Edgar Dale

Edgar Dale (April 27, 1900 in Benson, Minnesota, – March 8, 1985 in Columbus, Ohio) was an American educationist who developed the Cone of Experience. He made several contributions to audio and visual instruction, including a methodology for analyzing the content of motion pictures. Born and raised in North Dakota he received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D from the University of Chicago.[1] His doctoral thesis was titled “Factual Basis for Curriculum Revision in Arithmetic with Special Reference to Children’s Understanding of Business Terms.”[2] and is precursor for his later work with vocabulary and readability. He was a professor of education at Ohio State University.

In 1933 Dale wrote a paper on how to effectively create a High School film appreciation class. This paper has been noted for having a very different view of adolescent interaction with films than that taken by the Film Control Boards of the time.

Early career

He was a teacher in a small rural school in North Dakota (1919–31). He was superintendent of schools at Webster, North Dakota (1921–24), and a teacher at the junior high school at Winnetka, Illinois (1924–26). His interest in film led to position with Eastman Kodak as a member of the editorial staff of Eastman Teaching Films (1928–29).

Cone of Experience

An example of the false “cone of learning” attributed to Dale

Dale’s “Cone of Experience,” which he intended to provide an intuitive model of the concreteness of various kinds of audio-visual media, has been widely misrepresented. Often referred to as the “Cone of Learning,” it purports to inform viewers of how much people remember based on how they encounter information. However, Dale included no numbers and did not base his cone on scientific research, and he also warned readers not to take the cone too seriously. The numbers may have originated as early as the 1940s, when a scholar at the University of Texas at Austin created visual aids for the military.




Dale’s Cone of Experience is a visual model that is composed of eleven (11) stages starting from concrete experiences at the bottom of the cone then it becomes more and more abstract as it reach the peak of the cone. Also, according to Dale, the arrangement in the cone is not based on its difficulty but rather based on abstraction and on the number of senses involved. The experiences in each stages can be mixed and are interrelated that fosters more meaningful learning.

According to one of the principles in the selection and use of teaching strategies, the more senses that are involved in learning, the more and the better the learning will be but it does not mean that concrete experience is the only effective experience that educators should use in transferring knowledge to the learner. Like what was mentioned above, the experiences in each stages can be mixed and are interrelated thus, a balance must be achieved between concrete and abstract experiences in order to cater the and address all the need of the learner in all the domains of development and in order to help each learner in their holistic development.

Moreover, the generalization about the Cone of Experience that was presented above is not enough. Actually, we should try to go deeper in each of the component of the cone since Educational Technology basically revolves around the Cone of Experience. By going one-by-one, starting from concrete to abstract, we will understand more the different components of the cone that will help us in grasping the real meaning of educational technology.

To expand on each of the components, let us begin with the Direct Purposeful Experiences. These are first hand experiences which serve as the foundation of learning. In this level, more senses are used in order to build up the knowledge. Also, in this level, the learner learned by doing things by him/herself. Learning happens through actual hands-on experiences. This level explains and proves one of the principles in the selection and use of teaching strategies, the more senses that are involved in learning, the more and the better the learning will be. This level also proves that educational technology is not limited to the  modern gadgets and software that are commercially available nowadays. This shows that even the simple opportunity that you give to each child could help them learn.

The next level would be the Contrived Experiences. In this level, representative models and mock-ups of reality are being used in order to provide an experience that as close as reality.  This level is very practical and it makes learning experience more accessible to the learner. In this stage, it provides more concrete experiences, even if not as concrete as direct experiences, that allows visualization that fosters better understanding of the concept.

On the other hand, the next level would be the Dramatized experiences. In this level, learners can participate in a reconstructed experiences that could give them better understanding of the event or of a concept. Through dramatized experiences, learners become more familiar with the concept as they emerge themselves to the “as-if” situation.

The next level would be the Demonstrations. It is a visualize explanation of important fact, idea, or process through the use of pictures, drawings, film and other types of media in order to facilitate clear and effective learning. In this level, things are shown based on how they are done.

Another level would be the Study Trips. This level extends the learning experience through excursions and visits on the different places that are not available inside the classroom. Through this level, the learning experience will not be limited to the classroom setting but rather extended in a more complex environment.

