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.
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