Differentiate between technology of education and technology in education.

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Technology of education deals with systematic application of the resources of scientific knowledge of the processes of learning that each individual has to pass through in order to acquire and use knowledge. Technology in education refers to the use of technological hardware in education.

(ii) What do you mean by hardware (H/w) and software (S/w) aspects of educational technology?

Hardware aspect of educational technology refers to machine aspect of educational technology which includes tape recorder, computer, OHP etc. Software aspect of educational technology includes audio/video cassettes, microfilm, slides etc. while the former is based on engineering principles; the latter is based on psychological and sociological principles.

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(iii) What do you know about cybernetic phase of educational evolution by technology?

Cybernetic Phase: The cybernetics tradition which lays emphasis on feedback is traced back to the Second World War where there was a need for a systematic communication and control system. Cybernetics has been defined as the comparative study of the human (or biological) control mechanism and electro-mechanical control systems such as computers. The word cybernetes in Greek, means “steersman”, which emphasizes the principle of feedback control. The feedback refers to a kind of reciprocal interaction between two or more events in which one activity generates a secondary action which, in turn redirects the primary action. The feedback system has three functions:

(a) It generates movement of the system towards a target or in a defined path,

(b) It compares the effect of this action with the true path and detects error, and

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(c) It utilizes error signal to redirect the system. A simple form of the cybernetic model is presented in figure below.

(iv) Write short note on psychology-sociology based phase of evolution of technology.

Psychology-Sociology Based Phase: Based on his theory, Pressey (1926) developed a teaching machine. It provided an automatic scoring device to the learners on immediate feedback basis. So, this was the first step towards the formulation of systematic learning. Subsequently, the theory of B.F. Skinner (1953) i.e., operant conditioning and the work of Norman A. Crowder opened new chapters in developing Programmed Learning Materials. Their main contribution was that human behaviour can be shaped. The following are the principles of operant conditioning:

1. Immediate reinforcement to student’s response,

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2. Gradual progression to establish complex repertoires, and

3. Revision or modification of the programme to fit the students.

In addition to the contributions by this behaviouristic psychology cognitive psychology has also thrown more light on how learning takes place. Piaget and Bruner, later day constructivist psychologists, have pointed out that a human individual is not only “taught” by external forces, but he also learns, constructs his own world – e.g. concept maps etc., organizes his own learning, masters the environment around and changes/modifies his behaviours/steers his ship at his own initiative, etc.

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