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Educational technology, sometimes termed Ed Tech, is the study and ethical practice of facilitating e-learning, which is the learning

and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. The term educational technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory and learning theory. While instructional technology is "the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning," according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Definitions and Terminology Committee, educational technology includes other systems used in the process of developing human capability. Educational technology includes, but is not limited to, software, hardware, as well as Internet applications, such as wikis and blogs, and activities. But there is still debate on what these terms mean. Technology in education is most simply and comfortably defined as an array of tools that might prove helpful in advancing student learning and may be measured in how and why individuals behave. Educational Technology relies on a broad definition of the word "technology." Technology can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines or hardware, but it can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. Some modern tools include but are not limited to overhead projectors, laptop computers, and calculators. Newer tools such as smartphones and games (both online and offline) are beginning to draw serious attention for their learning potential. Media psychology is the field of study that applies theories of human behaviour to educational technology. Theories and practices Three main theoretical schools or philosophical frameworks have been present in the educational technology literature. These are Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism. Each of these schools of thought are still present in today's literature but have evolved as the Psychology literature has evolved. Behaviorism This theoretical framework was developed in the early 20th century with the animal learning experiments of Ivan Pavlov, Edward Thorndike, Edward C. Tolman, Clark L. Hull, B.F. Skinner and many others. Many psychologists used these theories to describe and experiment that is parallel to human learning. While still very useful this philosophy of learning has lost favor with many educators. Skinner's contribution B.F. Skinner wrote extensively on improvements of teaching based on his functional analysis of Verbal Behavior and wrote "The Technology of Teaching", an attempt to dispel the myths underlying contemporary education as well as promote his system he called programmed instruction. Ogden Lindsley also developed the Celeration learning system similarly based on behavior analysis but quite different from Keller's and Skinner's models.

Cognitivism Cognitive science has changed the way educators view learning. Since the very early beginning of the Cognitive Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, learning theory has undergone a great deal of change. Much of the empirical framework of Behaviorism was retained even though a new paradigm had begun. Cognitive theories look beyond behavior to explain brain-based learning. Cognitivists consider how human memory works to promote learning. After memory theories like the Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model and Baddeley's Working memory model were established as a theoretical framework in Cognitive Psychology, new cognitive frameworks of learning began to emerge during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. It is important to note that Computer Science and Information Technology have had a major influence on Cognitive Science theory. The Cognitive concepts of working memory (formerly known as short term memory) and long term memory have been facilitated by research and technology from the field of Computer Science. Another major influence on the field of Cognitive Science is Noam Chomsky. Today researchers are concentrating on topics like Cognitive load and Information ProcessingTheory. In addition, psychology as applied to media is easily measured in studying behavior. The area of media psychology is both cognative and affective and is central to understanding educational technology. Constructivism Constructivism is a learning theory of educational philosophy that many educators began to consider in the 1990s. One of the primary tenets of this philosophy is that learners construct their own meaning from new information, as they interact with reality or others with different perspectives. Constructivist learning environments require students to use their prior knowledge and experiences to formulate new, related, and/or adaptive concepts in learning. Under this framework the role of the teacher becomes that of a facilitator, providing guidance so that learners can construct their own knowledge. Constructivist educators must make sure that the prior learning experiences are appropriate and related to the concepts being taught. Jonassen (1997) suggests "well-structured" learning environments are useful for novice learners and that "ill-structured" environments are only useful for more advanced learners. Educators utilizing technology when teaching with a constructivist perspective should choose technologies that reinforce prior learning perhaps in a problem-solving environment. Instructional technique and technologies Children and adult people are growing up in a vastly changing context. No aspect of their lives is untouched by the digital era which is transforming how they live, relate and learn[10] Some examples of these changes in the classroom include: Problem Based Learning, Project-based Learning, and Inquiry-based learning. Together they are active learning educational technologies used to facilitate learning. Technology which includes physical and process applied science can be incorporated into project, problem, inquiry-based learning as they all have a similar educational philosophy. All three are student centered, ideally involving real-world scenarios in

which students are actively engaged in critical thinking activities. The process that students are encouraged to employ (as long as it is based on empirical research) is considered to be a technology. Classic examples of technologies used by teachers and Educational Technologists include Bloom's Taxonomy and Instructional Design. Theorists This is an area where new thinkers are coming to the forefront everyday. Many of the ideas spread from theorists, researchers, and experts through their blogs. Extensive lists of educational bloggers by area of interest are available at Steve Hargadon's "SupportBloggers" site or at the "movingforward" wiki started by Scott McLeod. Many of these blogs are recognized by their peers each year through the edublogger awards. Web 2.0 technologies have led to a huge increase in the amount of information available on this topic and the number of educators formally and informally discussing it. Most listed below have been around for more than a decade, however, and few new thinkers mentioned above are listed here. Benefits Educational technology is intended to improve education for the 21st century learner. Students today are considered "Digital Natives" who were born and raised in a digital environment and inherently think different because of this exposure to technology. Some of the claimed benefits of incorporating technology into the classroom are listed below:

Easy-to-access course materials. Instructors can post their course material or important information on a course website, which means students can study at a time and location they prefer and can obtain the study material very quickly. Student motivation. According to James Kulik, who studies the effectiveness of computers used for instruction, students usually learn more in less time when receiving computer-based instruction and they like classes more and develop more positive attitudes toward computers in computer-based classes. Teachers must be aware of their students' motivators in order to successfully implement technology into the classroom. Students are more motivated to learn when they are interested in the subject matter, which can be enhanced by using technologies in the classroom and targeting the need for screens and digital material that they have been stimulated by outside of the classroom. More opportunities for extended learning. According to study completed in 2010, 70.3% of American family households have access to the internet. According to Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission Canada, 79% of homes have access to the internet. This allows students to access course material at home and engage with the numerous online resources available to them. Students can use their home computers and internet to conduct research, participate in social media, email, play educational games and stream videos.

