A Reflection on the History of Educational Technology and Evolving Pedagogies

A Reflection on the History of Educational Technology and Evolving Pedagogies

Karen R. Juneau (William Carey University, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2656-0.ch002


Educational technology has developed from five basic approaches toward technology use: (1) the technical perspective, (2) the objectivist perspective, (3) the constructivist perspective, (4) the collaborative perspective, and (5) the social-ethical perspective. Each perspective has distinctly impacted educational technology. Every one of these threads has roots in a related field and no single thread can form the foundation for educational technology. The unique element of online instruction is the potential for a truly non-sequential model of learning. This is the only element that can be better designed online; all the other characteristics that have been reviewed can be implemented by other methods, or as adaptations of other methods used in other formats. For this reason, it is recommended that future efforts at designing pedagogy for online learning make non-sequential instructional design central to the theoretical model. This is an issue that technology leaders must consider when planning technology integration.
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A primary purpose of education is to develop an educated citizenry that fully participates in society. What has changed over the centuries is how this preparation is achieved. Although a relatively new field, educational technology has grappled with the core issues of what it means to be an educated person and how that goal is to be achieved from its very inception. In a real sense, the evolution of computers and media in education forces the re-examination of what is worth knowing, and by extension, how to share that knowledge with others. The history of educational technology is a record of how people relate to content, how instructional programs define their purpose, and how that content is valued.

The heart of any educational system is the determination of what basic knowledge is needed to function in a given societal role. Computers were designed to support these goals through the collection and the organization of information. In the simplest terms, the computer frees individuals from minutia and allows for an examination of larger concepts. This function inspired multiple threads of inquiry that converged to create the field of educational technology.

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