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September 4, 2015 | 20th Elul 5775

Educational Technology Overview Article

Educational Technology

What is Educational Technology?

There are a myriad of definitions of educational technology, but it can succinctly be defined as processes and tools used to address educational needs. This definition would include different tools throughout history, encompassing items such as pens and paper. Today computers and televisions could be included in the list of educational tools.


  • Learning Theories
  • Models of Curricula Design
  • Acknowledgement of Future Inventions


  • Film
  • Slides
  • Computer
  • Internet and WWW
  • Productivity Software
  • Learning Software

Why Use Technology?

The real struggle is to answer the big question of why to use or purchase new technology in the first place.


  • Engaging – Using technology allows you to engage the learner’s attention and enables students to create their own work and feel more control over the learning experience.
  • Unique – Facilitates the creation of unique experiences for students.
  • Learning Theory and Approaches – Enables different types of interactions; cooperative learning, student-centered learning and problem solving.
  • Teacher Productivity – Teachers can use software to create lesson plans and handouts. In addition, computers provide easy access to numerous resources that can be used in the classroom.
  • Skill Building – Students can improve their technological skills and learn how technology can help them Jewishly.

How Do You Decide?

The two questions that need to be addressed regarding integrating educational technology are, “When to use it?” and “What to use?” To answer these questions, use the ADDIE Model that is utilized by educational technologists to determine how to integrate technology into an existing curriculum. The model is both student and teacher centered. It is useful for integrating technology into a single program or an entire school. It helps you to decide what equipment and teacher training are necessary to successfully integrate technology into your schools and classrooms.

ADDIE Model for Technology Integration Planning

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation


The analysis portion is essentially a needs assessment of where you currently stand and where you would like to be in regards to educational technology. Not all congregations need to purchase expensive equipment. For these schools, the best uses of technology would be Internet based. When evaluating your schools, ask yourself some of the following questions:

What type of skills relating to technology will our teachers need to possess?
Are there any defined gaps that technology might be able to fill?
How will technology fit the school’s vision, mission and philosophy?
hat resources would we need to integrate and implement a new technology?
What, if anything, are we currently using technology for?
Will new technologies be cost effective?


The design segment is for goal setting. To facilitate this process you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

What will the administrative goals be?
What will the teacher productivity goals be?
What will the instructional goals be? 

Technology should come to a school in a specific order. First the administrative goals must be determined. For example, setting up an informational database, developing a school website and creating e-newsletters. Secondly, productivity goals for teachers need to be established. Teachers should be trained using the productivity software and Internet to make their jobs easier. Lastly, students’ needs have to be addressed. A fully integrated curriculum that uses technology to enhance student learning must be developed.


At this point in the process, you will develop an outline of your educational technology plan. The specifics of how you will implement the plan, as well as an acceptable use policy (AUP) for the use of the Internet in your school will be addressed during this stage.

Important questions to address at this point are:

How will we communicate our plan?
If using the Internet, what safeguard will we put in place (filtering software, etc)?

What rules will govern the use of our new technology?
What will be the specific steps we take to reach our goals?


This step is the actual execution of your plan. You may need to hire a specialist to insure that your technological needs are met and that everything is in order.

Is everything and everyone in place to make the plan successful?
Do all key stakeholders buy in to the plan, and how will they assist in the implementation process?


In this stage you will assess and revise your plan to make sure your needs have been met. This includes continually monitoring the process and updating your choices based on the changing goals and needs of the school.

Are we meeting our goals?
What changes can be made to assist us in reaching our goals?

Are we keeping up with the changes in technology?
Are we remaining true to our school’s overarching goals?

Technology ABCs

Technology Must Be…

  • Accessible– Teachers need to know how to use the technology so that it is helpful to them.
  • Beneficial and enhancing for the learners – There has to be a reason to use technology.
  • Cost effective
  • Demonstrating something that cannot be done in a less complex way
  • Easy to use

Adapted from a presentation by Rene?e B. Rittner (9/17/2003)

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