Related Terms for Educational Technology

Educational technology is an inclusive term for both the material tools and the theoretical foundations for supporting learning and teaching. Educational technology is not restricted to high technology but is anything that enhances classroom learning in the utilization of blended, face to face, or online learning.

An educational technologist is someone who is trained in the field of educational technology. Educational technologists try to analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate process and tools to enhance learning. While the term educational technologist is used primarily in the United States, learning technologist is synonymous and used in the UK as well as Canada.

Modern electronic educational technology is an important part of society today. Educational technology encompasses e-learning, instructional technology, information and communication technology (ICT) in education, EdTech, learning technology, multimedia learning, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer managed instruction, computer-based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction or computer-aided instruction (CAI), internet-based training (IBT), flexible learning, web-based training (WBT), online education, digital educational collaboration, distributed learning, computer-mediated communication, cyber-learning, and multi-modal instruction, virtual education, personal learning environments, networked learning, virtual learning environments (VLE) (which are also called learning platforms), m-learning, ubiquitous learning and digital education.

Each of these numerous terms has had its advocates, who point up potential distinctive features. However, many terms and concepts in educational technology have been defined nebulously; for example, Fiedler's review of the literature found a complete lack agreement of the components of a personal learning environment. Moreover, Moore saw these terminologies as emphasizing particular features such as digitization approaches, components or delivery methods rather than being fundamentally dissimilar in concept or principle. For example, m-learning emphasizes mobility, which allows for altered timing, location, accessibility and context of learning; nevertheless, its purpose and conceptual principles are those of educational technology.

In practice, as technology has advanced, the particular "narrowly defined" terminological aspect that was initially emphasized by name has blended into the general field of educational technology. Initially, "virtual learning" as narrowly defined in a semantic sense implied entering an environmental simulation within a virtual world, for example in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In practice, a "virtual education course" refers to any instructional course in which all, or at least a significant portion, is delivered by the Internet. "Virtual" is used in that broader way to describe a course that is not taught in a classroom face-to-face but through a substitute mode that can conceptually be associated "virtually" with classroom teaching, which means that people do not have to go to the physical classroom to learn. Accordingly, virtual education refers to a form of distance learning in which course content is delivered by various methods such as course management applications, multimedia resources, and videoconferencing. Virtual education and simulated learning opportunities, such as games or dissections, offer opportunities for students to connect classroom content to authentic situations.

Educational content, pervasively embedded in objects, is all around the learner, who may not even be conscious of the learning process. The combination of adaptive learning, using an individualized interface and materials, which accommodate to an individual, who thus receives personally differentiated instruction, with ubiquitous access to digital resources and learning opportunities in a range of places and at various times, has been termed smart learning. Smart learning is a component of the smart city concept.