Technology can support and enhance learning. Some individuals are concerned that technology may replace practices that are already seen as effective. Others stress that technology can enhance the learning process. In this discussion you’ll look at the relationship between technology and effective educational practices. Prior to completing this discussion read Lee (2012).

Initial Post: Create an initial response that addresses the following:

Part 1: Research.

  • Locate one scholarly resource that examines the use of technology to support and/or enhance learning.
  • Provide the full APA citation for this source.
  • Provide a summary of the resource you’ve located. This summary should be at least 100 words, but not more than 150 words, in length.

Part 2: Reflect.

Answer the following:

  • What are the dangers and benefits of encouraging educators to replace existing practices with practices that use new technologies, even if the existing practices are effective?
  • How can we incorporate technology into education while maintaining adherence to academic standards?
  • How has technology influenced skills needed for success in the 21st Century?


We can trace the history of instructional technology back to the early 20th century, with early visual materials, including film, in the first decades, and Pressey’s teaching machine (1926), which was based on E. L. Thorndike’s theories (1913). As is often the case today, those early activities focused on the media. In the 1950s, B. F. Skinner introduced programmed instruction, in which instruction is presented in small steps, and learners receive frequent questions with immediate feedback.

In the 1960s, the PLATO system was developed at the University of Illinois and continued to deliver instruction through the 1980s. While much good courseware was produced for PLATO, its origins were in the electrical engineering department.  Educators quickly became interested, but the technology was driving development.  As many new technologies for authoring, programming, delivering, and assessing instruction have been developed, they have generally followed technological innovations in industry. Rarely has an instructional technology been developed strictly on the basis of an educational need. A case in point is mobile technologies. Many educators, and others, quickly determined that mobile technologies should be used for education because they are ubiquitous, without an understanding of the potential effectiveness of such devices.

In this unit you will explore how to harness new technology effectively while maintaining practices and paradigm from the past that have proven to be effective.


Lee, W. O. (2012). Learning for the future: The emergence of lifelong learning and the internationalisation of education as the fourth way? Educational Research for Policy and Practice, 11(1), 53-64.

  • The full-text version of this article is available through the ERIC database in the Ashford University Library.


ISVP Boston. (2012, March 21). Creating innovators a lecture by Tony Wagner (Links to an external site.). YouTube. 

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  • Analyze social, cultural and historical factors that have driven educational practices and  how those  factors have influenced the development  of technology and innovation in education.
    Analyze how innovation and technology are changing teaching and learning today, and how educators, administrators and other leaders can affect change while preserving traditional strengths.

1. Summarize key events in educational history, especially noting the influences of technology and innovation.2. Analyze social, cultural and historical factors that have driven educational practices and how those factors have influenced the development of technology and innovation in education.

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