Technology is the branch of knowledge that deals with creating and using technical methods, such as tools and crafts, for interacting with life, society, and the environment. Beginning with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools, technology has affected human society and its surroundings in a variety of ways: Foremost, it has:
o Assisted in the development of more advanced economies
o Allowed the rise of a leisure class
o Helped develop today’s global economy
Philosophical debates continue regarding the present and future uses, primarily over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it.
Computer technology is a prime example. Computers have certainly changed the way people do just about everything, including how they handle personal affairs, communicate, run businesses, and how our children are taught. However, although technology promises many potential benefits for education, we must be careful not to make the all-too-common mistake of speaking of educational technology as if it is synonymous with computer technology. There are other forms of technology used in education and we should not ignore them.
“Technically speaking,” educational technology, sometimes referred to as learning technology, is the study and practice of teaching and improving capabilities by developing, using, and administering suitable technological processes and resources. Whether the selected medium is a GPS device, an educational video, a metal detector, or a computer, educational technology provides for an enormous amount of interactivity. It allows faculty and students to participate in dynamic demonstrations, simulations, and models that can be used to explore and test theories.
The use of educational technology can:
o Show students the path of recent technological progress
o Enrich instructional lectures and presentations
o Encourage students to be active discoverers
o Enhance motivation and curiosity
The appropriate use of all forms of technology in education leads to improved thinking, greater problem-solving skills and a deeper understanding of both concrete and abstract concepts.
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