What does educational technology really mean? Most people consider technology use in education to mean the implementation of computers in the classroom. However, educational technology can mean so much more. Technology use in education commonly refers to technology that is used by students or teachers to present material, organize material, demonstrate student knowledge, or integrate learning and interaction.
The most common current technologies used in education today typically revolve around presenting or delivering material or knowledge. This includes common devices and programs such as overhead projectors, document projectors, smart boards, PowerPoint presentations, multimedia presentations, internet use for research, and software applications for educational purposes.
Moreover, most consider using these devices as the major function of educational technology. However, it is how you use the devices and the extent to which an educator uses them that makes them successful in improving student achievement and learning.
To truly impact the success of student achievement, educators must integrate technology in a majority of instruction not only as an occasional use, but more as a consistent means of instruction. This can mean presenting educational materials as multimedia presentations, incorporating a variety of student activities throughout instruction with software programs, and integrating technology use into assessment.
Technological devices that can aid educators in integrating educational technology include using smart boards and interactive white boards to present material to students that address multiple learning styles. Additionally, educators can use programs to help student create graphic organizers for material that integrates educational technology and a variety of teaching strategies that aid students in visualizing information, organizing material, and making connections to concepts and other materials. Finally, educators can provide students with multiple opportunities to use technology when demonstrating their knowledge in subjects.
As technology advances and access increases, educators will continue to use technology in the classroom that will only improve success for the current technologically driven generation.