For the final assignment in EdTech 501, I analyzed the current definition of Educational Technology. As part of the analysis, I created a graphic representation of the definition using PowToon. I began by reading the expanded definition of EdTech and examining its key parts for understanding. To me, the definition had four main parts: study, ethical practice, facilitated learning, and performance.
Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.
All other elements of the definition fit into these four main parts. The most important of these four parts, however, proved to be facilitating (or facilitated, as I called it in my PowToon) learning. This notion of learning as something facilitated by the teacher seems to be crucial to the definition because it tips the idea of education on its head toward constructivist thinking and away from the “Sage on the Stage” teaching method. This idea of “facilitated learning” really spoke to me as a teacher. It supported my previous idea that the students should be in control of, or invested in, their learning. EdTech, as defined in our assigned chapter, allows students to claim ownership of their learning through active, learner-centric methods and authentic audiences/situations.
Following the “facilitated learning” aspect of the definition, “study,” “ethical practice” and “performance” seem to be equals in my opinion. The reading described “study” as an idea beyond simple research. It explained it as a “cyclical process” of reflection and practice that led to improved performance. This idea of a “cyclical process” stuck with me and visually explained the importance of study to this definition and the interconnectedness of the definition’s elements. I found the “ethical practice” element to be important because the AECT standards are the framework from which we design and instruct. Without these standards, as stated in the reading, success is not possible. As teachers, we cannot be sure that we are addressing the “needs” of our students without the AECT Ethics Committee and its standards. Finally, the idea of “performance” jumped out of the definition as the learner’s ability to use and apply new capabilities in authentic environments. This performance includes the three major functions of the field: creating, using, and managing appropriate technological resources.
At first, I thought I wanted to create an infographic for this assignment. (I still would like to learn how.) But, when push came to shove, I decided to use PowToon to create an animated visual rather than a static one. I first learned about PowToon in a Tech Tools seminar, where I starred it in my notes as a potential tool for student presentations. PowToon was so fun and easy to use that I am really quite obsessed with it now. The only issue that I had was exporting the visual. It turns out to do some of the “fancier” things (like, I don’t know, download it as a file) you have to pay for a membership. Other than that, PowToon was fun to use, and it is definitely a tool that I can use in my classroom or assign for students to use for presentations.