EDTECH 504 Reflection 1: Educational technology definition and goals for the course and professional practice

It was interesting to read my classmate’s definitions of educational technology. Despite all of us having taken multiple edtech courses, there was not as much consistency as I thought there would be amongst our definitions. I chose to use the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) definition of educational technology for several reasons. It was the first formal definition I learned about in EDTECH 501. It is the definition proposed by one of the professional bodies of educational technology and it has thoughtfully evolved over the past half century as outlined in chapter 10 (Januszewski and Molenda, 2008). Finally, it has face validity and seems to contain all the important elements it should. The only component that I might add would be the facilitation of teaching. The AECT definition is learning-centered but I also think technology facilitates teaching.

In Discussion one I compared and contrasted the AECT definition to that of Luppicini’s (2005) definition of educational technology in society. I feel they both capture similar elements as I outlined.

We all use technology to teach. I do a fair amount of creation and usage but not a lot of managing of resources and processes. What I use varies as I teach in varied settings (clinical and nonclinical, face-to-face and online, formal and informal) to varied learners (medical students, other health professions students, residents, and faculty) and on varied topics (each patient can have numerous things to teach about). I use cadavers to facilitate a monthly joint injection workshop. I never considered the cadaver a technology but it is. I use a blog platform to facilitate learning about perioperative medicine (uabpreop.com). I recently developed the first online course for the medical school (medicine.uabebm.com). I had limited knowledge and experience in online teaching and learning when I began developing the course. As I learned about mobile learning and using the web for education I became very interested in educational technology. I began to experiment with various tools, for example Prezi and TouchCast, but realized I had no reason for using one tool over another, other than its “coolness factor”. Thus, I decided to pursue a master in educational technology to link theory to practice.

One of the main things I hope to get out of this course (and the whole degree program) is consistent with objective eight on the syllabus. I hope to develop a systematic approach to using technology in my teaching and to be able to express that approach to colleagues. I would also like to have a firmer grasp of how learning theories apply to educational technology and ground more of what I do in theory. In 503 I learned about instructivism, constructivism, and connectivism. I hope to expand on my knowledge of those and how educational technology relates to them. In 503 I learned about aligning objectives, pedagogy, and outcomes. I hope to expand on that by aligning educational theory with educational technology.

There are no other educational technology trained physicians or instructors at my medical school. I plan to be a resource and change agent. The medical school is moving to a more flipped model with less face-to-face instruction. I plan to help guide them through this transition. I also hope to be involved in choosing technologies as the medical school moves forward.

References:

Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary. New York: Routledge.

Luppicini, R. (2005). A systems definition of educational technology in society. Educational Technology & Society, 8(3), 103-109.

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