Meaning and Scope of Educational Technology

meaning and Definition of technology: Educational technology is a wide field. Therefore, one can find many definitions, some of which are conflicting. Educational technology can be considered either as a design science or as a collection of different research interests addressing fundamental issues of learning, teaching and social organization. Official Definitions The Association for Educational Communications and Technology, the professional society for ET, defines it as: Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. As a field, educational technology emphasizes communication skills and approaches to teaching and learning through the judicious use and integration of diverse media. Scholars in the field examine the uses of innovative media and technologies for education, examining all aspects from direct student learning to management and impacts on institutions. As in all forms of applied technology, the field studies how theoretical knowledge and scientific principles can be applied to problems that arise in a social context. Practitioners in educational technology seek new and effective ways of organizing the teaching and learning process through the best possible application of technological developments. These activities rely upon a body of knowledge for successful and ethical implementation, rather than routine tasks or isolated technical skills. http://etec.hawaii.edu/aboutbackground.html

Modern age is the age of science and technology. The world of today is very dynamic. The life of man in the primitive age was altogether different from his life in this sputnik age. There have been tremendous changes in the life style of human beings which may be attributed to the contribution of science and technology, science has extended the frontiers of our knowledge in various ways and directions. Science is considered to be a blessing to mankind. Nothing better has happened than the advent of science in man’s life. The contribution of science and technology has been experienced in almost all the spheres of human life including education. Before understanding the meaning of educational technology it is essential to know the meaning of technology. The word ‘technology‘ has been taken from the Greek word (techniques) which means an art and which is related with skill and dexterity. Technology | Innovative technology for your business Image Source: w.marotura.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/technology1.jpg The term ‘technology’ implies the application of science to art. The concept of technology has developed during the last few years. It is a new area in the discipline of education. Educational technology is comprised of two words education and technology. When we apply the science of learning and communication to teaching we evolve a technology. There are three major factors that emphasize the linking of education with technology. (i) Explosion of population. (ii) Explosion of new knowledge. (iii) Explosion of scientific and technological development. Educational Technology is concerned with the development, application, and evaluation of system, techniques and aids to improve the process of human learning. It could be conceived as a science of techniques, methods and media by which educational goals could be realised. Generally the term “Technology” denotes the systematic application of the knowledge of science to practical tasks in industry. Hence, “Educational Technology” may be roughly defined as the systematic application of the knowledge of sciences to practical tasks in Education. It is not primarily concerned with the task of prescribing the goal although it does help in specifying the goals and translating them in behavioral terms. It is a communication process resulting from the adaptation of the scientific method to the behavioral science of teaching/learning. Educational Technology widely accepted as the application of system approach in the systematic design of a learning system to bring about improvement in teaching-learning evaluation process. It is not an end in itself but a means to accomplish some educational and instructional objectives already determined and clearly defined. It tries to make the whole teaching-learning process more and more meaningful for both the teachers and the learners. It modifies teacher’s method of teaching and learner’s behaviour for their own betterment and for the betterment of the mankind. It is not the same thing as instruction or education or learning but an aggressive invention which includes in itself everything that helps in shaping personality. Earlier the Concept of Educational Technology was used as a synonym to audio-visual aids like pictures, charts, maps, and models meant for direct teaching-learning. With the advent of physical science and electronic revolution there came an era of hardware and software like projectors, tape- recorders, radio and T.V. etc. Then came the age of mass media which led to massive communication revolution for instructional purposes with the advent of programmed instruction and programmed learning, a new dimension of educational technology came into existence it has individualized the process of education and introduced a system of self-learning in the form of self- instructional material and teaching machine. The concept of programmed learning added another dimensions to the meaning of educational technology when some new devices and approaches such as Micro-teaching. In other words we can see one aspect of Educational Technology related to the use of specific techniques such as ‘educational television, radio, programmed learning and other audio-visual aids. In another aspect, Education Technology is seen as the application of scientific and other organized knowledge to the practical problems of education. In the particular context of the developing countries, the emphasis is on the application of techniques and knowledge with a view to mobilizing and optimizing the available human as well as technological resources. Educational technology is seen both as a means as well as service to effect and facilitate better and more productive learning systems. It may be defined as a separate field in the theory of education dealing with the development and application of the use of educational resources. Educational Technology should not be confused with teaching or instruction or education or learning or engineering but it should be taken as a sum total of all such aspects which go a long way in shaping the personality of the learner in a meaningful context. It is neither technology in education nor technology of education but both and all pervasive which pervades the whole teaching-learning process to make it meaningful for the teacher who teaches and the learner who learns and modifies his behaviour for his own betterment and the betterment of mankind.

