The current definition of Educational Technology from AECT is Instructional Technology is the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning. … The words Instructional Technology in the definition mean 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. … 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. … Of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation … refer to both areas of the knowledge base and to functions performed by professionals 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 instructional technology is to affect and effect learning (Seels & Richey, 1994, pp. 1-9).
Educational technology has certainly changed much since Resior wrote his article. There are many elements to educational technology or instructional technology as some call it. The one element I am going to focus on is “using”. I think that the element using is what separates educational technology from instructional media. We have all watched a video in Biology or in History that was supposed to give us a better understanding. When we “watched” the video, most of us slept or drew on paper or found ways to communicate with our friends across the room. Just watching the video is not using educational technology. Using technology, to me, means that the student is an active participant and is helping create the learning by doing something. Whether you have the student go on a virtual field trip into that history lesson, or actually venture into the human body and become that breath of air or that piece of food that is eaten, those are examples of using educational technology. In math there are programs that the students can go online and use. I was able to use some various sites to help students learn and better understand geometry. Actually having them in the computer lab and creating their own triangles and shapes and then seeing what happens to the sides and angles as you change one aspect, taught them more than they could have ever learned from just watching me do example after example.
Reisor talked a lot about how different fads of technology would create excitement and encouragement but then the fad would fade. A lot of that has to do with teachers refusing to use the technology or maybe even a lack of training in how to correctly use the technology to really be educational and beneficial. You can see that even now. When SMART boards came out, they were exciting and new and going to change the way teachers teach. But, most teachers don’t have one in their room and if they have one they don’t know how to use it so it just hangs there. I had a SMART board put in my room but no one showed me how to use it and so it just sat there, never being used. The goal in Educational Technology is not only to have the tool out there but to have teachers and students actually use the tool for education and learning. In the last couple of years there has been a major jump from minimal educational technology being used to growing fast and trying to keep up with the demand. As long as teachers and students get training in how to correctly use the tools for education then the Educational Technology with truly help in learning and in the educational field. I think that we are finally starting to use educational technology (instructional Technology) the way that AECT first intended it to. We are slowly working towards it but we are moving forward and more and more teachers and educational institutions are willing to use it.