Professor Ana Donaldson, President of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), details some of the major contemporary developments in instructional technologies, and explains why it is so important for educational professionals to keep pace with such advances…
Professor Ana Donaldson
The mission of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) is to provide international leadership by promoting scholarship and best practices in the creation, use and management of technologies for effective teaching, learning and performance in a wide range of settings and contexts.
Technology is integral to education in nearly every context and at all levels, from early childhood to professional development in both formal and informal settings
Professor Ana Donaldson
Technology is integral to education in nearly every context and at all levels, from early childhood to professional development in both formal and informal settings. Many kinds of technological resources are now available, including interactive simulations, handheld learning devices, virtual learning environments, and an enormous number and variety of digital multimedia and digitised information. Advances are being made daily. These resources must be seamlessly woven into the fabric of teaching and learning if today's schools are to teach the knowledge and 21st
Century skills that students need for tomorrow's world. Never before has effective technology integration been so challenging and yet so vital to educational progress.
The digital revolution that is driving advances in educational technology is closely intertwined with communications technology. For example, the internet supports both telephone and videoconferencing, in many cases better and more cheaply than previous technologies. As a result, a new era of Web 2.0 tools and technologies are emerging that interweave information and communications technology in support of a variety of goals, include education. Modern digital communication and collaboration enhance what we know and can know, and they open doors to new knowledge, instructional methods and performance support.
Educators, trainers, parents and students must not only share responsibility for becoming informed users of technology but also must understand the ethical, social and legal issues inherent in our developing digital culture, both inside and outside educational settings.
All concerned individuals must ensure the humane and ethical use of educational technologies at all levels, from the personal through global applications. It is important for us to act now, and enlarge the worldwide knowledge base of the field of educational communications and technology.