The level of study trips is followed by exhibits. It is a somewhat a combination of some of the first levels in the cone. Actually, exhibits are combination of several mock ups and models. Most of the time, exhibits are experiences that is “for your eyes” only but some exhibits includes sensory experiences which could be related to direct purposeful experiences. In this level, meanings ideas ar presented to the learners  in  a more abstract manner. This experience allows student to see the meaning and relevance of things based on the different pictures and representations presented.

The next levels would be the level of television and motion pictures and sti8ll pictures, recordings, and Radio. I decided to combine these two stages since it is re3lated to one another. Because of the rapid development of the modern technology, a lot of people believe that Educational technology is limited to these stages. They are not aware that these sages are only a small portion of EdTech. For television and motion pictures, it implies values and messages through television and films. On the other hand, still pictures, recordings and radio are visual and auditor4y devices that can be used by a lerner/group of learner that could enhance and extend lerning experience

Lastly, I also chose to combine the last two levels because they are used hand-in-hand. The last two levels would be the Visual symbolic and Verbal symbolic. These two levels are the most complex and abstract among all the components of the Cone of Experience. In the visual symbolic level, charts, maps, graphs, and diagrams are used for abstract representations. On the other hand, the verbal symbolic level does not involve visual representation or clues to their meanings. Mostly, the things involved in this level are words, ideas, pricicples, formula, and the likes.

After going through the different components of the Cone of Experience, it could be said that in facilitating learning, we can use variety of materials and medium in order to maximize the learning experience. One medium is not enough thus if we can take take advantage of the other media. There’s nothing wrong with trying to combine several medium for as long as it could benefit the learners. Also, through the levels provided by the Cone of Experience, it could be said that concrete experiences must be provided first in order to support abstract learning.  Lastly, staying on the concrete experiences is not even ideal because through providing abstract experiences to the learner, the more he/she will develop his/her higher order thinking skills which is important for more complex way of thinking and for dealing with more complex life situations. Through understanding each component of the Cone of Experience, it could be said that Educational Technology is not limited to the modern gadgets that we have right now but rather it is a broad concept that includes all the media that we can use to attain balance as we facilitate effective and meaningful learning.


Different Types of Educational Technology

The scientific, inventions and technological developments have influenced every walk of human life. There is rapid mechanization in the field of industries, defence, trade, administration, etc.

The educational process does not remain untouched by these advances. It has necessitated introduction of technology in the field of education.

Hence Educational Technology came with its various forms which are as under:-

1. Teaching Technology,

2. Instructional Technology,

3. Behavioural Technology,

4. Instructional design Technology.

Teaching is purposeful activity. The ultimate goal of teaching is to bring all-round development of a child. The knowledge and practice which help in realizing the goal is the content matter of teaching technology.

Teaching is an art as well as science because teaching can be studied objectively an scientifically. Teaching has the scientific foundation. This has evolved the concept of ‘teaching technology.’

Teaching technology is the application of philosophical, sociological and scientific knowledge to teaching for achieving some specific learning objectives.

I.K. Davies, N.L. Gange, Robert Gange, Burner and Robert Glaser have contributed significantly in this area of education. Silverman has termed it as constructive educational technology.

Assumptions of Teaching Technology

‘Technology of Teaching’ is based on the following assumptions:

1. Teaching is a scientific process and it has two major components: Content and communication.

2. The teaching activities can be modified and improved.

3. Teaching skills can be developed with the help of feedback devices.

4. A close relationship may be established between teaching and learning.

5. The learning objectives may be achieved by performing teaching activities.

K. Davies and Robert Glaser (1962), have developed the content of Technology of Teaching and classified it into four elements:

1. Planning of Teaching,

2. Organization of Teaching,

3. Leading of Teaching,

4. Controlling of Teaching.



What is Educational Technology?

Educational technology refers to the study and ethical practice of facilitating education and learning, to improve the performance of students, through the creation and use of management appropriate technological processes and resources. The term, educational technology, is typically associated with learning and instructional theory.

Although instructional theory typically covers the systems of learning and instruction in a learning environment, educational technology will include other systems used in the process of developing and subsequently augmenting human capability. As a result of this goal, educational technology will include, but is not limited to the introduction and use of software, hardware, as well as Internet applications and various educational activities.
Educational technology is most simply defined as the use of various tools, typically technological resources, which prove helpful in advancing a student’s learning capabilities. Educational technology, as a broad definition, can refer to material objects that are of use to humanity, such as the teachings of various machines or hardware, but the educational platform can also encompass looser themes, including various systems, techniques and methods of organization. In a specific sense, educational technology utilizes modern tools to augment a student’s understanding in a particular industry or educational subject.
The modern tools used in educational technology include, but are not limited to, laptop computers, overhead projectors computer programs, computerized games, smart phones and calculators. Those who employ or utilize such resources aim at exploring ide to streamline traditional educational efforts.
Theories of Educational Technology:
There are three primary theoretical schools or philosophies (Behaviorism, Cognitivism and Constructivism) attached to educational technology.  Behaviorism is the theoretical framework, developed in the early 20th century through various animal learning experiments.
These various studies and experiments were enacted to elucidate upon human learning and the capability of the human mind.
Although this philosophy has lost favor with the majority of educators in the United States, this subject of educational technology enabled science to transform the way we understand the ability to obtain and utilize information.
Cognitive science has also changed how educators view learning. Since the beginning of the cognitive revolution (1960s and 1970s), learning theory has undergone a face lift; cognitive theories look beyond human behavior to explain brain-based learning. Cognitivists, using this philosophy of educational technology, consider how human memory works to promote learning.
Constructivism is a learning theory used in educational technology and educational philosophy to explain how and why learners construct their own meaning from new information as they interact with their own reality or others with different perspectives.   A constructivist learning environment will require students to utilize their prior knowledge and personal experiences to formulate new and adaptive concepts in learning.
Using this framework, the role of the teacher becomes that of an intermediary, providing guidance to aid the learners in constructing their own knowledge. Those educators within this field of educational technology must ensure that prior learning experiences are appropriate and related to the concepts being taught.

Educational technology

Educational technology is the effective use of technological tools in learning. As a concept, it concerns an array of tools, such as media, machines and networking hardware, as well as considering theoretical perspectives for their effective application.[1][2]

Educational technology is not restricted to high technology.[3] Nonetheless, electronic educational technology has become an important part of society today.[4] Modern educational technology includes (and is broadly synonymous with) e-learning, instructional technology, information and communication technology (ICT) in education, EdTech, 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, virtual education, personal learning environments, networked learning, virtual learning environments (VLE) (which are also called learning platforms), m-learning, and digital education. These labels have been variously used and understood, and conflate to the broad domain of educational technology and e-learning.[5] These alternative descriptive terms are all more restrictive than “educational technology” in that they individually emphasize a particular digitization approach, component or delivery method. For example, m-learning emphasizes mobility, but is otherwise indistinguishable in principle from educational technology.

Theoretical perspectives and scientific testing may influence instructional design. The application of theories of human behavior to educational technology derives input from instructional theory, learning theory, educational psychology, media psychology and human performance technology.

Educational technology includes numerous types of media that deliver text, audio, images, animation, and streaming video, and includes technology applications and processes such as audio or video tape, satellite TV, CD-ROM, and computer-based learning, as well as local intranet/extranet and web-based learning. Information and communication systems, whether free-standing or based on either local networks or the Internet in networked learning, underlie many e-learning processes.[6]

Educational technology and e-learning can occur in or out of the classroom. It can be self-paced, asynchronous learning or may be instructor-led, synchronous learning. It is suited to distance learning and in conjunction with face-to-face teaching, which is termed blended learning. Educational technology is used by learners and educators in homes, schools (both K-12 and higher education), businesses, and other settings.


20 Essential Technology Terms for Teachers

1. One-to-One

Read as “one to one.” This simply means a school district or other environment (such as a lab) that has one computer or other device for every student, thus making the device-to-person ratio 1:1. Many schools in the K-12 arena are currently attempting to better integrate technology into their curriculum by “going 1:1.”

2. Adaptive Learning

This is an educational practice which uses computers as interactive instructional devices. The programs adapt the difficulty and/or style of educational material according to the particular needs of each student (determined by their responses to questions and tasks in the program).

3. Asynchronous Learning

A traditional classroom is an example of “synchronous learning,” where all students learn the same things at the same time and in the same place. Asynchronous learning is the opposite of that. Using the power of the Internet, students can now learn different things whenever they want and wherever they want, hence the term “asynchronous.”

4. AUP

Short for “Acceptable Use Policy.” The AUP is a document most likely produced by the school’s Board of Education. It specifies what a district’s staff and students may or may not do on the school’s network. Students (and often their parents as well) are usually required to sign one of these at the start of every school year.

5. Blended Learning

Blended learning is exactly what it sounds like: a teaching method that combines traditional classroom instruction with online or mobile learning activities.

6. Cloud

“The cloud” is not one single device or location. Rather, it is a metaphor for on-demand storage space or computing power managed by a third party. Dropbox’s syncing application is a good example of a “cloud” service, since your files are copied up to their servers and then back down to all of your devices with Dropbox installed.

7. CMS

CMS stands for Content Management System. CMS’s are essentially software or web applications that allow you to publish and edit content from one central interface. They also usually allow for collaborative editing, standalone pages, and other features. WordPress, the open-source blogging software, is a popular CMS.

8. Differentiated Learning

Differentiated learning is a teaching method that adjusts the presentation of the instructional material to better suite each individual student. While the learning goals are the same for all, some students learn differently than others, and so differentiated learning seeks to meet each student halfway, as it were, rather that force all the students to learn via the same method.

9. Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship means making good use of the Internet and having knowledge of how to operate web-connected devices safely while online. It also means that you can effectively use technology to interact responsibly with others to engage in society, politics, or other public discussion.

10. Digital Divide

The term digital divide is used to refer to a large gap in technology use between two groups. The two groups can be divided along economic, racial, age, or even gender lines. For example, Americans 55 and older report using the Internet the least out of all age groups, while those 18-24 report using the Internet the most [source]. This could be said to be a “digital divide.”

In education specifically, the “digital divide” most often refers to a divide in technology use along economic lines.

11. Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate, and create information using a range of digital technologies. For example, you know your Aunt Sue who always forwards you those emails because she thinks she’d be cursed otherwise? She wouldn’t exactly be digitally literate.

On the other hand, someone who knows not to trust everything they read online or who knows how to edit an article on Wikipedia might be called digitally literate.

12. Flipped Classroom

A “flipped classroom” is one in which teachers do not simply lecture to students for the entire class period. Rather, teachers work with students to solve problem sets or otherwise directly interact with the students. What would traditionally be a face-to-face lecture is then (at least in many cases) recorded and posted online for the students to watch as “homework.”

Thus the traditional-lecture-at-school-and-do-problems-at-home model is inverted, or “flipped.”

13. GAFE

This acronym stands for “Google Apps for Education,” a popular Internet-based suite of applications designed specifically for schools. It features email, document creation and collaboration, and many other tools that districts find useful.

14. Gamification

Gamification, while it may be somewhat of a mouthful, is actually a pretty simple concept: it’s the making of boring, everyday, or ordinary activities into a game-like activity. iCivics is a perfect example of gamification; they’ve taken something many students would bristle at (learning about the federal budget) and made it into a fun and educational game.

15. LMS

LMS is short for Learning Management System. An LMS is a piece of software that is capable administering, documenting, and tracking classroom activities. Teachers and staff often use LMS’s to make their work more efficient, as well as to increase student engagement. Schoology is one example of an LMS.

16. M-Learning

Short for “mobile learning”, m-learning simply means any learning activity that takes place on a mobile device.The word “mobile” is also relative; it could mean a laptop, a tablet, or something even smaller and more mobile, like a cellphone.

17. MOOC

MOOC stands for “Massively open online course.” These are becoming more and more popular lately as several Ivy League universities have started offering some of their coursework online. Coursera and Udacity are two of the biggest MOOC websites.

18. Podcast

A podcast is similar to a radio show: they’re audio-only “shows” distributed not via radio waves, but via the Internet. There are podcasts on an unlimited number of topics, and many are educational and appropriate for students. Check out our favorites in these two posts.

19. QR Code

That’s a QR code! It’s sort of like a barcode, and it can hold almost any text, links, or information you want. Scan ours with an app on your phone and see what happens! You can generate your own here.

20. Wiki

A wiki is a website that allows anyone to add, modify, or delete information from it. Wikipedia is one of these, hence it’s name. Wikis are often used to develop encyclopedia-like knowledge bases on particular topics, like math or even video games. Many schools use wikis for internal projects and student websites.


For example, a math application that detects when some students are having trouble with division and then has those students spend more time reviewing it would be considered adaptive.