What a fast and furious seven weeks it has been!
As I sat down to create my Ed Tech definition I thought it would be a simple task. After all, I teach students definitions and how to apply them to context almost every day. However, following at least an hour of staring at my screen, browsing through images, writing and erasing various things, I realized that this task was in fact not simple in any way. The challenge in defining Educational Technology is as complex as the field of practice itself. The term and the subject are so dynamic and encompassing that it took quite a bit of reflection and synthesizing of what I’d learned, struggled through, and accomplished over the course of this class. Nonetheless, after a period of productive struggle I created what I believe to be one of my best products of this course to date. With that, let me invite you to take a peek at my infographic made using Piktochart. Please continue past the visual to read what the visual means to me in terms of a final educational technology definition.
The first image on the infographic features a personal computer with a written definition of Educational Technology. For this image I chose the computer because I believe it to be the basic means of technology that our schools rely upon. For many, the first step to incorporating technology into the curriculum is simply getting students access to computers for tasks such as word processing or presentations, but once this is accomplished and students begin to see the powers of the tool in front of them the opportunities for its implementation become limitless. To add substance to this image I created the definition for Educational Technology that you find on the screen. I chose the word “discipline” because of the connotation associated with its usage. When one is disciplined they are steadfast in their actions. From everything I have learned about Educational Technology I believe it to be a subject and practice in which discipline not only defines the nature of learning but also the work that must go into successful implementation of technology. My definition continues on by stating that educational technology incorporates efficient technology (technology that serves the best and most useful purpose for the task ensuring the highest degree of productivity) to create purposeful learning environments (learning situations that are facilitated to allow for students to play and active role in their learning through discovery and exploration) by deepening student learning and fostering transfer to the real world which both I believe to be pivotal for the task that ends the definition: preparing students for an ever-changing technological world.
When creating this product I found that I could not move forward with images or any other aspects of this visual until I had in fact created a definition, in my own words, to make sense of everything I’ve learned and read throughout this course. However, after I created my definition things began to fall into place.
The second image you’ll find on my visual representation features two pieces of clip art attached to two different word clouds. The two clip art visuals are representative of the word clouds they are attached to. On the left is an outline of a face with a monocle to symbolize study and on the right with the scales making up the face is a visual to symbolize ethics. The word clouds for both are created using words I found in my reading that I felt best defined the importance of each. I created this visual because I feel that these to aspects are pivotal when defining Educational Technology. Without the study aspect of the definition we loose sight of necessary steps routinely performed to ensure successful technology based implementation and pedagogy. An absence of the ethics portion of the definition would demean the credibility and professionalism of educational technology as a whole.
A series of Polaroid pictures are featured in the third graphic. The Polaroids are illustrative of something that really resonated with me in the reading for this task. It was mentioned that the definition of educational technology is a “snapshot” in time. I really wanted to incorporate this idea into my visual, thus the inclusion of the Polaroids. Featured on the center picture is an outstretched hand seemingly reaching for a stream of technology that seems to be floating by. This visual was included to further showcase that the definition of educational technology is ever changing as new technology is created and current technology becomes obsolete. To the left and right of this picture on the other two Polaroids are the words: research, develop, experiment, reflect, assess, and improve. I believe these six words to represent the reason that educational technology can never truly be defined with one static definition. Underneath all the photos in larger yellow print is the word, innovation. This word ties together everything on this portion of the visual and represents a key aspect to educational technology.
To finish the visual I ended with a quote that I feel truly captures the nature and purpose of educational technology. As the definition changes and the technology transforms over time the skills necessary to be successful in our world will be mastered, challenged, and then reconstructed time and time again. Therefore our traditional idea of literacy will be as outdated as sending mail by carrier pigeon. This quote serves as my exclamation point to my definition of educational technology.
Creation Tool Reflection
For this assignment I used Piktochart to create my infographic. This is my first time creating such a product and though I found it enjoyable, it is much harder than I realized. This would shock most of my students because I use these in class all the time. I find them very user friendly in their display of information but also just challenging enough that my students have to really read though and discuss the purpose of the document when using them as supporting texts.
As I created my infographic I found that I defaulted to using words, synonyms, definitions, and quotes definitely exposing my comfort zone in product creation. I accidentally deleted several blocks and graphics before I got the hang of formatting my visuals. The most difficult aspect of using this tool was adding in text. I found that I never seemed to get the hang of entering, moving, or altering my text. Instead I would click on the text box frantically until I finally achieved my purpose.
Overall I found this tool to be fairly manageable and one that could be useful not only for myself in the future but also for my students in creating their own projects for presentation.