In the overview to Module B of ETEC 533 we are provided with five different definitions or viewpoints on what “technology” means. While in day-to-day language and conversation, I usually refer to technology in terms of a collection of gadgets, I don’t really subscribe to this as a true meaning of the word. Of the viewpoints I’ve read about, I prefer Muffoletto’s (1994) definition where educational technology refers to tools and processes combining to solve problems. We are told there is an emphasis on applying the most current tools, and while this makes sense, I’m not sure this is necessarily a requirement. The concept of “current” can take on many meanings, and this term is especially fluid when we consider the speed at which consumer based tools (technologies) are developed and made available. I think that the idea of “most current” has changed from 1994 to 2012, as we seem to be in an accelerating reference frame as we orbit around technological advances.
Similar ot Muffoletto, Freeburg’s (2003) idea of technology as the medium of daily life, acting as a proxy social institution, is also an attractive notion to me. Both Muffoletto and Freeburg seem to envisage technology from a holistic point of view in terms of scope and interactions. Using these definitions as a foundation for educational technology explorations, a person is left with generalized concepts that are not tied to any particular pedagogy, device or space. In this sense, both Muffoletto and Freeburg offer us an opportunity to push boundaries.
Muffoletto, R. (1994). Technology and restructuring education: Constructing a context. Educational Technology, 34(2), 24-28.
Feenburg, A. (2003). Questioning technology. New York, NY: Routledge.