What is Educational Technology?

Educational Technology is a field in which problems in an educational setting are analyzed and solutions using technology are considered as possible ways of addressing the problems.  Problems may be large, such as declining high school graduation rates, or small, such as routine paperwork not being completed and turned in by school staff members. The educational setting need not be a school or university; many businesses and other organizations have a need for people to be taught or trained.

Educational Technology is using “technology” to enhance learning.  Even a pencil can be considered “technology.” It's all in what you are using it for. Does it engage the learner and bring about a clearer understanding of the subject matter? Another aspect is using technology to help recognize/analyze problems and use the information to create a solution.

Education Technology provides a method to maximize the learning experience.  This process may involve developing instructional tools or products for learning.  It also provides tools to make current situations better.  These situations could be from managing a classroom of rowdy students to the promptness of punching the time clock on a construction yard to even the challenge of having a teenager clean an untidy room.  According to the HTP-Institute it is a "systematic and systemic approach to solving practical problems.”

Educational Technology is all about the tools.  Pencil and paper, books, or electronics: the tools are central to the delivery of instruction.  In the field of Educational Technology, professionals utilize the most current tools to effectively solve problems.  It is the utilization that is so critical and often, difficult.

© 2008 San Diego State University, Jodi Kohler, Deborah Lawson, Diane Main, and Kimberly McCain-Correll