Educational technology is defined by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”
Educational technology refers to the use of both physical hardware and educational theoretics. It encompasses several domains, including learning theory, computer-based training, online learning, and, where mobile technologies are used, m-learning. Accordingly, there are several discrete aspects to describing the intellectual and technical development of educational technology:
educational technology as the theory and practice of educational approaches to learning
educational technology as technological tools and media that assist in the communication of knowledge, and its development and exchange
educational technology for learning management systems (LMS), such as tools for student and curriculum management, and education management information systems (EMIS)
educational technology itself as an educational subject; such courses may be called “Computer Studies” or “Information and communications technology (ICT)”.
Helping people learn in ways that are easier, faster, surer, or less expensive can be traced back to the emergence of very early tools, such as paintings on cave walls. Various types of abacus have been used. Writing slates and blackboards have been used for at least a millennium. From their introduction, books and pamphlets have held a prominent role in education. From the early twentieth century, duplicating machines such as the mimeograph and Gestetner stencil devices were used to produce short copy runs (typically 10–50 copies) for classroom or home use. The use of media for instructional purposes is generally traced back to the first decade of the 20th century with the introduction of educational films (1900s) and Sidney Pressey’s mechanical teaching machines (1920s). The first all multiple choice, large scale assessment was the Army Alpha, used to assess the intelligence and more specifically the aptitudes of World War I military recruits. Further large-scale use of technologies was employed in training soldiers during and after WWII using films and other mediated materials, such as overhead projectors. The concept of hypertext is traced to the description of memex by Vannevar Bush in 1945.
Slide projectors were widely used during the 1950s in educational institutional settings. Cuisenaire rods were devised in the 1920s and saw widespread use from the late 1950s.
In 1960, the University of Illinois initiated a classroom system based in linked computer terminals where students could access informational resources on a particular course while listening to the lectures that were recorded via some form of remotely linked device like a television or audio device.
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