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Definition of Educational Technology [Updated]

September 17, 2010

[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.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Aminu hashim hotoro permalink
    July 19, 2016 7:01 am

    As my definition is
    educational technology is a scientific and systematic aplication of technological idea, in order to solve educational problem associete in a teaching and learning process.

  2. Oye permalink
    April 19, 2016 9:19 am

    Pls are educational technoogists trained as teachers or what. Secondly where can they be relevant in schools

  3. Ogunkunle Ruth permalink
    March 24, 2016 5:00 pm

    To my own view, Ed. Tech is the use of materials and technological tools to enhance the learning and teaching situation of the learner in the class room.

  4. Opeyemi permalink
    January 14, 2016 4:13 pm

    Educational Technology is a multifaceted and integrated process, involving people, idea and organization, in which technology from other field of science is borrowed as per the need and requirement of education for implementing, evaluating and managing solutions to those problems involved in all aspects of human behaviour.

  5. December 18, 2015 2:32 pm

    Definion,educational technology is the use of electronic teaching aid in a support of effective teaching and learning for knowledge and skills.

  6. Jessica Jane Libago permalink
    June 21, 2014 11:06 am

    More definition pls🙂

  7. Yakubu muhammad tal'udu permalink
    March 13, 2014 4:50 pm

    In my view educational technology is application of technology which include:computers, internet e.t.c in teaching and learning process with aim of facilitating effective teaching and sound learning

  8. Shehu Ibrahim permalink
    March 7, 2014 3:17 pm

    To me educational technology is more than that as it is an interaction between man and materials in the teaching and learning situation with the view of facilitating teaching and learning.

  9. November 16, 2013 5:19 pm

    It’s great to see the discussion continue. If I were crafting my definition now, I would consider some element of effectiveness of the technology (or technology practice), and that would have some connection to standards, such as those advocated by the IMS Global Learning Consortium here: http://www.imsglobal.org/leadingchange/

    Hap

  10. Chris Clark permalink*
    November 16, 2013 11:03 am

    I disagree that it simply enhances learning. It is *intended* or *designed* to enhance or facilitate learning. A technology doesn’t inherently make you learn. A good *practice* that uses technology can make learning easier.

  11. Ekpetuku Abel permalink
    October 31, 2013 5:12 am

    educational technology is any stuff that enhances

    learning technologically.

  12. akinsiku israel permalink
    October 31, 2013 1:05 am

    i love education technology

  13. Olatunbosun stephen permalink
    October 30, 2013 6:05 am

    To my own knowledge, edutech is any means that enhance effectiveness in educational matters.

  14. iloiza g. manalo permalink
    June 16, 2013 9:42 pm

    for me its nice explanation,technology includes knowledge plus application

  15. March 17, 2013 9:48 am

    i want more explanation because im not understand!

  16. August 22, 2012 12:20 pm

    that is great but it could have been better if you include the word “resources” in your definition because it is not only tools but resources like internet are there.thanks

  17. May 3, 2011 8:57 am

    “Educational technology” is a field of endeavor, a discipline of study, like physics or linguistics, while educational technologies, I would agree, are those technologies focused on education. Chris’ critique of Haz Aziz’ definition focuses on the later.

  18. May 3, 2011 3:07 am

    I think this is a very good explaination and it will help me to understand educational technology better

  19. Chris Clark permalink*
    October 4, 2010 12:49 pm

    This is really a definition of *good use* of technology. The words “appropriate,” “enhance,” and “improve” are not inherently part of educational technology, although they are certainly what we strive for. I would also disagree that teaching is necessarily a part the equation. A clearer definition would be: “Educational technologies are tools, techniques, or processes intended to improve learning.”

  20. September 18, 2010 1:18 pm

    The strength of the definition includes that it is ambiguous where ambiguity is necessary. Such as what technologies are “educational”? White boards, pencils, rubber bands, cell phones, electronic tablets and overhead projections of transparencies are all included.
    The weakness is that it’s wordy, takes some effort to unpack, but to that point I quote it alone from the article because the thought required to unpack the meaning of the definition alone is well worth the effort!

  21. Hap Aziz permalink
    September 18, 2010 11:39 am

    I think it’s a fairly robust definition, but then, I’m biased. I would love to hear how others assess the definition’s strengths and weaknesses.

    Hap Aziz

Trackbacks

  1. Unpacking the Terminology used in Learning within an Internet Environment | Teaching and Learning Forum
  2. Unpacking the Terminology used in Learning by means of the Internet | Teaching and Learning Forum
  3. Educational Technology Assignment | gabsatuma2

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