Every day, countless forms of educational technology, or EdTech, help people learn any number of subjects and new concepts. What exactly is EdTech, and how does it work? Follow along for the information.
EdTech: The Basics
Simply defined, educational technology is any concept or tool that facilitates learning by way of technological resources. This definition is a very wide one but is the true definer of what is EdTech. An ancient abacus with its sliding beads for counting and math work is as much a form of EdTech as is a modern computer in the classroom today. This is the basic definition of this term today; if it uses some sort of technology to teach, then it is a form of EdTech.
E-Learning and M-Learning
Today, some of the most widely influential and easily recognized forms of EdTech can be seen in the vast and ever-growing worlds of e-learning and m-learning. E-learning, or electronic learning, is the use of computers and the internet for learning purposes. M-learning, or mobile learning, is the use of mobile tech, such as mobile phones and tablets for learning. Distance learning, or learning via the internet across geographic distances, utilizes both m-learning and e-learning.
More Examples of EdTech
Beyond distance learning platforms and the ancient benefits of simple tools like the abacus, there is a massive, growing, and often very intriguing world of technological learning tools emerging across the world today. This can be seen in the increasing use of computers and learning software in classrooms everywhere. Audio and visual aids for various impairments are another prime example of a modern form of EdTech.
On the more intriguing side of emerging EdTech today are some of the medical industry’s newest learning tools. Among the most fascinating tools here are artificial cadavers with which medical students are beginning to practice medicine as opposed to with real cadavers. These artificial bodies can be set up to act much like a real human with a blood supply, functional organs and systems, lifelike skin and textures, and everything else reflective of human feature and function.
In the aviation field, there have also been many advances in technology for learning. One of these advances has been the use of computerized simulations for new and learning pilots. Simulations like these as well as new crash-testing tools and methods lead the way in the ultimate mastery of human flight. A recent New York Times article covering the importance of plane-specific simulators in pilot training illustrates just how dependent the industry has become on this particular type of computerized EdTech.
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As far as history records, humankind has sought out better and quicker ways with which to learn. EdTech is the subsequent use of technology and its tools to satisfy that drive to learn and grow. Whether it be a simple tool or the most advanced computer known, if it’s used to orchestrate human learning, it’s a form of educational technology.