Definitions of educational technologies:

G.O. Leith “Educational Technology is the application of scientific knowledge and learning and the conditions of learning to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and training.”

Robert A. Cox “Educational Technology is the application of scientific process to man’s learning conditions.”

John P. Dececco “Educational Technology is the form of detailed application of psychology of learning to practical teaching problems”

E.E. Hadden “Educational Technology is that branch of educational theory and practice concerned primarily with the design and use of messages which control the learning process.”

Richmond “Educational Technology is concerned to provide appropriately designed learning situations which, holding in view of objectives of the Teaching of Training, being to bear the best means of instruction.”

S.S. Kulkarni “Educational Technology may be defined as the application of the laws as well as recent discoveries of science and technology to the process of education.”

S.K. Mitra “Educational Technology can be conceived as a science of techniques and methods by which educational goals could be realized.”

Robert A. Cox Article The Process of Educational Technology: A Tool for Development 1970). “The application of scientific process to man’s learning conditions is what has come recently to be called ‘educational or instructional’ technology.”

D.E.S. Working Party (U.K.), “Educational Technology is the development, application and evaluation of systems, techniques and aids in the field of human learning.”

Robert M. Gange defined Educational Technology as “The Development of asset of systematic techniques and accompanying practical knowledge for designing, testing and operating schools as educational systems.” http://www.publishyourarticles.net/knowledge-hub/education/complete-information-on-educational-technology-characteristics-nature-objectives-and-components-of-educational-technology/5364/

WHAT IS EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY? The reason why the term ET is misconstrued is on account of the changing nature of ET’s second component, viz., technology. The basic tenet of ET, viz., using all available resources (human and non-human) in a systematic manner to find viable solutions to educational problems, does not change. However, as technologies change and newer ones are brought into service in education (or, for that matter, into other spheres of development), the configurations, structures, and applications of ET will also change. This dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the discipline needs to be understood. Further, given the fact that educational problems are diverse, so are their solutions, ranging from providing resources in the classroom to distance education or using technologies to facilitate communication. These multiple facets of ET make a crucial difference to the way in which the term is interpreted. As the discipline continues to grow, we would like to give a short account of its evolution. When the term was first coined it referred to “technology in education”, implying the use of a variety of audio-visual aids (as they were then known) for teaching purposes. Implicitly relying on the then widely accepted sender–receiver construct, educational writers saw these aids primarily as transmitters of lesson content. As the concept of ET developed, the term “technology of education” came into vogue. This looked at education in a wider sense, and included various aspects such as entry behaviour of the learner, objectives, content analysis, evaluation, etc. By the mid 1970s, ET borrowed the terms “systems approach” from management studies and “corrective feedback” from cybernetics. This widened the scope of ET as the teaching-learning process was examined in a holistic manner. The arrival of digital convergent media encouraged interactivity and interconnectivity. This added a new dimension to ET. It gave an impetus to its further development as a discipline. While this field continues to evolve, we are faced with the problem of how to help learners to help themselves in learning in an effective and interactive manner. As the Focus Group deliberated, we felt that when we talk of the role of ET, we should direct our thoughts to education, and not to any technology and the logistics of getting it set up. The emphasis has to be on a culture of learning rather than on technology per se. Our perspective is that, except in the case of teacher education where ET is taught as a subject, ET is a value addition to quality, relevance, appropriateness, and other such attributes, transforming education by making it dynamic and responsive to the passions that move the learners and arouse their curiosity and desire to learn. The desire on the part of some people to leave the term ET behind is rooted in the awareness that historically the implementation of ET in India (and many other countries too) has been centered on machines and the educational software related to them. Such interpretations are easy to understand. More difficult to comprehend are approaches based on processes. Here we speak of the processes adopted by educationists to solve the difficulties that the prevalent system of education has in enhancing learning to meet the desired educational goals. The universally accepted definition of ET involves processes, methods and techniques, products, resources and technologies organized into workable systems. The recognition of the need for a multilevel organisation of a classroom, for instance, along with the designing of an appropriate programme and its implementation, become as much an exercise in ET as the use of audio-visual aids or the information superhighway. There is also a prevalent belief that modern technologies are better than older ones. Certainly, they offer many exciting possibilities, but both old and new serve different purposes of teaching learning, and are probably equally relevant in different given contexts. The key phrases in ET are appropriate technology, that is, appropriate to the task in hand for meeting specific educational objectives, and the organization of all available resources into a workable system, which is checked again and again to ensure that it is appropriate and changing it where it is not working. Formative evaluation and summative evaluation are essential parts of ET. In applying the discipline of ET to the field of education, it is imperative that the media choice must relate to instructional design as well as to what is available and eminently usable. The same is true of methods and techniques. For instance, the memorization of facts as a learning strategy still has a role to play. The ready availability of multiplication tables (pahadas) does speed up computation. It is the overgeneralization and unthinking application in inappropriate situations that has brought disrepute to memorization as a form of learning. Charts, graphs, textual materials, experimental kits, projected electronic aids, audio materials, computers, films, videos, the Internet, etc. can usefully serve the purposes of education in their own special ways and together they can make learning an enriching experience. ET could be defined in simple terms as the efficient organisation of any learning system, adapting or adopting methods, processes, and products to serve identified educational goals. This would involve: • Systematic identification of the goals of education, taking into account nationwide needs (higher scalability, for instance), the system capabilities, and the learners’ needs and potential. • Recognition of the diversity of learners’ needs, the contexts in which learning will take place, and the range of provisions needed for them. • Recognition of not only the immediate needs of children but also their future needs in relation to the society for which we are preparing them. • Designing, providing for, and enabling appropriate teaching-learning systems that could realise the identified goals. • Developing a range of support systems and training, creating the enabling systemic conditions/materials, reaching these to the school system, and training teachers and students to use them. • Research into existing and new techniques, strategies and technologies for solving problems of education, enabling judicious and appropriate application of technology. • Appreciation of the role of ET as an agent of change in the classroom, influencing the teacher and the teaching-learning process, and its role in systemic issues like reach, equity, and quality. (This appreciation should not be limited to educators alone, but should extend to planners and administrators as well, since systems both at micro and macro levels will be necessary to meet the current challenges of education.)

