In this assignment I have been asked to create my own definition of educational technology based around reading assignments that focused on the historical and social implications and the systematic approach.  I particularly liked how my professor, Dr. Freed, phrased it, by calling this definition a “moving target”, meaning that there are many shifting factors that comprise a definition.

Definition: Educational Technology

The continual adaptation of human creativity and knowledge base to systematically apply modern technological resources to meet the changing educational and social needs of both the local and global communities.

Metaphor: Defining Educational Technology is …

playing tennis with faded lines on one side; on the other side they haven’t finished painting the lines.


Photo by Mike Stobe from Getty Images

From a historical perspective, educational technology has been effective in delivering content for nearly a century, especially in specialized education for adults.  In the last decade, the rising social demand for more flexibility in education has caused many educational institutes to provide more technology based learning (Koller, Harvey, Magnotta).  However, it has struggled at times to have proponents for technology application, especially in K-12 environments.  In more recent years, an array of free web based resources have driven a desire and increased necessity for the use of technology in the learning process, whether it be a direct teaching approach or a student centered constructive knowledge approach.

Developments in technology seem to forge ahead with powerful commercial and industry forces backing it.  Education, despite its difficulty to unite it aims and objectives, has been able to take advantage of some resources provided by technology, but it has not be distributed equally.  Applying a uniform system to utilize resources is just one way that the systematic implementation of technology promotes teaching and learning.  However, the biggest challenge of applying a systematic approach is the constant developments of new resources and the changing needs of society.

I suppose since I have not been in the position of a policy maker, it is difficult for me to imagine the profound task of systematically applying educational technology.  Therefore, my definition reflects more of my personal experience with understanding educational technology, which is the constant adaptation of my perspective for applying technology tools to my teaching strategies.  In my vision of the future of education, I made a conscious decision to prepare myself with a better knowledge base of technology, and my perspective and creativity have broadened for applying that knowledge.

Koller, V., Harvey, S., & Magnotta, M. (n.d.). Stephen R. Smoot Computer Science Division University of California at Berkeley Berkeley, CA 94720 smoot@ plateau. cs. berkeley. edu;(510) 643-7106, 27–33.