Technology, as described by Heinnich, et al (1982), is a systematic and integrated organization of men, machines, ideas and procedures, to achieve the desired goal. According to them, technology can also be described in three different ways.
What Is Technology?
Technology is a process, the systematic application of scientific or other organized knowledge to practical tasks; the process of devising reliable and repeatable solutions to tasks.
Technology is a product, the hardware and software that result from the application of technological processes.
Technology is a combination of process and product. Technology includes processes, systems of management and control mechanisms both human and non-human.
It is a way of looking at problems, analyzing them in terms of simplicity or difficulty and complexity; examining them for feasible and technical solutions, and the economics of such solutions (Ogunranti, 1985).
‘Technology’ could be ‘In Education’ and could be ‘of Education. By technology in education, we imply the use we make of products of technology (Heinrich, Molenda Russell; 19982) in operating schools, colleges and universities.
The technology of Education is a particular, systematic arrangement of teaching-learning events designed to put our knowledge of learning into practice in a predictable, effective manner to attain specific learning objectives.
Technologies of Education include programmed learning, audio-tutorial systems, and modular instructions.
What Is Educational Technology?
Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) 1977) describes Educational Technology as a complex, integrated process involving:
People: teachers, students, parents, resource persons in the society, administrators. They act to store and /or transmit messages.
Procedures: Systematic delineation of goals, contents and objectives followed in a system by delineation of resources, strategy or methodology, execution and evaluation; the science of human learning.
Ideas: From the science of human learning, research experiences.
Devices: Overhead projectors, slide projectors, tape recorders, radio, television sets etc. They are items traditionally called HARDWARE- they transmit messages store on materials.
Materials: Slide, film strip, overhead transparencies, audio tape, videotape, books, journals, programmed instruction materials. They are also known as SOFTWARE. They store messages for transmission by devices, sometimes they are self-displaying.
Organisation: For analyzing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating and managing solutions to those problems involved in all aspects of human learning.
Examples are curriculum designing and development teams, instructional materials/products designing teams, and resources centre logistics.
Therefore, Educational Technology as a concept can be viewed in two broad ways. First, it can be seen as the application of media born out of the communication revolution through the production and use of quite a range and variety of electronic information carriers, projection and amplification.
This view considers educational technology as “tools technology”. The emphasis is on hardware or equipment and related materials.
Furthermore, Educational Technology can be seen as a systematic way of designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of learning in terms of specific objectives based on research on human and non-human resources to bring about more effective instruction.
That is to say, the term signifies an analytic procedure for organizing and managing instruction.;
The procedure is characterized by: Identification of an instructional problem; Collection of relevant information about the problem; Setting of objectives; Design of learning experiences Selection of needed resources such as people, materials, facilities, tools etc;
Implementation of the designed learning experiences; and evaluation of the outcomes of instruction
Davies (1978) talks about ‘three educational technology. He argues that three of the associated terms most commonly used in discussing the field represent three different approaches to Educational Technology.
The terms are (1) Hardware (2) software and (3) Systems approach.
According to him, the hardware approach sees Educational Technology as a means of mechanising or automating the process of teaching with devices that can transmit, amplify, distribute, record and produce stimulus materials.
This is normally referred to as the traditional approach to Educational Technology with emphasis on equipment such as projectors, tape recorders, cameras etc.
This approach is believed to be a direct application of the physical sciences to problems of education.
The software approach – This is closely associated with programmed instruction, the aim is to deliberately shape or modify behaviour in a pre-determined direction through the application of learning theories, and motivational reinforcement principles in the design and presentation of stimulus materials.
This approach sees Educational Technology as a systematic way of designing, presenting and evaluating instruction. The emphasis is on the technology of message design and it is influenced by the application of the behavioural sciences to education.
The system Approach – This is essentially a problem-solving approach to Educational technology.
It sees Educational technology as a systematic process of managing ideas, and resources (people, hardware and software, facilities and the environment in identifying and solving educational problems.
It is important to note that, the three approaches do not represent three different views about Educational Technology but three different stages in the development of the field.
Teacher education programmes are recognized by the government to give the required professional training to teachers.
That is they are charged with the responsibilities of equipping teachers for the effective performance of their duties. The programmes train people to be effective teachers mainly for the primary or secondary school levels but sometimes even for the tertiary institutions.
However, the institutions responsible for this programme are the Colleges of Education and Universities. The National Policy on Education (1981) states the purpose of Teacher Education to be:
Producing highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of our education system; encouraging further the spirit of enquiry and creativity in teachers;
Helping teachers to fit into the social life of the community and society at large and enhance their commitment to national objectives;
Providing teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and to make them adaptable to any changing situation not only in the life of their country but in the wide world;
Enhancing teachers’ commitment to the teaching profession, and shows that the Teacher Education Programme is geared at producing teachers who will be able to form an effective link between the school and society.
They will be expected to produce functional students, to bring improvement to society.
The application of Educational Technology in teacher education will solve many problems arising from the inadequacies and deficiencies in the preparation and production of teachers.
It will provide procedures for innovating the curriculum of teacher education. It will also facilitate the process of acquiring both academic and professional capabilities, and skills and the development of positive attitudes toward teaching.