Educational technology can be defined as “the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and for the improvement of accomplishment by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources”. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) denoted instructional technology as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning. As such, educational technology refers to all valid and reliable applied education science, such as equipment, as well as processes and procedures which are derived from scientific research, and in a given context may refer to theoretical, algorithmic or heuristic processes: it does not necessarily imply physical technology.
Educational technology is the effective use of technological tools in the learning process. As a concept, it uses several different tools, such as media, machines and networking hardware, including theoretical perspectives for their successful function. Educational technology does not only mean high end technology because electronic educational technology has become an essential aspect of contemporary life. Modern educational technology includes e-learning, instructional technology, information and communication technology (ICT) in education, Ed-Tech, learning technology, multimedia learning, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer managed instruction, computer-based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction or computer-aided instruction (CAI), internet-based training (IBT), flexible learning, web-based training (WBT), online education, virtual education, personal learning environments, networked learning, virtual learning environments (VLE), which are also known as learning platforms m-learning, and digital education.
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Different titles have been variously used and understood, and combine the broad domains of educational technology and e-learning. These alternative descriptive terms are all more limiting than “educational technology” because they individually emphasize a particular conversion to digital approach, component or delivery method. For example m-learning stresses upon mobility, but is otherwise impossible to differentiate in theory from educational technology. Theoretical perspectives and scientific testing may influence instructional design. The application of theories of human behavior to educational technology derives input from instructional theory, learning theory, educational psychology, media psychology and human performance technology.
Educational technology means several different types of media that deliver text, audio, images, animation, and streaming video, and includes technology applications and processes such as audio or video tape, satellite TV, CD-ROM, and computer-based learning, as well as local intranet/extranet and web-based learning. Information and communication systems, whether free-standing or based on either local networks or the Internet in networked learning, underlie many e-learning processes. Educational technology and e-learning can occur in or out of the classroom. It can be self-paced, sending piecemeal information for learning or may be instructor-led, synchronous learning. It is suited to distance learning and in combination with face-to-face teaching, which is known as combined learning. Educational technology is used by learners and educators in homes, schools, businesses, and other settings.