1 Introduction

Education technology is the science and art of creating effective and efficient instructional environments with the use of technologies. Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), the leading professional organization in the field, defined instructional technology as:

Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources (AECT, 2007).*

This definition shows the truly interdisciplinary nature of the field. To put it simply, educational technology covers a large scope of disciplines including psychology (for learning models and theories), instructional design (for the design of instructional systems), technology (for facilitating the learning process); ethics (for the application of ethical principles for every action taken to design learning processes). Other disciplines also support educational technology, such as economics, philosophy, information sciences, and many others.

Just like the knowledgebase of educational technology is highly interdisciplinary, there is also no limitation as to which discipline or subject matter this knowledgebase can be applied. In other words, educational technology provides a framework and educators apply it to their content matter, whether it is social sciences or languages. Some think that educational technology is a field only for education-related disciplines, this is far from the truth. To put it another way, all academic disciplines can benefit from the techniques and processes employed by educational technology experts.

Another misconception about educational technologies is that the field is commonly mistaken as using technologies solely in formal educational settings. However, informal learning that occurs beyond the traditional classroom environment also uses educational technologies extensively. In recent years, with the advance of many modern technologies that permeate our daily lives, this tendency has become even stronger. In addition, many instructors complain that they or their students do not have access to expensive technologies, or they lack the skills or time to create effective experiences with technology. Many innovative ideas float in the field (flipped learning, augmented learning, task-based learning, and many more) and they all sound quite promising to promote student learning, and participation and solve all educational problems. However, educational technology alone does not solve all learning problems, but it provides a strong foundation for educators to rely on. Then the question becomes how? How to use augmented reality in a middle school English classroom? How to teach a foreign language class online with limited technological resources, especially the ones that provide immersive experiences such as 360 videos?

The purpose of this e-book is to answer some of these questions. The e-book shows step-by-step instructions on how to use, integrate, and evaluate immersive technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality. The last chapter of the e-book includes examples of technology integration drawn from the Ukrainian language and culture, however, the book is intended for all language and culture instructors. No previous language skill is needed to take full advantage of the book, including Ukrainian. The book will discuss some of the innovative ideas that can inspire and revamp the stagnant learning environments, but its focus is to provide ‘how to’ information for ‘all’ language instructors.


Ukrainian language and culture were chosen to provide examples of the technology integration approach presented in this book. Some may wonder why English was not used to attract a larger group of language instructors. The answers to these questions can be found in the personal experiences of the author.

I was a Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine in 2017-2018, where I taught a course about emerging technologies at the Kyiv Polytechnic University. This course was intended as a professional development course for university faculty members from all academic disciplines. I also taught a similar course to the undergraduate students, this time with a focus on free and open-source applications. During my time in Ukraine, I was hosted by Kyiv Polytechnic University, Kyiv Linguistics University, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine, Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv Institute for Business and Technology, Kyiv Vadym Hetman National Economic University, Chernihiv State Pedagogical University, and University of Lviv where I met with faculty members and students from various disciplines. They all were interested in the topics I was presenting and asked many questions about how to use modern technologies in their content areas. Their questions were not much different from the ones I encountered in the U.S., but their enthusiasm was distinct. After this experience, my education in Ukrainian culture started, when I started reading and studying every aspect of Ukrainian culture. In 2022-2023, I received another Fulbright Scholar grant to Ukraine but due to the current war, I was relocated to Warsaw, Poland. This e-book is the result of the second fellowship, where I respond to my Ukrainian colleagues and their inquiries about “how to use emerging technologies” in their classrooms. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of traveling to Ukraine, I could not develop the 360-video activities I originally planned, so in this book, I relied heavily on the augmented reality technologies and 360-videos freely available in Ukraine.

The second reason for the selection of Ukrainian is the lack of resources available to Ukrainian learners. Highlighting Ukrainian language and culture may encourage other less commonly taught language instructors and with the help of modern technologies can bridge the gap in lack of sources for their students.

How to Use This Book

This book consists of three sections. In Section 1, background and foundational information is provided for language teachers before they start using immersive technologies in their classrooms. To serve this purpose, Chapter 1 presents immersive technologies and their uses in language classrooms. A literature review is provided to better understand the benefits of using such technologies in the classroom, as well as its limitations. Chapter 2 discusses intercultural competency and the reasons why this concept plays a key role in teaching foreign languages in the 21st century. In addition, this chapter is heavily grounded in the learning design approaches to provide a different perspective on teaching intercultural competency. After this conceptual content, Section 2 presents ‘how-to’ information. Successful implementation of immersive technologies depends on the understanding of the technical knowledge. Therefore, Chapter 3 focuses on the technical information needed to use immersive technologies, while Chapter 4 offers examples, lesson plans, and teaching activities. Section 3 of the book presents a conclusion along with additional resources for language instructors.


Definition of the Field of Instructional Technology. Accessed at: http://arcmit01.uncw.edu/erg1602/Definition.pdf

* For a detailed discussion of the educational technology definitions over the years, see Association for Educational Communications and Technology (2007). Definition. A. Januszewski, & M. Molenda (Eds.), Educational technology: A definition with commentary (pp. 1–14). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associate.