Educational technologies

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1 Definition

Educational technologies are technologies that are used in education. Not to be confounded with educational technology - the field.

2 Families of technologies

DSchneider is not yet sure which categories to adopt and how to create a global taxonomy.

2.1 Overview

Basque and Lundgren-Cayrol (2003) found and analyzed 24 different typologies of ICT usage in schools and proposed a "meta-typology" with three categories:

  1. Typologies centered on the teaching/learning act and that use classification criteria like the (1) computer's role in a pedagogical relation, (2) learner/computer control, (3) pedagogic strategy, (3) association of ICT to a specific stage in a instructional design.
  2. Typologies centered on the school and educational actors, i.e. (1) typologies that associate ICT with school activities and (2) those focus on ICT use by the actors
  3. Typologies centered on the learner, i.e. (1) typologies that categorize ICT usage according to learner preferrences for cognitive strategies, (2) those who categorize ICT according to cognitive functions they support and (3) those that classify ICT according to their support for learning stages or cognitive processing stages.

2.2 The Media Cube

Repenning et al. (1998) define media with three dimensions: media richness, interactivity and accessibility.

The media cube - Copyright Alexander Repenning, Andri Ioannidou and James Ambach and reproduced here with permission by Alexander Repenning.

This picture argues that different kinds of media have different kinds of affordances for the design of learning environments. See also the media debate which is about the question whether media "can even be the message", i.e. whether a medium could incomporporate a instructional functionality that can not be had with an other medium.

2.3 Longstaffe, 1996

Longstaffe defines categories that in similar form also can be found with other authors. Within a pedagogical design these categories are not exclusive of course, although there is some clustering, e.g. Presentation in CBT is always associated with some form of interaction but not necessarily with extra information or communication. Modern Web-based CBT (e-learning) since the mid-90's adds these dimensions to some extent.

(1) Presentation
Presentation of contents (texts, pictures, diagrams, animations) on various technical supports.
(2) Information
The computer as a library
(3) Interaction.
Various kinds of interaction that include quizzing software, CBT, Simulations, microworlds etc.
(4) Communication.
Various CMC tools such as email, forums, audio/video conferences, virtual environments, etc.
(5) Professional software tools

E.g. word processors, CAD systems, simulation software, laboratory software, etc.

Since Longstaffe publishes his taxonomy, interaction and communication tools did evolve.

(6) cognitive tools
Cognitive tools are a combination of professional software tools, information, interaction and communication tools that support learning by doing something.
(7) Interactive things
  • Recent trends in ubiquitous computing, microworlds, social software etc.) also include "smart & networked" objects that can be manipulated. That trend has been identified as early as mid-90's by practitioners of educational technology (e.g. Meryn, 1998).

In addition, many applications that are used in education did become "social", e.g. allow individuals to profit from each other in one or another form. Typical examples are the yet vastly underused social software tools like collaborative citation indexes.

3 A flat typology of major educational sofware categories

This is very provisional

3.1 School and student administration

  • no entries so far here

3.2 Resource management, databases, libraries

3.3 Cognitive tools and social software

3.4 Communication and collaboration

3.5 Social computing

3.6 ICT as a subject

3.7 Microworlds, Simulation, Experimentation, Games

3.8 Professional Tools

E.g. Word processors, HTML editors, Mathematical and simulation software

3.9 Teaching tools and assessment

3.10 Assessment tools

3.11 Tutoring and exercising

3.12 Environments for project-oriented learning

(including problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning, project-based learning etc.)

3.13 Integrated systems

However be aware that they nor neutral, nor can they do everything !!

4 Hardware used in education

5 Links

(there are many others, we should include some more)

The very complete History of virtual learning environments. (recommended !)

  • TECHNOS Quarterly. TQ: TECHNOS Quarterly for Education and Technology is a forum for the discussion of ideas about the use of technology in education, with a focus on reform (1992 - 2002)

6 References

  • Basque, Josianne & Sylvie Doré (1998) Le concept d'environnement d'apprentissage informatisé, Journal of Distance Education/Revue de l'enseignement à distance, 13(1), ISSN 0830-0445, HTML
  • Basque, J, & K. Lundgren-Cayrol, K. (2003). Une typologie des usages des TIC en éducation. Document pédagogique du cours TEC 6200 "Technologie de l'information et développement cognitif", Montréal: Télé-université. PDF
  • Robert Bibeau (2004), Taxonomie des ressources numériques normalisées: vers un patrimoine éducatif, VIe Journées de l'Innovation Foix (France) HTML (see also his homepage)
  • Denis, Brigitte (2002), Quels usages des logiciels mettre en oeuvre en contexte éducatif ? Centre de Recherche sur l'Instrumentation, la Formation et l'Apprentissage (CRIFA) du Service de Technologie de l'Education de l'Université de Liège (STE-Ulg) PDF. (retrieved 18:36, 26 June 2006 (MEST)).
  • Locatis,Craig, Al-Nuaim,Hana (1999), Interactive technology and authoring tools: A historical review and analysis, Educational Technology Research and Development, 47, 3, 9/18/1999, Pages 63-75, DOI 10.1007/BF02299634 (Access restricted)
  • Repenning, A., Ioannidou, A. and Ambach, J. (1998). Learn to Communicate and Communicate to Learn. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 98 (7). HTML Hypertext - HTML
  • University of California at Berkeley, Field Guide to Design Experiments in Education, Chapter "Design Experiment Technologies" HTML in
  • Using Technology to Support Education Reform - September 1993, Chapter II: Educational Technologies, HTML
  • Longstaffe J.A., Using computer technology in support of teaching and learning. J. Audiov. Media Med., 1996, 19, 33-36
  • Marshall, J. Granville (2000), Understanding the Peril & Promise, Nouns & Verbs, of Educational Technologies, Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology. HTML - HTML Print
  • Zuckerman, O. (2006, in preparation). Historical Overview and Classification of Traditional and Digital Learning Objects, MIT Media Lab. PDF.