Technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Educational Technology skill is going to be a must prerequisite for every teacher.
Educational technology is the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory and practice to facilitate learning. Educational technology creates, uses, and manages technological processes and educational resources to help improve user academic performance.
Edtech as an academic discipline: people study, analyse and solve problems related to teaching, learning and social organisation from a technological perspective.
Edtech as a practice: any form of teaching or learning which makes use of technology. In other words, the use of technological apps, tools or services to improve learning. This definition is the one that is the most widely used in the education sector and the one we refer to in this article.
The aim of Edtech is to improve education
No more, no less. By using technology we seek to improve teaching and learning processes and therefore improve the performance of the education system.
It’s important to keep this aim in mind when choosing computer programmes, apps or devices for the classroom.
If introducing or using a new programme or device in the classroom is tedious and adapting to using it takes a long time, then perhaps we haven’t found the best solution. In this case, rather than facilitating teaching and learning, it actually makes it more difficult. The impact of educational technology cannot be overemphasized.
What Edtech is NOT?
Edtech is not a substitute for the work of teachers and educators. Quite the opposite. With Edtech, teachers have more tools for employing strategies which focus on the use of the resources and information available.
The use of multimedia to impart knowledge. While certainly part of it, defining Edtech as using videos alone is a very limited way of looking at things. It’s like saying that maths is no more than additions and subtractions. And that’s where the definition ends.
Now let’s answer some more questions about Edtech.
Why is Edtech important?
The answer is simple. We only have to look at the labour market. Digital skills will be required by companies. And those people who don’t have these skills will find it more difficult to access the labour market.
An interesting fact which sums up this trend is that by 2021 it is expected that the United Kingdom will need 2.3 million people with digital skills.
Are we preparing future generations for the labour market?
If we look at the education system, we can say that the answer is no. The current experience of students and teachers in the large majority of classrooms can be summarised as follows:
- A class with students sitting down and a teacher standing up. The students have books on their desks and the teacher explains concepts.
- It has been this way for 100 years.
- Over the past 100 years, most educational models, especially in children’s education, have not changed.
- But the reality outside of the classroom is different. Just look around. We all use technology in one form or other. In our free time, to plan lessons, watch videos and communicate with friends.
- And for digital natives the use of technology is even greater.
- Did you know that young Spanish people spend a whopping 6.8 hours using their mobile phones every day?
- Young people are exposed to technology every day. And when they enter the classroom, they take a step backwards in the way they live and work. Listening to a teacher telling them what they have to write down is very outdated.
If students are not exposed to technology in the classroom, to enrich their experience of learning and teach them another way of using technology, the difference between those with digital skills and those without is going to be huge.
Ultimately, Edtech not only aims to improve teaching, but it also equips students with skills that are necessary for the future.
Keys to Educational Technology
1. Considered implementation. Any technology, whether physical or conceptual, has value–beyond the purely philosophical–when it is implemented and subsequently utilized by a population. Implementation is essential, especially when one understands that educational technology is about affecting particular outcomes.
2. Appropriate tools, techniques, or processes. When thinking of educational technology, this segment of my definition is likely the piece that first comes to mind. Almost reflexively, the general public, as well as the seasoned educator, looks for the silver bullet in addressing shortcomings in our system of education, and the physical trappings of technology are especially seductive.
3. Facilitate the application of senses, memory, and cognition. It is in this component of my definition where I stepped the farthest away from the majority of existing definitions of the field. My intent here was to generalize the concept of learning both as a process of internalization as well as demonstration of ability.
4. Enhance teaching practices. Learning in our formalized education context does not exist in a vacuum; that is, we do not simply provide learners with access to information and resources with the expectation that they will learn through discovery.
5. Improve learning outcomes. Finally, all else might turn out to be simply exercises with no point if we are unable to improve learning outcomes. If no improvements are made with the adoption of new technology, then there is no point to utilizing any technology except for the most basic required to obtain that unchanging level of learning.
Educational Technology: A must for ever Teacher
Educational Technology is a must for every Teacher because of its numerous benefits. Teachers who are not technologically savvy or who do not know how to use different technology application in education may be regarded as outdated. The use of edtech will continue to rise even in many years to come.
You can save your job by taking a course on educational technology in order to be ready with any challenge you may face in this reagard.
Akanne is a educational technology (edtech) organisation that teaches the application of technology in teaching and learning.