It is not possible to determine who coined the term educational technology. Different educators, scientists, and philosophers have formulated different definitions for Educational Technology. Educational technology can be described as a complex and integrated process that involves people, procedures, ideas, devices and organizations. Technology from various fields of science is used to implement, evaluate, and manage solutions to all aspects of learning.
The five stages of educational technology have been broadly defined.
The use of aids such as charts, diagrams, symbols, models and specimens is the first stage in educational technology. Educational technology is a synonym for audio-visual aids.
The second stage in educational technology is the “electronic revolution”, which saw the creation and establishment of advanced hardware and software. The educational scene has been transformed by the introduction of audio-visual aids such as tape-recorder and radio, tape-recorder, magic lanterns, television, radio, and projector. These sophisticated tools and equipments were used to effectively present instructional materials. This is the educational technology concept.
The development of mass media, which led to the ‘communication revolution’ in educational technology, is the third stage of education technology. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI), which has been used in education since the 1950s, also gained popularity during this time.
The fourth stage in educational technology can be identified by the individualized process of instruction. Programmable learning and programed instruction gave rise to a new dimension in educational technology. The self-learning system was based on self-instructional material and teaching machines.
The concept of system engineering, or system approach, is the latest in educational technology. It focuses on language labs, teaching machines, program instruction, multimedia technologies, and the use of computers in instruction. Educational technology, according to this definition, is a method of planning, carrying out, and evaluating the entire process of teaching and learning based on specific objectives.
Education technology in the Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the origin of the term educational technology can be traced back at the time of the three age system periodization human prehistory, which consists of the Stone Age and the Bronze Ages, as well as the Iron Age.
The Stone Age was a time when simple technological innovations were of paramount importance. These included the ability to light fire with rubbing stones, making various utensils and weapons from stones, and clothing practice. A small number of Stone Age people were able to build ocean-worthy outrigger boats to move across the Ocean. This was how they began to learn about the ocean currents, weather conditions and sailing practices, as well as star maps. Polished stone tools were used for agricultural purposes during the Neolithic period. They were made largely from hard rocks by digging underground tunnels. This can be considered the beginning of mining technology. Even after the appearance of iron and bronze, polished axes proved so useful that people still used them for clearing forests and setting up crop farms.
Stone Age cultures did not leave any written records, but archaeological evidences showed that they moved from nomadic to agricultural life. Prehistoric tools found in museums and cave paintings such as Altamira Cave, Spain, and other art from prehistory, including the Venus of Willendorf, Mother Goddess, Laussel, France, etc. These are just a few of the evidences that support their cultures.
The Neolithic Revolution of Stone Age led to the appearance of Bronze Age, which saw the development of agriculture, animal husbandry, and permanent settlements. Bronze Age people developed metal smelting to further their practices. Copper and bronze were later made from an alloy of copper and tin.
Iron utensils, which were more durable than their bronze counterparts, were replaced by Iron Age people who learned how to smelt iron. The Iron Age, in many Eurasian cultures was the final period before written scripts were developed.
Education technology during the period Ancient civilizations
Paul Saettler (2004) says that educational technology dates back to when ancient cultures created pictographs and sign writing to transmit and record information. There are many instructional techniques or sets of procedures that were developed to help a culture. These methods can be found at every stage of human civilisation. They have been supported by numerous investigations and evidences. The technology of instruction that reflects specific social and individual behaviours to create an educated society became more complex as the culture advanced. Each significant shift in educational goals and objectives over the centuries has led to diverse technologies for instruction.
The rise of ancient civilizations was the catalyst for the greatest technological and engineering advances. These innovations influenced and educated other societies around the globe to adopt new ways and practices of governance and living.
Indus Valley Civilization, an early Bronze Age civilization, was found in the Indian Subcontinent’s northwestern region. The Indus River basin of Indus and the Punjab region was where the civilization flourished. It extended up to the Ghaggar–Hakra River Valley and the Ganges–Yamuna Doab. (Most of this part is now under Pakistan and western India, but there’s a small part that extends up to southeastern Afghanistan and the easternmost parts of Balochistan, Iran).
The language the Harappan people spoke is still a matter of debate. Their writing is thought to have been either a pictographic or cursive script. There were about 400 signs in the script, but there were many variations. The direction is generally written from left to right in scripts. The majority of the writing was found on sealings and seals that were likely used in trade and administrative work.