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Web-based education, also called 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 considers underlying theoretical perspectives for their effective application.

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.

Theoretical perspectives and scientific testing 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 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 (Pre-school, K-12 and higher education), businesses, and other settings.

Educational Technology is not restricted to high technology. Also called e-learning, it includes an array of approaches, components, and delivery methods. For example, e-learning emphasizes mobility but is otherwise indistinguishable in principle from educational technology.