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Educational Technology

Educational technology can be thought of as the hardware, software, and ‘thinkware’ of learning, as well as related research theory that guides these efforts. This entry first defines what educational technology is. Next, it presents a short history of the field. Then it presents highlights of the hardware, software, and audiovisual technologies used by educational technologists; processes and theories used by educational technologists; and research in educational technology.

What is Educational Technology?

Educational technology is ‘the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources,’ according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), the largest professional society focused solely on educational technology.

In practice, that encompasses several distinct areas of effort. One is planning ...

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