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Accordingly, there are several discrete aspects to describing the intellectual and technical development of educational technology: An educational technologist is someone who is trained in the field of educational technology.
Educational technologists try to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate process and tools to enhance learning.
From their introduction, books and pamphlets have held a prominent role in education.
From the early twentieth century, duplicating machines such as the mimeograph and Gestetner stencil devices were used to produce short copy runs (typically 10–50 copies) for classroom or home use.
Educational content, pervasively embedded in objects, is all around the learner, who may not even be conscious of the learning process: students may not have to do anything in order to learn, they just have to be there.
The combination of adaptive learning, using an individualized interface and materials, which accommodate to an individual, who thus receives personally differentiated instruction, with ubiquitous access to digital resources and learning opportunities in a range of places and at various times, has been termed smart learning.
Richey defined educational technology as "the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources".
Cuisenaire rods were devised in the 1920s and saw widespread use from the late 1950s.
Educational technology is not restricted to high technology.
Educational technology encompasses e-learning, instructional technology, information and communication technology (ICT) in education, Ed Tech, learning technology, multimedia learning, technology-enhanced learning (TEL), computer-based instruction (CBI), computer managed instruction, computer-based training (CBT), computer-assisted instruction or computer-aided instruction (CAI), internet-based training (IBT), flexible learning, web-based training (WBT), online education, digital educational collaboration, distributed learning, computer-mediated communication, cyber-learning, and multi-modal instruction, virtual education, personal learning environments, networked learning, virtual learning environments (VLE) (which are also called learning platforms), m-learning, ubiquitous learning and digital education.
In the mid 1960s Stanford University psychology professors Patrick Suppes and Richard C.
Atkinson experimented with using computers to teach arithmetic and spelling via Teletypes to elementary school students in the Palo Alto Unified School District in California.