Visualize Educational Technology

targetsnipEducational Technology is a term that is often confusing to people. “Educational” is pretty clear. But what about “technology”? The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) provides a thorough definition of education technology. The accompanying graphic (at right) illustrates the definition, along with some sample lesson ideas. Click the graphic to view the annotated version, created using ThingLink. Or, read on for an explanation of the definition.

Aim for Student Growth
Hit the Mark with Educational Technology

Study and Purposeful, Ethical Practice
Get to know the tools you plan to use. Choose a tool because it helps teach, not because “it’s there”. Be professional with all tools, even social media.

Facilitating Learning and Improving Performance
The goal of education is student growth. Any and every technology used in the classroom must facilitate growth and improve learning, or it becomes a distraction.

Appropriate Technological Processes and Resources
Technology involves applying scientific knowledge for a purpose. Anything including technology is technological. Educators should fill our toolboxes with all things technology, including but not limited to computers and tablets. Choose the technology that is appropriate for the age level and the task at hand.

Users, Managers, and Creators
To help explain the user-manager-creator relationship, I added three sample lesson ideas. These lesson ideas demonstrate the move from the most basic use of educational technology to immersion. I believe that immersion is the way to truly teach students. With immersion they will view educational technology as a means to an end, rather than an end in and of itself.

Lesson One – Teacher as Manager, Student as User
Take selfies and create an About Me slide show.

When the relationship is simply Manager-User, the student will grow, though not as much as one might hope. This type of assignment allows for very little creativity in the final product.

Lesson Two – Teacher and Student as Users and Managers
Record school concert and audience interviews. Edit and merge into one video.

With this assignment, teachers are allowing the students some leeway in their tool choices. Students choose if they want to record the concert with iPhones, camcorders or audio only for a different perspective. Use more than one student to get more than one camera angle. Record audience reactions to songs with audio only and transpose over the concert video. Add video interviews. Add title slides and song lyrics. Teachers and students become managers (choosing their own equipment) and users in this scenario, allowing students more creativity and growth potential.

Lesson Three – Teacher and Student as Users, Managers, and Creators
Write and produce a campus news cast.

Everyone gets the chance to create in this project! Of course they are users and managers, deciding how best to produce the news. But here they become creators of a final product used by their peers. Also, with so many different facets involved, every student will be a contributor to the project. Bonus – it is cross-curricular, which is very much the way students will be using technology in their jobs. Now we have hit the mark!

Originally, I chose to produce a flat graphic that can be viewed online or printed and posted. The easiest way for me to do that was with Microsoft Word because I already know how to manipulate Word. But, I’m in the M.E.T. program to learn new things, so I used Fireworks instead. We learned the basics of Fireworks during EDTECH 502, so it was fun learning to manipulate the program to do even more than the basics. I enjoyed the challenge and will likely use Fireworks for future projects.

After reading my class mates’ posts about Thinglink, I decided to give that a try. It is very easy to use, and the finished product is really nice. I can see that students would appreciate this because it provides an easy way to give more information in the web-based graphic.If I end up using Thinglink more often, I would probably switch to the paid version and eliminate the Thinglink logo from the resulting image.

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