Characteristics of Educational Technology

Characteristics of Educational Technology are as follows:

1. It is based on scientific and technological advancements.

2. It is more a practical discipline and less a theoretical one.

3. It is a fast growing modern discipline.

4. It makes use of the research findings of psychology, sociology, engineering, sciences and social psychology etc., and applies the same to the field of education.

5. It brings pupils, teachers and technical means together in an effective way.

6. It is the science of techniques and methods. It locates the problems in the field of education, remedies them and ultimately aims at improving the education system.

7. It is bound to improve the teacher, the learner and the teaching learning process.

Nature of Educational Technology

1. The basis of educational technology is science.

2. Educational Technology studies the effect of science and technology upon education. In other words, science and technology are used under educational technology. Hence, it is the practical aspect of science.

3. Educational Technology is a continuous dynamic, progressive and effect-producing method.

4. New conceptions are possible only due to educational technology such as programmed learning, micro-teaching, simulated teaching, interaction analysis, video-tape, tape-recorder, projector and computer, etc.

5. Educational Technology accepts schools as a system. In this system, the school-building, furniture and teachers act as input while various methods, techniques, strategies and the teaching and examination with the help of audio-visual aids function in the form of a process. Lastly, the output is in of form of ability of the pupils.

6. Audio-visual aids cannot be termed as educational technology. It is because its concern is only with the process-aspect of educational technology and not with the input and output aspects. But if these A.V. aids are used to achieve educational objectives, then it can be put in the category of Educational technology.

7. Programmed Instruction is also different from Educational Technology. Its main cause is that the student learns himself during the programmed instructions. It does not allow interaction between pupil and teacher.

Hence, it can be used only for limited objectives and limited subject-matter. Therefore, programmed instruction is merely a part of educational technology.

8. Engineering Technology is not the educational technology because the engineering technology has manufactured radio, tape- recorder, video-tape and T.V., etc., which are used in teaching as audio-visual aids, but still engineering technology is different from educational technology. In education, it is accepted as hardware approach only.

9. Educational Technology cannot solve each and every problem of education. It can be used successfully in teaching and instructional system only.

10. Some people assume that educational technology will replace the teacher which will make the teacher unemployed one day. It is their mistake. Educational technology can never replace the teacher. It is because of three aspects of educational technology.

These are 1. Input, 2. Process and 3. Output. Input is the teacher’s job and therefore, educational technology cannot snatch the place of a teacher.

In spite of this, educational technology develops cognitive domain only and not the affective domain. Affective domain can only be developed when an interaction between teachers and pupils takes place. Hence, educational technology cannot replace the teacher.

Technologizing Education Is To Optimize Learning Endeavours

In Educational Technology, both hardware and software mechanisms are involved.

Garrison (1989), opines “technology will be viewed here as having both a process (software) and a product (hardware) component, where process is the creative application of knowledge of purposeful activities. A subset of hardware is media, where media are the devices used to distribute information.”

In Educational Technology, hardware covers TV, Computer, Overhead projector, Tape Recorder, Teaching machines etc. Software includes audio/video cassettes, Filmstrips, micro films, slides etc.

Educational Technology is comprehensive. It is associated with all aspects of educative process-methods, teaching strategies, learning materials, handling of various equipment etc.

The following 4 M’s are the major components of Educational Technology:-

(i) Methods, (ii) Materials, (iii) Media, (iv) Manpower.

(i) Methods:

It is concerned with the devices such as Programmed Learning Team Teaching, Micro Teaching, Personalized System of Instruction in Teaching Learning situations.

(ii) Materials:

Instructional materials such as Programmed Text book the material of this type may be handwritten or printed.

(iii) Media:

The media used here are audio, or visual or audio­visual. A few examples are radio, tape recorder, charts, films, educational television etc.

(iv) Man Power:

Man power controls educational technology in every way. Educational Technology without man is zero.

Scope of Educational Technology:

Educational technology is a process- oriented technique. Educational technology is not limited to teaching and learning process and theories still teaching-learning process is influenced much more by educational technology. Theories have been shifted from learning to teaching only due to educational technology. If the educational technology is limited to audio-visual aids, mechanical and electronic gadgets the scope of educational technology becomes limited, but educational technology is not limited to all these things rather, it pervades all over. Educational technology should go into: 1. At home. 2. Managed by external assistance. 3. Rigorous task analysis. 4. Specification of direct behaviour. 5. Determination of pre-requisites and the gradual direct behaviour. 6. Clear specification of the problem. 7. Hindrance in solving problems. 8. Management and organization of man, material, resources. 9. Availability of a few media as for example films, television, radio etc. 10. Developing software technology. http://www.preservearticles.com/2011122018631/what-is-the-scope-of-educational-technology.html

Educational Technology is as wide as Education itself. Educational Technology implies the use of all educational resources – Men, Materials, Methods and Techniques, Means and Media in an integrated and systematic manner for optimized learning. The below mentioned technologies are included in it.

Behavioural Technology: Behavioural technology is the important component of Educational Technology. It puts emphasis on the use of psychological principles in learning and teaching so that the behaviour of the teacher and pupils may be modified in accordance of the teaching objectives.

Instructional Technology: Instructional Technology means a network of techniques or devices employed to accomplish certain defined set of learning objectives. Instructional technology implies the application of psychological, sociological and scientific principles and knowledge to instruction for achieving the specific objectives of learning.

Teaching Technology: Teaching is the social and professional activity. It is a process of development teaching is system of actions which induce learning through interpersonal relationship. Teaching technology is the application of philosophical, sociological and scientific knowledge to teaching.

Instructional Design: In order to bring desired changes in the pupils’ behaviour, the teaching situations, working tools and new approaches were considered important in addition to the learning principles. The composite form of all these is instructional design.

Training Psychology: Training psychology is an important method of teaching and learning. Its development resulted out of the research work carried out on the complicated training problems and situations.

Training psychology emphasizes that the whole training task should be divided into three parts. These are:

Preparing outline of the task. Task analysis Putting the task in sequence. The main role of training psychology is in Teacher Education. Cybernetic Psychology: It’s a part of training psychology. Cybernetic psychology accepts human beings as machine. Cybernetic psychology emphasizes the fact that all the methods of feedback bring the desired changes by controlling the behaviour of the pupil.

System Analysis: System Analysis is a problem solving process in which the needs of the management are diagnosed and by using an appropriate method for solving the problem, evaluation is carried out.

If you consider the working areas of Educational Technology includes the following: Curriculum Construction, Teaching-Learning Strategies, Audio-Visual materials, Determining Educational Objectives, Training the teachers, Feedback, Hardware and Software etc. In short, the scope of Educational Technology extends to all resources (human and non-human) for the augmentation and development of education. Thus Educational Technology has a wide scope.https://johnparankimalil.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/scope-of-educational-technology/


Aggarwal J.C.(2010) Essentials of Educational Technology (Innovations in Teaching-Learning), Vikas Publishing Housing PVT LTD:New Delhi, Page No. 1-10.








Author : chazrich

Charles is an English for Special Purposes (ESP) instructor for the US Government with experience in computers, technical writing, design, and of course, English instruction and with a Master's degree in Technology in Education. Charles can help you with a variety of things like copy writing, planning, and technology selection. He has experience with various LMS and LCMS systems and can help you decide if one is right for your needs. He's also the webmaster for this site.

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