was concerned that providing only one definition was misleading.. Therefore, I am asserting editorial prerogative and adding some alternatives.
Below is what Wikipedia says on 6/20/13. It’s ungrammatical and confusing.
Educational technology, sometimes termed EdTech, is the area of technology that deals with facilitating e-learning, which is the learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
The third part of the definition listed at allwords.com is almost humorous
3. A set of expensive tools sold to schools purporting to improve learning but not actually proven to do so
D’Arcy Norman writes that there really isn’t any such thing as educational technology. I believe he means that technology can’t be inherently educational. Here’s his tongue-in-cheek “non-definition”:
Educational technology is whatever stuff you need to use to support the practice of effective teaching and learning.
The gold standard
The last definition comes from a June 2004 report by the Definition and Terminology Committee of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (later amplified into a book). AECT more or less “wrote the book,” so theirs is the definition I recommend:
Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.