While cleaning my office desk I found a piece of newspaper I had “archived” because it depicts an ad for an educational tool that nicely illustrates a few crucial things about educational technology.
1) Educational Technology is praised.
2) Educational Technology is praised for its positive effects on learning (“making it easier” in this case).
3) Educational Technology is praised for its positive effects on learning in a very broad sense (“learning of foreign languages” here, although it merely helps the learner to better memorize words or expressions of a foreign language, which is of course a very narrow educational objective).
4) Educational Technology comes in different versions (A5 and A4 formats here).
5) Educational Technology does not have to be digital, new, computer-based or even very technical
6) Educational Technology implies a certain view of learning, i.e. there is an implicit theory of learning and teaching embedded in the “recommended use” of the tool
7) Educational Technology is praised to “replace” the teaching person (the tool is called a “trainer” here and it effectively eliminates the teacher, in a certain sense at least).
I cannot get rid of the impression that the ad tries to sell this low-tech tool as a miracle solution for foreign language learning, while its scope is certainly rather limited and it lacks some important features, which a computer-based tool may easily offer in the case of memorizing vocabulary, like keeping track of the learning progress, adaptative vocabulary presentation, error analysis, or giving access to the pronunciation of the foreign words.
To be fair, we should however acknowledge that this tool is really inexpensive and that it may be of some help to some learners, if they use it wisely…
Sorry, forgot to attach the scanned image… 🙂