Thursday, September 13, 2007
What is EdTech?
"Educational Technology" is also called "Instructional Technology" and at Indiana University - "Instructional Systems Technology" (IST). Usually when I define it, I do so in the context of technology integration. However, in studying some of the seminal readings on the history of the field by Boling, Bichelmeyer, Gibbons, Gordon, Zemke, Kozma, Clark, and others, I have come to learn that it encompasses much more than this. Some of the other facets are instructional systems design, analysis, development, evaluation, change, human performance technology (HPT), interventions, learning theory integration, program evaluation, systemic change, media, curriculum, and information management.

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defines it as "the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning." A Google search using the keywords "instructional technology" yields results with slightly different definitions. The common thread that I see running through the varied definitions is in the stated use of technology (digital or otherwise) to improve learning and instruction.

IST overlaps with several other fields of study including SLIS (School of Library and Information Science), Telecommunications, Informatics (especially Human Computer Interaction-HCI), and Learning Sciences (an interdisciplinary area of concentration connected with Educational Psychology). The following key points that separate IST from related fields surfaced during a recent class discussion under Dr. Tom Brush:
  • We don't have content.
  • We are an applied field.
  • We are not just about media.
  • We are involved with instruction and performance.
  • We are about information management for a purpose.
  • We refer to "users" as "learners".

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posted by SG @ 10:20 PM   0 comments
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I am attempting to develop practical instructional applications of developing technologies and provide educators with tools to implementing instructional technologies effectively.
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MUVEs, Web 2.0, assistive technologies, digital video

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