Education History of Technology Integration in Education
Marie Heath, Andrea H. Parrish
  • LAST REVIEWED: 24 September 2020
  • LAST MODIFIED: 24 September 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0256


This entry identifies key works which both summarize the history of educational technology in the 20th and 21st centuries and identify major influences in the field. Educational technology as a field is influenced by educational psychology and instructional design, and follows a similar epistemological and ontological trajectory as these fields. Thus the history of the field can be understood chronologically and thematically. This entry identifies works that provide both types of overviews of the history of educational technology. It furthermore includes works that are often considered foundational to the field, including historical debates which continue to influence policy, practice, and research.

Thematic Overviews

One way to conceptualize the field of educational technology is by tracing the historical trends within the field in order to examine the impact of philosophical and psychological perspectives. Ely 2008 takes this approach to offer a brief overview of educational technology in the 20th century. Ertmer and Newby 2013 and Schuh and Barab 2008 also frame changes in educational technology pedagogy within larger shifts in educational psychology. Koschmann 1996 attempts to organize the history of the field through paradigms of technology and educational psychology. Chapters within Duffy and Jonassen 2013 review the field using similar frameworks as Ertmer and Newby 2013. Selwyn 2016 emphasizes the role of society in impacting the field of technology and educational technology.

  • Duffy, T. M., and D. H. Jonassen, eds. 2013. Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.

    Edited book which includes both overviews of educational technology within philosophical and psychological perspectives and chapters on effective technology use and instructional design to support constructivist learning. In particular, the book explores the student-centered aspect of constructivist learning through educational technology. The chapters providing overviews grounded in psychological perspectives are particularly useful for developing a historical understanding of educational technology.

  • Ely, D. 2008. Frameworks of educational technology. British Journal of Educational Technology 39.2:244–250.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00810.x

    Journal article tracing historical trends in educational technology. Useful to contextualize the field and provide broad overviews.

  • Ertmer, P. A., and T. J. Newby. 2013. Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. In Special issue: Research update on key training and mentoring topics. Edited by Karen Medsker. Performance Improvement Quarterly 26.2:43–71.

    DOI: 10.1002/piq.21143

    Article examining historical trends in educational technology and instructional design within the contexts of psychological perspectives of behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism.

  • Koschmann, T. 1996. Paradigm shifts and instructional technology. In CSCL: Theory and practice of an emerging paradigm. Edited by T. Koschmann, 1–23. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    A historical analysis of educational technology as paradigm changes. Examines technology changes and uses them as the frames for the paradigms. Then examines paradigm changes through frames of psychological perspectives. Useful for graduate students.

  • Schuh, K. L., and S. A. Barab. 2008. Philosophical perspectives. In Handbook of research on educational communications and technology. Edited by J. M. Spector, M. D. Merill, J. van Merrienboer, and M. P. Driscoll, 67–82. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Book chapter that traces the historical pedagogical trends in educational technology and aligns them with broader philosophical and psychological perspectives and learning theories. Especially helpful for exploring the underlying ontology and epistemology of pedagogy. Useful for scholars and graduate students.

  • Selwyn, N. 2016. Education and technology: Key issues and debates. 2d ed. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

    A critical evaluation of the historical trends in technology in education. Especially focuses on social issues and the nonneutrality of technology. Useful for educators, scholars, and graduate students.

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