Before embarking on this journey to study EdTech, I felt like I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into. Isn’t Educational Technology just the use of technology to support learning? After doing the first reading for class,I realized that I was mostly correct. The authors of Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary define the concept as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources” (Januszewski, 2008, p. 1). This definition fits with my existing philosophy as a teacher. Although I have to give some direct instruction, I try to create tasks that allow my students to create their own understandings and transfer their learning to the real world. A great example of an entire school that does this is Stonefields School in New Zealand. I embedded one of their YouTube videos into my graphic because it discusses learner qualities and shows students discussing how they solve real world problems and create their own understandings. I have been trying to implement some of these ideas into my own classroom.
For my graphic representation of the EdTech definition, I chose a wagon wheel because the wheel is one of our earliest technologies. A wheel can be small and move more times to cover the same distance, or it can be large and move more quickly. A wagon wheel looks like it has a small wheel within the larger one. Unsupported student learning is like the smaller, inner wheel. Unsupported, students can learn, but they will progress more slowly than with a support system. The large outer wheel represents the learning that students can attain with access to appropriate technological resources and processes. The spokes are the support system (a facilitator, guidance, performance tasks, the opportunity to use technology, etc) that allows the larger wheel to function properly. To maximize student learning, all of the elements must be in place: inner wheel, spokes, and outer wheel.
I created my EdTech graphic using Prezi. Similar to PowerPoint, Prezi allows you to create presentations, but there are no slides. Instead, you work with a grid and can zoom in to see specific parts of the presentation, or out to see the entire presentation at once. I like Prezi because you can create a picture to show your entire idea and then move into text or embedded content for a deeper look at the topic. I did not embed my graphic, because WordPress does not allow Prezis to be embedded for security reasons. Here is the link: http://prezi.com/zrnqfnc9rhb4/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentary. New York, NY: Routledge.