Educational Technology Defined

As promised in my post “Instructional Design Defined”, I’ll be discussing what Educational Technology means.

So what is Educational Technology? At a quick glance, the phrase can be daunting. However, take a step back, break the phrase down and what do you have?

Educational = Education = Learning

Technology = Tools

classroomSimply put, Educational Technology are learning tools. And therefore, an Educational Technology professional is one that encourages the practical application of technology tools in the classroom with the end goal of positively impacting the learning experience of the student.

The field, Educational Technology (also known as EdTech), is the study and practice of facilitating technological processes for effectively improving learning and performance. Educational Technology is commonly found in the education and higher education industries. However, the skills of Educational Technology professionals can be beneficial to corporations as well, specifically in training and human resource departments responsible for the successful on-boarding of its employees.

Many Educational Technology professionals, such as myself, have a background in Instructional Theory (Instructional Design) and Learning Theory (don’t forget I promised you a blog on Learning Theories!).

ComputerEducational technology includes software, hardware, Internet applications and interventions or activities. Essentially, any tool that may prove helpful in advancing student learning can be categorized as an Educational Technology. I plan on writing a series of blogs detailing how specific educational technologies can be beneficial to the learner and the implications it has for the educator.


Technology Type Examples
Software PowerPoint, Keynote, Learning Management Systems, Games, Videos
Hardware Classroom Projector, Smart Phone, Tablets, Document Camera, Computer, Calculator
Internet Applications Learning Management Systems, Google Drive, YouTube, iTunes U, Podcasts
Interventions/ Activities Online quiz for harassment training, Simulations

Educational Technology must be used to enhance the learning objectives, not just “technology used for technology’s sake”. Educational Technology must serve as a complement to the overall educational goals, not be a distraction.

Therefore, it is important to plan and deliberately decide, which technology will be used and how it will be used when FIRST designing learning interventions.


About Julie Tausend Burba

Instructional Designer at Hulu, Ed Tech and Project Management enthusiast. MBA Technology Management, MS Management, BS Communications, Traveler and Cook.

Posted on April 15, 2013, in Educational Technology, Tausend Talks Shop, Teaching Tools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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