--> Using online resources such as Khan Academy or TED Talks can help students spend more time on specific aspects of what they may be learning in school, but at home. These online resources have added the opportunity to take learning outside of the classroom and into any

atmosphere that has an internet connection. These online lessons allow for students who might need extra help to understand materials outside of the classroom. These tutorials can focus on small concepts of large ideas taught in class, or the other way around. Schools like MIT have even made their course materials free online so that anybody can access them. Although there are still some aspects of a classroom setting that are missed by using these resources, they are still helpful tools to add additional support to the already existing educational system.

Wide participation. Learning material can be used for long distance learning and are accessible to a wider audience. Improved student writing. It is convenient for students to edit their written work on word processors, which can, in turn, improve the quality of their writing. According to some studies, the students are better at critiquing and editing written work that is exchanged over a computer network with students they know.

Differentiated Instruction. Educational technology provides the means to focus on active student participation and to present differentiated questioning strategies. It broadens individualized instruction and promotes the development of personalized learning plans in some computer programs available to teachers. Students are encouraged to use multimedia components and to incorporate the knowledge they gained in creative ways. This allows some students to individually progress from using low ordered skills gained from drill and practice activities, to higher level thinking through applying concepts creatively and creating simulations. In some cases, the ability to make educational technology individualized may aid in targeting and accommodating different learning styles and levels. Technology in the classroom There are various types of technologies currently used in traditional classrooms. Among these are:

Computer in the classroom: Having a computer in the classroom is an asset to any teacher. With a computer in the classroom, teachers are able to demonstrate a new lesson, present new material, illustrate how to use new programs, and show new websites. Class website: An easy way to display your student's work is to create a web page designed for your class. Once a web page is designed, teachers can post homework assignments, student work, famous quotes, trivia games, and so much more. In today's society, children should know how to use the computer to navigate their way through a website, so why not give them one where they can be a published author? Just be careful, as most districts maintain strong policies to manage official websites for a school or classroom. Also, most school districts provide teacher webpages that can easily be viewed through the school district's website. Class blogs and wikis: There are a variety of Web 2.0 tools that are currently being implemented in the classroom. Blogs allow for students to maintain a running dialogue. They work a tool for maintaining a journal of thoughts, ideas, and assignments, as well as encourage student comment and reflection. Wikis are more group focused to allow multiple

members of the group to edit a single document and create a truly collaborative and carefully edited finished product. Blogs allow the student to express their knowledge of the information learned in a way that they like. Blogging is something that students do for fun sometimes, so when they are assigned an assignment to do a blog they are eager to do it! If you are a teacher and need to find a way to get your students eager to learn, create, and inspire assign them a blog. They will love it.

Wireless classroom microphones: Noisy classrooms are a daily occurrence, and with the help of microphones, students are able to hear their teachers more clearly. Children learn better when they hear the teacher clearly. The benefit for teachers is that they no longer lose their voices at the end of the day. Mobile devices: Mobile devices such as clickers or smartphone can be used to enhance the experience in the classroom by providing the possibility for professors to get feedback. See also MLearning. Interactive Whiteboards: An interactive whiteboard that provides touch control of computer applications. These enhance the experience in the classroom by showing anything that can be on a computer screen. This not only aids in visual learning, but it is interactive so the students can draw, write, or manipulate images on the interactive whiteboard. Digital video-on-demand: Replacement of hard copy videos (DVD, VHS) with digital video accessed from a central server (e.g. SAFARI Montage). Digital video eliminates the need for in-classroom hardware (players) and allows teachers and students to access video clips immediately by not utilizing the public Internet. Online media: Streamed video websites can be used to enhance a classroom lesson (e.g. United Streaming, Teacher Tube, etc.) Online study tools: Tools that motivate studying by making studying more fun or individualized for the student (e.g. Study Cocoa) Digital Games: The field of educational games and serious games has been growing significantly over the last few years. The digital games are being provided as tools for the classroom and have a lot of positive feedback including higher motivation for students. There are many other tools being used depending on the local school board and funds available. These may include: digital cameras, video cameras, interactive whiteboard tools, document cameras, or LCD projectors.

Podcasts: Pod-casting is a relatively new invention that allows anybody to publish files to the Internet where individuals can subscribe and receive new files from people by a subscription. The primary benefit of pod-casting for educators is quite simple. It enables teachers to reach students through a medium that is both "cool" and a part of their daily lives.

For a technology that only requires a computer, microphone and internet connection, podcasting has the capacity of advancing a students education beyond the classroom. When students listen to the pod-casts of other students as well as their own, they can quickly demonstrate their capacities to identify and define "quality." This can be a great tool for learning and developing literacy inside and outside the classroom. Pod-casting can help sharpen students vocabulary, writing, editing, public speaking, and presentation skills. Students will also learn skills that will be valuable in the working world, such as communication, time management, and problem-solving. Although pod-casts are a new phenomenon in classrooms, especially on college campuses, studies have shown the differences in effectiveness between a live lecture versus podcast are minor in terms of the education of the student.