Monday, 4 March 2013


Educational technology sometimes termed EdTech is the study and ethical practice of facilitating e-learning, which is the learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. The term educational technology is often associated with, and encompasses, instructional theory and learning theory. While instructional technology is "the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning," according to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology Definitions and Terminology Committee, educational technology includes other systems used in the process of developing human capability. 

Educational technology includes, but is not limited to, software, hardware, as well as Internet applications, such as wikis and blogs, and activities. But there is still debate on what these terms mean. Technology of education is most simply and comfortably defined as an array of tools that might prove helpful in advancing student learning and may be measured in how and why individuals behave. Educational Technology relies on a broad definition of the word "technology."

Technology can refer to material objects of use to humanity, such as machines or hardware, but it can also encompass broader themes, including systems, methods of organization, and techniques. Some modern tools include but are not limited to overhead projectors, laptop computers, and calculators. Newer tools such as "smart phones" and games are beginning to draw serious attention for their learning potential. Media psychology is the field of study that applies theories in human behavior to educational technology.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Browser-Based IDEs (programming environments)

As I wrote about earlier, HTML5 (Javascript, Canvas, WebGL, etc.) is allowing people to create rich, interactive applications that run in your browser and don’t require flash or java. Cloud computing (such as Google App Engine and others) and AJAX are also allowing us to run things in our browser that before were typically run on the desktop because they require quickly saving and retrieving a bunch of info. Google docs, gmail, etc.

So it’s not so surprising that there are now even some programming environments starting to emerge that you can run and develop from inside your browser. These are websites where you can edit code, run your application, and sometimes even instantly share your application for others to try. This is much more convenient than the typical process of downloading and installing a huge IDE such as Eclipse or Netbeans, and then compiling and packaging and distributing/hosting an application on your own. Browser-based environments are also nice for students at schools, because they typically are not given permission to download and install software on their own, but can run these tools in the browser, as long as they aren’t blocked by IT. I imagine it won’t be too long before we start seeing kid-friendly browser-based IDEs start to appear.

Saturday, 7 September 2002

TV is 75

One steamy day in the summer of 1921, Philo criss-crossed an open field atop a horse drawn plowing machine, thinking about television to relieve the boredom, when for a moment, he stopped to survey his day's work. Noticing the neatly cut parallel rows in the dirt before him, he was struck with a flash of inspiration: just as he plowed the field, back and forth in parallel rows, so could he scan an image, one line at a time, with a magnetically-deflected beam of electrons inside a cathode ray tube. At that moment, television as we know it - and all its extensions and futher manifestations (like this computer screen) arrived on earth in the mind of this 14-year-old farm boy.