The definition for educational technology contains 24 words; seven of those words are articles, prepositions, and conjunctions which usually do not provide meaning on their own. After much consideration, I realized that those words were selected very carefully to hold significant weight. That is also why Januszewski and Molenda use an additional 14 pages to explain the complete definition and all the details that it entails. I thought that educational technology was about putting computers in the school building or classroom, but it is really more about the incorporation of the technology into the instruction. Many pieces of advice that are offered for designing good lessons with instructional technology could also be good lessons even without the technology tools. Make a few substitutions and a few alterations here or there, and a quality lesson will still have an impact on the students.
After finding out that I needed to make a graphical representation of what the definition means to me, my mind automatically thought of a word cloud. There were some powerful words in that brief definition along with some recurring themes throughout the first chapter of Januszewski’s Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary, and I knew they all needed to be represented. I felt as though a word cloud would bring all the important phrases together when they seem so disconnected in the reading. It also shows the chaos that someone may feel when first entering the world of educational technology, but then, over time, you can see how the pieces fit together. I tried a few different variations in Wordle, but they did not represent what I was hoping to get across even after regenerating. I decided to switch over to Tagxedo for my creation since I could select the outline of my image. I choose the power button as my word ‘silhouette’ because so many teachers tell students to power their devices off to focus on the academics in the classroom when we all need to focus on how to incorporate those devices while they are powered on. I want to find ways for technology to help students turn their motivation on to be more active in the class. I wanted my graphic to contain more, so I added the word cloud to Glogster, an online poster creating program. I used Microsoft PowerPoint to create the image of the pendulum for the changing perspective and to recreate the cyclical diagram for key elements in the current definition. I saved those slides as .jpg files so that they would be compatible with an upload to Glogster. I also searched for images of educational technology being used and selected those that were available under a Creative Commons license.
Please view my educational technology graphic in Glogster.
Januszewski, A. & Molenda, M. (2008). Definition. In Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary (pp. 1-14). New York: Routledge.