Modern age is the age of science and technology. The world of today is very dynamic. The life of man in the primitive age was altogether different from his life in this sputnik age.
There have been tremendous changes in the life style of human beings which may be attributed to the contribution of science and technology, science has extended the frontiers of our knowledge in various ways and directions. Science is considered to be a blessing to mankind.
Nothing better has happened than the advent of science in man’s life. The contribution of science and technology has been experienced in almost all the spheres of human life including education.
Before understanding the meaning of educational technology it is essential to know the meaning of technology. The word ‘technology‘ has been taken from the Greek word (techniques) which means an art and which is related with skill and dexterity.
The term ‘technology’ implies the application of science to art. The concept of technology has developed during the last few years.
It is a new area in the discipline of education. Educational technology is comprised of two words education and technology. When we apply the science of learning and communication to teaching we evolve a technology. There are three major factors that emphasize the linking of education with technology.
(i) Explosion of population.
(ii) Explosion of new knowledge.
(iii) Explosion of scientific and technological development.
Educational Technology is concerned with the development, application, and evaluation of system, techniques and aids to improve the process of human learning.
It could be conceived as a science of techniques, methods and media by which educational goals could be realised.
Generally the term “Technology” denotes the systematic application of the knowledge of science to practical tasks in industry. Hence, “Educational Technology” may be roughly defined as the systematic application of the knowledge of sciences to practical tasks in Education.
It is not primarily concerned with the task of prescribing the goal although it does help in specifying the goals and translating them in behavioral terms.
It is a communication process resulting from the adaptation of the scientific method to the behavioral science of teaching/learning. Educational Technology widely accepted as the application of system approach in the systematic design of a learning system to bring about improvement in teaching-learning evaluation process.
It is not an end in itself but a means to accomplish some educational and instructional objectives already determined and clearly defined. It tries to make the whole teaching-learning process more and more meaningful for both the teachers and the learners.
It modifies teacher’s method of teaching and learner’s behaviour for their own betterment and for the betterment of the mankind. It is not the same thing as instruction or education or learning but an aggressive invention which includes in itself everything that helps in shaping personality.
Earlier the Concept of Educational Technology was used as a synonym to audio-visual aids like pictures, charts, maps, and models meant for direct teaching-learning. With the advent of physical science and electronic revolution there came an era of hardware and software like projectors, tape-recorders, radio and T.V. etc.
Then came the age of mass media which led to massive communication revolution for instructional purposes with the advent of programmed instruction and programmed learning, a new dimension of educational technology came into existence it has individualized the process of education and introduced a system of self-learning in the form of self- instructional material and teaching machine.
The concept of programmed learning added another dimensions to the meaning of educational technology when some new devices and approaches such as Micro-teaching.
In other words we can see one aspect of Educational Technology related to the use of specific techniques such as ‘educational television, radio, programmed learning and other audio-visual aids.
In another aspect, Education Technology is seen as the application of scientific and other organized knowledge to the practical problems of education.
In the particular context of the developing countries, the emphasis is on the application of techniques and knowledge with a view to mobilizing and optimizing the available human as well as technological resources.
Educational technology is seen both as a means as well as service to effect and facilitate better and more productive learning systems. It may be defined as a separate field in the theory of education dealing with the development and application of the use of educational resources.
Educational Technology should not be confused with teaching or instruction or education or learning or engineering but it should be taken as a sum total of all such aspects which go a long way in shaping the personality of the learner in a meaningful context.
It is neither technology in education nor technology of education but both and all pervasive which pervades the whole teaching-learning process to make it meaningful for the teacher who teaches and the learner who learns and modifies his behaviour for his own betterment and the betterment of mankind.
“Educational Technology is the application of scientific knowledge and learning and the conditions of learning to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and training.”
Robert A. Cox
“Educational Technology is the application of scientific process to man’s learning conditions.”
John P. Dececco
“Educational Technology is the form of detailed application of psychology of learning to practical teaching problems”
“Educational Technology is that branch of educational theory and practice concerned primarily with the design and use of messages which control the learning process.”
Richmond, “Educational Technology is concerned to provide appropriately designed learning situations which, holding in view of objectives of the Teaching of Training, being to bear the best means of instruction.”
S.S. Kulkarni, “Educational Technology may be defined as the application of the laws as well as recent discoveries of science and technology to the process of education.”
S.K. Mitra, “Educational Technology can be conceived as a science of techniques and methods by which educational goals could be realized.”
Robert A. Cox Article The Process of Educational Technology: A Tool for Development 1970). “The application of scientific process to man’s learning conditions is what has come recently to be called ‘educational or instructional’ technology.”
D.E.S. Working Party (U.K.), “Educational Technology is the development, application and evaluation of systems, techniques and aids in the field of human learning.”
Robert M. Gange defined Educational Technology as “The Development of asset of systematic techniques and accompanying practical knowledge for designing, testing and operating schools as educational systems.”
