Assignment 3: Reading: The Proper Way to Become an Instructional Technologist

Article Link: http://it.coe.uga.edu/~lrieber/pdean/

Written as an essay prior to the author's lecture at the 1998 AECT convention, it describes his insights into the Peter Dean Lecture and the contents of that lecture. The Peter Dean Lecture is designed to give a designated speaker the opportunity to give his views on the challenges, future, and vision of Educational Technology.

Motivated by an article he read entitled, "The Proper study of Educational Technology", he began to think of a different question: "What is the proper way to become an instructional technologist?"

The first component he presents (and to a certain extent, disvows) is formal education as a means to becoming an instructional technologist. While he agrees that education is important, he raises the question of the importance of context and applied learning. Presenting his life as just one example of a pathway to instructional technology, he demostrates how context and applied learning fit in with the foundations of instructional technology.

The second method presented as a pathway to instructional technology is that of "computer scientist." Comparing two different carpenters (one pro-technology; one not), he emphasizes the importance of technological tools in instructional technology.

Philosophy and its role within instructional technology are explored as well scientific study and research through physics and mathematics, which finally circles back to formal education.

The author brings these somewhat diverse and competing "pathways" together as theory, research, and practice. How best to prepare students for the real world? In discussing changes in UGA's IT program towards a studio based program , he points out that research remains an issue.

Concluding that there is no ONE way to become an Instructional Technology, the author provides a list of statements which complete a definition for an Instructional Technologist, a list of "suggested" tasks to become an Instructional Technologist, and a list of questions to find out more about those who are Instructional Technologists.

The list of statements posted in "I'm an Instructional Technologist..." gives a much clearer image of what it means to be an Instructional Technologist than a brief definition could; additionally, the various pathways explored provide an insight into the various components which comprise Instructional Technology.