EdTech 504 Vision Statement

Dictionary.com defines “technology” as:

“the total knowledge and skills available to any human society for industry, art, science, etc ”

This an all encompassing view of technology. This is graduate school and quoting the dictionary seems less than graduate school level. However, there is an importance to the simplicity of the dictionary and it’s explanation of technology. Technology is everything. Technology doesn’t have to be new. Technology doesn’t have to be flashy. Technology is the mountain of practices,processes, methods, devices, and knowledge that humans have built through history. Each generation has more technology at it’s fingertips than the prior because it is human nature to constantly learn about, evolve, question and cultivate the world around us.

If technology is the mountain of human achievement both scientific and industrial, cognitive and physical, abstract and applied, organic and manufactured, than educational technology is the application of that mountain for the purpose of maximizing human potential. Educational technology is using the most appropriate (per the learning target, student,etc.) of these accumulated resources to guide other people towards a goal.

Our technology was developed through thousands of years of human education both formal and informal. Education built the mountain of technology. As educators, we use the mountain to push others up the mountain itself. However, unlike most mountains, there is no summit. Everytime we push up the mountain, it grows larger. In this way, education and technology are coessential.

Ultimately, Paul Saettler, put it more eloquently and succinctly, when he said:

It is clear that educational technology is essentially the product of a great historical stream consisting of trial and error, long practice and imitation, and sporadic manifestations of unusual individual creativity and persuasion.

References:

Saettler, P. (1990). The evolution of American educational technology. Englewood, COL Libraries Unlimited.

technology. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 13, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/technology

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4 thoughts on “EdTech 504 Vision Statement

  1. I appreciate your analogy (mountain) and illustrating the connection between education and technology. Something that should be obvious but is not often addressed. You have done a nice job of explaining where we have come from but I am curious as to your vision of where we are headed with regards to technology integration? How do you see technology integration now and a few years from now?

    • Hopefully, it will happen faster. In my opinion, there are two barriers that consistently come about: tradition and money. There are always teachers, administrators, parents, elected officials that have view a “right way” to education. When one spends 12 very formative years coming through a certain educational system, it is natural to have certain concrete definitions of what school should be. However good intentioned it is, I think it is a mistake. Also, money. Which doesn’t really even need explaining. I have no data, but I predict a near directly proportional relationship between SES and technology available in the school district.

  2. I really liked your analogy of technology and a mountain. It does seem to be a never ending climb. Always something new and exciting out there for use to use. I do wonder, though, where do you think this is going? Will there ever be a summit? How do you in-vision educational technology in the future?

    • I wish I knew where it was going. I don’t think there is an end to it though. Eventually, something even bigger than the internet will arrive and completely change life and education. What that is impossible to predict.

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