Educational Technology (also called ‘learning technology’) It is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. (Richey, R.C. (2008). Reflections on the 2008 AECT Definitions of the Field. TechTrends. 52(1) 24-25)
The terms visual education and visual instruction were used originally because many of the media available to teachers, such as three-dimensional objects, photographs, and silent films, depended upon sight.
Later, when sound was added to film and audio recordings became popular, the terms audiovisual education, audiovisual instruction , and audiovisual devices were used to represent the variety of media employed to supplement instruction.
By the first decade of the twentieth century, silent films were being produced for instructional use.
Radio was the next technology to gain attention. In 1920 the Radio Division of the U.S. Department of Commerce began to license commercial and educational stations.
World War II provided a boost for audiovisual education. The federal government and American industry were faced with the challenging task of providing training for large numbers of military recruits and for new industrial workers.
The next technology that captured the interest of educators was the computer . Some of the earliest work on instructional applications of computing took place in the 1950s and the 1960s, but these efforts had little impact on schools.
It was not until the 1980s, and the appearance of microcomputers, that many educators and public officials became enthusiastic about computers.
These are some of the tools facilitated to students by computers nowadays:
Following are a few examples of computers being used to support four goals:
Building student capacity for research
Making student inquiry more realistic
Enabling students to present information in appealing forms
Offering students access to learning resources within and beyond the school
More benefits of resorting to educational technology: