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Hello Rachel, Richard...!

I'm unsure about the use of the terms "education technology" and "educational technology". As you can see from the advert quoted below, there seems to be some confusion:

On Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 17 different educational technologies developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be included among the exhibits in an Education Technology Showcase on Capitol Hill, in Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building. Sponsored by the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the event's special guests include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as Senators Patty Murray, Jeff Bingaman, Kay Hagan and Bill Nelson (invited).

The event will showcase the use of technology in education at all levels, including K-12, and will include technologies for teacher development. Researchers and students will present demonstrations and exhibits highlighting the latest research and education technologies.

What: Educational Technology Showcase

When: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009,
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Where: Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902
Constitution Ave., between 1st and 2nd Sts. NE
Washington, D.C.

Which is the correct term in this case? Please help me see the light...!
Thank you.
Gilbert
Last edited {1}
Original Post
What an interesting question, Gilbert! I can see your confusion, and I wonder myself why I have never thought about this before.

Here’s my impression: ‘Education’ and ‘educational’ can often be used interchangeably as adjectives to mean the same thing, that is, having to do with education.

But not always!

I think that ‘educational’ used as an adjective refers to something that has the purpose of educating, and is meant to be instructional. For example, when people ask me what I do in my job, I say that I write educational materials. It would not occur to me to say that I write education materials.

When ‘education’ is used as the adjective, it seems to refer more to the whole subject of education. For example, cities have education budgets, students study in the education department, and these education classes might take place in the education building.

The several dictionaries in which I have just looked up ‘education’ do not have this word listed as an adjective. Yet we know that most nouns can become adjectives and that perfectly fine and expressive phrases are invented this way.

Thankfully, Bryan Garner addresses this subject. He says at ‘educational; educative; educatory’:

  • Educational = (1) having to do with education ; or (2) serving to further educate , (In sense 1, education is often used attributively to prevent a miscue that sense 2 was intended . An educational issue is not an issue that is educational.)
    _______

    Garner’s educated statement states more succinctly what I was musing about.

    In your passages, Gilbert:

    On Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 17 different educational technologies developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be included among the exhibits in an Education Technology Showcase…the latest research and [/b]education technologies[/b]

    ‘Education technology’ must be meant to refer to the field of technology for education.


    What: Educational Technology Showcase
    Here, ‘educational’ means that this particular technology is supposed to educate.
    _______
    *Garner’s Modern American English, by Bryan A. Garner. Oxford 2003
  • Last edited by Rachel, Moderator
    Yes, often ‘educative’ is / can be interchanged with ‘educational.’

    The defined meanings are very slightly different. ‘Educative’ means ‘tends to educate,’ and connotes, perhaps, something educates without being intended to educate. ‘Educational’ carries the meaning that something is supposed to educate.

    Nevertheless, in the following examples, ‘educational’ and ‘educative’ could be interchanged. Perhaps careful writers like Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof would not substitute ‘educational’ for ‘educated,’ but most would and do.

    The New York Times Archives has 243 examples of ‘educative’ over the past year, like these:

    • Health Care Reform D.O.A.? - The Opinionator Blog
    and it will do so more enthusiastically if Obama learns from the Clinton experience and rises to the educative role that he relishes. ...


    • Ask Paul Krugman Questions About the Economy - Paul Krugman Blog ...
    Anyway, there will be a universal educative effect, as millions of people would accompany a trial of such extensive scope. ...October 4, 2009 - Paul Krugman: The Conscience of a Liberal

    • I'm a-Twitter - Nicholas D. Kristof Blog
    I am simply thrilled by your flair for informative/educative writing style brimming with objective information that helps change millions of ...

    The NYT has over 10,000 examples of ‘educational’ in the same period:

    • Industry Makes Pitch That Smartphones Belong in Classroom
    “Cellphones so far haven't been an educational tool. They've been a distraction. ” Ms. Bass says it is “almost laughable that the cellphone ...

    • No Einstein in Your Crib? Get a Refund
    “We see it as an acknowledgment by the leading baby video company that baby videos are not educational, and we hope other baby media ...October 24, 2009 - By TAMAR LEWIN - Education

    • Industry Makes Pitch That Smartphones Belong in Classroom
    “Cellphones so far haven't been an educationaltool. They've been a distraction. ” Ms. Bass says it is “almost laughable that the cellphone ...
    _______

    We see that ‘educational’ is much more frequent than ‘educative,’ and used in more formal or academic contexts. In everyday speech, it rarely occurs.
    Thanks Rachel but phew...! That's quite a lot for my little mind to digest!

    1 Rachel, do you think that 'education technology' (in the first part of the advertisement), could have been a typo?

    2 Rachel, if there was a Division (say, in the Ministry of Education) that produces and distributes audio and video materials, interactive CDs as well as web-based materials to enhance the teaching & learning process, would we call it an EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY Division or an EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY Division?

    Thanks a lot, Rachel, for your time and trouble.

    Gilbert
    Gilbert, in this case, I am not sure. Both seem right to me.

    Tell you what. I'm posting two URLS here, Maybe you can do two searches on each, one for "education technology" and one for "educational technology." You might get an idea of which phrase is closer to what you want.

    The first is the URL for the US Department of Education:

    http://www.ed.gov/results.html...sa.y=7&sa=submit#997

    The second is for TESOL:

    http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/index.asp

    Let us know what you decide!
    Thanks Rachel. I've done the searches as you suggested and... I... er... er... I... don't know which to choose! However, I am in total agreement with you as both of them seem right.

    If I appply the rules of grammar, I would choose 'educational' instead of 'education'. But if I think of it in terms of meaning, both work.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH........!
    (Ah, that felt good!)

    Thanks, Rachel.
    Gilbert

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