What is Education Technology? – Uses, Advantages, Benefits, and More
What is Education Technology?
Educational Technology is the field of study that investigates the process of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the instructional environment, learning materials, learners, and the learning process in order to improve teaching and learning.
The period technology derives from the Greek word and means ability or skill. Technology is understood as the science of mastery. The formation and development of educational technologies are due to the following reasons:
The emergence of the need to use the psychological and personal characteristics of students as fully and deeply as possible in the teaching process.
Gradual awareness of the need to replace ineffective forms of teaching with modern, relevant, and effective ones.
The need to design the educational process and the forms of interaction between the student and the teacher are capable of providing and guaranteeing high learning results.
Uses of Educational Technology in School
We can find the use of educational technology in different stages of the education process. Suppose a teacher projects an educational film in the classroom. Then hand out a DVD to each student with more information. The educator finally asks the students to carry out practical work on what they have seen, which they must publish on a website. All these activities can be developed thanks to the application of educational technology.
Currently, there are many proposals, workshops, classes, and existing education forums within the teaching sector around educational technology, as would be the case of “RELATED,” which is the “Latin American Journal of Educational Technology.”
Advantages of Educational Technology
Although there are still teachers who consider that the so-called “traditional methods” are still valid and valuable when teaching students, others are entirely in favour of the use of educational technology. The latter considers that the use of computers, the Internet, mobile phones, tablets, or digital whiteboards, for example, brings with it a long list of advantages, such as the following:
- It is a way for education to adapt entirely to the present, following the technological era we have lived through.
- It allows teachers to have at their disposal a long list of resources and tools on which to base their explanation of the subject.
- If allows students to understand the class’s content better since everything is more visual and interactive.
- It also becomes an excellent way for children to delve into the themes and even reinforce them, thanks to online games, treasure hunts, blogs…
For all these advantages and many others, the UN itself (United Nations Organization) encourages, supports, and drives to bet on new forms of teaching and perfectly integrate technology in the field of education.
Benefits of Educational Technology
Educators and students are two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, teachers use them to facilitate the way in which they reinforce the knowledge and skills of their pupils. They also help stimulate and enrich student learning. On the other hand, these tools allow students to improve their experience and facilitate knowledge absorption. Therefore, the technology used benefits both groups.
Other benefits that can be listed are the following:
Greater collaboration: On the one hand, local or cloud computing systems help to facilitate the correction task. This is one of the main drawbacks in managing the time of educators. On the other hand, these services allow students to work as a team without meeting in person.
Cost savings: Therefore, in the long term, new technologies tend to reduce the cost of educational materials. For example, the use of the cloud for data storage, even improving security. Likewise, the students’ backpacks lighten by requiring fewer instruments.
Better and greater dissemination of content: This allows content to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For example, with pre-recorded classes.
Personalized education: With more availability, students can develop specific plans. In this sense, young people focus on their interests, and the standardization of the educational system reduces. In addition, technology makes it possible to assess students’ progress and continue to identify their abilities.
More attention: The use of games or other dynamic content keeps students focused on their activities. Likewise, it promotes interaction between many people, reducing physical limitations. Again, this allows teachers to have better control of the classroom and include parents in the educational process of their children.
Characteristics of Educational Technologies
Educational technologies have a series of essential elements:
Concept: It supports a specific scientific idea, which will later serve as the basis for the technology.
Integrity: It aims at the interrelation of all the structural components of educational technology, giving it the necessary specific qualities.
The controller: It suggests the possibility of diagnosing goal setting and monitoring the educational process and, if necessary, correcting it.
Playback: It offers the opportunity of using this technology by different teachers due to its replicability.
Efficiency: Its objective is to achieve the goals of education according to educational standards. Provides for the reduction of economic costs (losses) and time.
Types of Educational Technologies
Currently, the following types of education technologies are distinguished. Person-orient education technologies. These technologies imply recognizing the student’s desire and aspiration to acquire knowledge and skills and develop her potential as the main driving force. The process of self-education and self-updating of the student is of great importance within this technology framework.
The main motives of the individual are the desire for knowledge, self-realization in society, possible prospects in the future profession, personal satisfaction from the position one has in the community, and the attitude of others towards it.
- Person-oriented learning technology provides three primary methods:
- The learning elements are present in the form of multi-level tasks.
- The great importance of dialogue in the learning process.
- Playful learning methods.
Modular Learning Technology: This learning technology is based on a person-centred approach based on the learner’s personality. The leading modular learning technology is the independent development of educational disciplines divided into modules for convenience. This technology has emerged as a counterweight to traditional learning and is based on each student’s abilities and needs.
Modular learning technology is a type of modular education technology. It is an educational and methodology complex consisting of several disciplines divided into blocks, the time of its study determine, and its final objective market. An important place occupies by a self-monitoring system, which is necessarily contained in each module and at the end of the study of the discipline.
Problem-Based Learning Technology. This technology is building the learning process so that students are constantly facing learning problems. The solution to learning problems aims at mastering the teaching material, acquiring knowledge, and acquiring skills and abilities. Thus, problem learning technology allows one to master theoretical knowledge and gain practical skills and experience in creative solutions to various tasks.
Problems to be Solved Generated by Educational Technology
Some of the difficulties that need to address due to the use of new technology in education are the following:
Adaptability: Technological change tends to be faster than the ability of the area to adapt. Mainly, it forces adults to make a significant training effort. Likewise, tests need to evaluate their operation without causing damage to the structure of the institutions and the laws that govern them.
False information: A large amount of available information represents a challenge for students, especially when separating what is true from what is wrong. Being paradoxical that with more details, disinformation also increases.
A gap in education systems: The quality gap between education systems with fewer resources versus those with more resources is expanding. Therefore, in relative terms, those with fewer resources are less effective, at least for a short time.
History and Implementation
Educational technology is not new: it has been applied in schools and academic centres for several decades. When a teacher projects a documentary or uses a screen to show presentations to his students, he is taking advantage of educational technology. However, the method is promoto from the rise of computers and the digital world.
The way of implementing educational technology has also changed over the years. Initially, the institutions used a laboratory, classroom or office specialized in computing, with computers and other technological equipment. Then computers became portable and began to integrate into everyday classrooms. Today educational technology even enters the students’ homes through the Internet.
Computer training technology is based on information technology in the learning process. Technology apply through computers and other multimedia means. The use of computer technology makes the learning process modern, cognitive, and exciting for children.
Educational technology is the set of knowledge, applications, and devices that allow the application of technological tools in education. In other arguments: it is about solving educational difficulties through information technology.
Teachers can plan the learning process and optimize the teaching task thanks to educational technology. This is made possible by using technical resources, such as computers (computers), televisions, etc.