Characteristics of Educational Technology
Characteristics of Educational Technology are as follows:
1. It is based on scientific and technological advancements.
2. It is more a practical discipline and less a theoretical one.
3. It is a fast growing modern discipline.
4. It makes use of the research findings of psychology, sociology, engineering, sciences and social psychology etc., and applies the same to the field of education.
5. It brings pupils, teachers and technical means together in an effective way.
6. It is the science of techniques and methods. It locates the problems in the field of education, remedies them and ultimately aims at improving the education system.
7. It is bound to improve the teacher, the learner and the teaching learning process.
Nature of Educational Technology
1. The basis of educational technology is science.
2. Educational Technology studies the effect of science and technology upon education. In other words, science and technology are used under educational technology. Hence, it is the practical aspect of science.
3. Educational Technology is a continuous dynamic, progressive and effect-producing method.
4. New conceptions are possible only due to educational technology such as programmed learning, micro-teaching, simulated teaching, interaction analysis, video-tape, tape-recorder, projector and computer, etc.
5. Educational Technology accepts schools as a system. In this system, the school-building, furniture and teachers act as input while various methods, techniques, strategies and the teaching and examination with the help of audio-visual aids function in the form of a process. Lastly, the output is in of form of ability of the pupils.
6. Audio-visual aids cannot be termed as educational technology. It is because its concern is only with the process-aspect of educational technology and not with the input and output aspects. But if these A.V. aids are used to achieve educational objectives, then it can be put in the category of Educational technology.
7. Programmed Instruction is also different from Educational Technology. Its main cause is that the student learns himself during the programmed instructions. It does not allow interaction between pupil and teacher.
Hence, it can be used only for limited objectives and limited subject-matter. Therefore, programmed instruction is merely a part of educational technology.
8. Engineering Technology is not the educational technology because the engineering technology has manufactured radio, tape- recorder, video-tape and T.V., etc., which are used in teaching as audio-visual aids, but still engineering technology is different from educational technology. In education, it is accepted as hardware approach only.
9. Educational Technology cannot solve each and every problem of education. It can be used successfully in teaching and instructional system only.
10. Some people assume that educational technology will replace the teacher which will make the teacher unemployed one day. It is their mistake. Educational technology can never replace the teacher. It is because of three aspects of educational technology.
These are 1. Input, 2. Process and 3. Output. Input is the teacher’s job and therefore, educational technology cannot snatch the place of a teacher.
In spite of this, educational technology develops cognitive domain only and not the affective domain. Affective domain can only be developed when an interaction between teachers and pupils takes place. Hence, educational technology cannot replace the teacher.
General Objectives of Educational Technology
The objectives of Educational Technology at macro level or broad level are as under:
1. To identify educational needs of the community.
2. To determine the aims of education.
3. To develop a suitable curriculum.
4. To determine appropriate strategies.
5. To identify the resources-human and non-human.
6. To locate the major obstacles in the way of proper development of learners.
7. To suggest remedies to overcome the above traced out obstacles.
8. To manage the whole system of education.
The objectives of educational technology at micro-level i.e., in view of specific class-room teaching are as under:
1. To identify the educational needs of the pupils.
2. To determine the class-room objectives in behavioural terms.
3. To analyse the contents of instructions and organise them.
4. To plan the teaching strategies.
5. To identify the resources-human and non-human.
6. To evaluate class-room teaching in terms of students’ performance.
7. To provide feedback to the teacher and the students for betterment of teaching-learning process.
Regarding objectives of Educational Technology, Hilliard Joson has given the following objectives :
1. Transmission of Information.
2. Serving as role model.
3. Assisting the practice of specific skills.
4. Contribution to the provision of feedback.
1. To help in the environment of facilities required in the teaching learning process.
2. To make the class-room teaching more effective.
3. To modify the behaviour of the teacher and the learner.
4. To improve and update the methods of learning.
Technologizing Education Is To Optimize Learning Endeavours
In Educational Technology, both hardware and software mechanisms are involved.
Garrison (1989), opines “technology will be viewed here as having both a process (software) and a product (hardware) component, where process is the creative application of knowledge of purposeful activities. A subset of hardware is media, where media are the devices used to distribute information.”
In Educational Technology, hardware covers TV, Computer, Overhead projector, Tape Recorder, Teaching machines etc. Software includes audio/video cassettes, Filmstrips, micro films, slides etc.
Educational Technology is comprehensive. It is associated with all aspects of educative process-methods, teaching strategies, learning materials, handling of various equipment etc.
The following 4 M’s are the major components of Educational Technology:-
(i) Methods, (ii) Materials, (iii) Media, (iv) Manpower.
It is concerned with the devices such as Programmed Learning Team Teaching, Micro Teaching, Personalized System of Instruction in Teaching Learning situations.
Instructional materials such as Programmed Text book the material of this type may be handwritten or printed.
The media used here are audio, or visual or audiovisual. A few examples are radio, tape recorder, charts, films, educational television etc.
(iv) Man Power:
Man power controls educational technology in every way. Educational Technology without man is zero.