From the beginning of this course, my professor wants to clarify some terminologies and establish semantic cohesion with the related terms.  Here are some excerpts that got my attention from his instructional notes “What is “educational technology?” and how does it relate to evaluation?” (Ross, 2011), followed by my comments.

  • “If one only ever sees technology as a tool, however, then not only have we lost the use of an important word, but it also means that our focus is on the wrong side of things.”

Though I eventually understood the professor’s logic and even agreed with most of it, I was at odds with this initial statement.  I just spent a semester with educational theory, buying into and researching the Cultural Historical Activity Theory.  One of the major components of this theory is understanding tools that are used to interact within a society.  In terms of education, this implies preparing learners to actively participate in the world around them with both their knowledge and their abilities with technology tools.  I realize that semantic variations are probably most responsible for my disagreement, but, as of now,  I am not prepared to limit my use of the word “tools” in correlation with technology.   

  • “Planning a solution well implies having a solid goal and implementing it in a logical way.”

This is a very logical statement, which appropriately counters the purchase of technology tools on a whim, no matter how good the program appears.

  • “(technology) For the purpose of this class, this is the definition we will use: a systematic and systemic solution to an educational problem.”

I really appreciate this statement, which gives us a terminology yard stick.  Even so, “technology” is such a popular term for both concrete and abstract uses; it will be a challenge to keep this definition in mind when I encounter the word.

  • What we need to be thinking about are the ideas behind the tool – and those ideas are the REAL technology.

I believe this is probably the professor’s core statement of purpose, and I agree with the context in which is was stated.  More focus should be given to the strategy for implementing a tool rather than the tool itself.

  • The individual (or group of students) is not the center of the evaluation, but instead a program or product.

This statement has two benefits.  Not only does it help focus the purpose of evaluation, but it also identifies terminologies related to the evaluation process.  He goes on to clarify the meanings of “program” and “product” for the purpose of this course.


Perkins, R. P. (2011, June). What is “educational technology?” and how does it relate to evaluation? EdTech 505 (Moodle Page). Retrieved February 1, 2013, from