A journey through Educational Technology

I am officially writing my first blog!! EC&I is my first grade class towards my journey to get a “Master certificate in Educational Technology”.  Dr. Couros asked us to write our definition of Educational Technology and what does it mean to us.

What is Educational Technology?

Photo Credit: spwam1 Flickr via Compfight cc
Educational technologies often change how we access educational content– making it easier, cheaper, or faster to get our hands on information. But it can also change the procedure of learning, often enabling us to do things we couldn’t otherwise, or changing the way we practice and learn new skills. This very much gets along with Wikipedia definition of Educational technology is “ facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources“.

Historically, there are three stages that shaped  Educational Technology in my understanding.

Stage 1: before computers

What was the educational technology looks like before Computers? It was depending on “Paper”.

Photo Credit: Mike Jones Photos Flickr via Compfight cc

Papers were one of the first education technologies. In fact, it really changed the way we teach and learn. It allowed people to group their ideas in books. Books were easily duplicated into a few copies which allowed ideas to spread.
In the 1700 ’s photocopying machines were invented. It was a huge educational technology advancement.  Before it came along, classes often involved one person reading a book aloud, and everyone else writing it down.  Educational Technology back then did not allow for much group collaboration in learning.

Photo Credit: evolutionlabs Flickr via Compfight cc
Then Chalkboard was introduced and was a big hit that made teachers change their thinking from individualized instruction to group instruction.

Stage 2: Computer age

Photo Credit: prahatravel Flickr via Compfight cc

When computers were introduced, educational and other programs such as MS Office made number crunching and educational writing  and other things easier. As we moved into the late  ’90s, processing power and graphics made more sophisticated games. During this time, there were also a lot of educational CD-ROMs.

Photo Credit: allexamnews Flickr via Compfight cc

Then, in the mid 90s- 2000, smaller computers became more affordable. Wi-Fi started spreading, and everything got shaken up all over again. The idea of one laptop per child started to spread, with some school districts providing laptops to all their students.

Stage 3: Internet
CC0 Creative Commons

The Internet is one of the most used forms of educational technology used todays.  It provided access to very large amounts of educational content very easily. Being able to search such vast information was a game changer.

Bringing technology into education has always been a bit controversial because it does change the way we learn in two big ways. Content and procedure.

I grew up in Egypt.   In the 1980s a company produced an Arabic-language version of MSX computers and that was the first computer I ever used. First time I saw a real computer in my life was in 1990, very late I know. This is the time computer labs started to find its way to schools in Egypt. Computers were only intended to teach students a certain content area, they were an object of study nothing more. We didn’t see the full benefits of computers until the birth of the Internet.  In the 1990’s, Microsoft was kind enough to give free licenses to using their Office product for free all across Egypt schools. As soon as yesterday, the government has theoretically approved the introduction of iPads and tablets for high school education. However,  Believe it or not, blackboards are still the main educational technology being used in Egypt’s public school classroom today.   Books are relatively very expensive and not widespread; let along access to personal computers and a good-quality Internet Connection.


One thought on “A journey through Educational Technology

  1. Great Post Nataly, I really liked the way you presented the post. I completely agree with you that Educational technologies often change how we access educational content and definitely make it easier and cheaper. I couldn’t agree more that technology into education has delivered a lot of advantages and also controversies. Once again great post, looking forward to your next one.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.