For this assignment, I was asked to create a visual representation of the elements of educational technology, how they connect and explain what educational technology means to me. You will see my visual representation below. The visual representation I created places all of the elements of educational technology interconnected with each other. This is to show that they are all necessary and important to successful technology integration. If one of the links is removed, then the whole concept breaks down. All of the elements are also contained within the study of educational technology, as they all deserve their own special attention on their own and collectively. This is why each is contained within its own link of the overall chain. I used Microsoft Word to create my visual representation because it is a versatile tool that allows for visual representations to be created without a lot of knowledge of the program.
To me, educational technology is the study of taking all of the best practices of teaching and applying those to the use of technology within teaching. This includes the teacher acting as a facilitator of learning, rather than be in sole control of learning. Students should be given the opportunity to explore and discover information by asking questions and going deeper and creating meaning on their own. Technology should not only aid students in deeper exploration and discovery, but it should also allow the teacher to be a better facilitator. One of the ways a teacher can gauge whether technology is improving a lesson is by using the SAMR Model to see what role technology is playing in the lesson. Our ultimate goal is to reach the redefinition level that allows students to approach content in a way they otherwise would not be able to, but even a substitution level of integration may provide efficiency improvements that are well worth the use of technology. This is where choosing the appropriate processes and resources must be aligned to the learning objectives to be accomplished. We don’t ever want to use technology just for the sake of using technology. It should be used when it allows you to create, manage, or facilitate instruction in a way traditional methods do not allow. We should use the AECT Code of Professional Ethics to guide the decisions we make as they will help to ensure we are making the best decisions for the individual, society, and the profession of educational technology.