Last class, the concepts of “soft” and “hard” technology was interesting. Soft technology encourages creativity and is flexibly used by a skillful user (Hard and Soft Technologies), whereas hard technology can function by itself without inference by a worker.
TPACK was another concept introduced in last class. TPACK, originally was TPCK, which means technological pedagogical content knowledge or technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge. Technology comes prior to pedagogy and content, through which we can see a innovation in ideas. Teaching should be happened in a dynamic manner, interweaving knowledge from different domains. Other than pedagogy and curriculum content, technology adds to the flexibility and effectivity of teaching. However, technology shouldn’t be treated as an “add-on” but should be interacted integrate with content and pedagogy.
Mentioned in educational technology, the first thing jumps into my head is the powerpoint and whiteboard with magnetism. Powerpoint makes class pace faster as teachers don’t bother writing down on the board. All points are listed on with clear printed fonts. Showing pictures and videoes becomes a piece of cake, which was a huge trouble before it appears. With the development of internet and searching engine, humongous learning resources can be reached within a few seconds. Learning becomes effective and is expanded in space. Self-learning can happen everywhere at any time. With the development of distance education, people have more choices to access learning, reducing the cost of time and money wasted on the road. Learning involves more people who cannot make it at the same time at a certain place, in this sense, technology makes learning more flexible, enjoyable and relatable.
“Institutions established for education and training revolve around activities intended to help people learn productively, individually or in groups, in classrooms or at a distance. Schools, colleges, corporate training centers, and other educational institutions provide many sorts of facilities to facilitate learning.” (Michael Molenda, p5)
In my opinion, Educational technology develops along and benefits from the developments of technology, internet and electronics, as well as the pedagogy and modern ideas towards learning. For example, traditional theories such as child development develop as taking into account the influence of technology brings to children which never was an issue maybe ten years ago. In return, the new theories will give teachers and researchers new ideas about how to better involves technology in facilitating children’s development. Thus, I got my rough definition of educational technology, as a product and a producer, as a teaching tool and an idea, developing together with new things in the new era, educational technology is an inevitable core factor in the classroom, both real or virtual, which will bring flexibility, joy, effectivity and innovation.