Sunday, May 1, 2016

Jargons come out during coffee break: Education technology, learning technology, eLearning and blended learning

A cup of coffee time cannot be enough to illustrate the difference among these jargons. IT in education was an ugly term mostly used by HK Government when she implemented the policy of IT in education of Hong Kong for the past 18 years. And the term has been faded away since the Government no longer allocates the money or implements the policy. Education technology is an old and ever lasting profession about supporting teaching with teaching aids and instructional media. According to wikipedia, the first "Introduction of educational educational films" can be sourced back to 1900s. However, when the paradigm is shifted from teacher-centered to student-centered learning environment, some educators like to promote learning technologies to emphasize using technology to support learning. Of course, if the learning is designed to happen out of classroom context, it is then called eLearning. If the teaching design is a combination of face-to-face classroom teaching and eLearning, then it is called blended learning.

If we want to find out the effectiveness of those jargons, then we need to consider the philosophy of teaching behind. If your belief is teacher-centered paradigm supported by education technology, and you are asked by to implement eLearning and blended learning, then what learning outcomes would be expected? The agenda becomes more complicated with the emerging of MOOC promoted by top global Universities.

End of coffee time and the debate will never end.

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