The Proper Way to Become an Instructional Technologist – Lloyd Rieber

The Proper Way to Become an Instructional Technologist – Lloyd Rieber

So, what is the proper way to become an instructional technologist? Obviously, my position is that there is not one way and that we should value the diversity of the people who make up our profession. I also challenge each faculty member and student to stand back from their graduate curricula and question the purpose and relevance of the experiences that are contained there. However, this is all too easy, so I end by offering two lists. The first is one I posted on ITFORUM awhile back. Its my way of “reverse engineering” what I do in language that people outside the field can understand such as my parents:

I’m an instructional technologist……

    I help people learn new things.
    I solve problems in education and training, or find people who can.
    I use lots of different tools in my job; some are things like computers and video, other tools are ideas, like knowing something about how people learn and principles of design.
    I know a lot about these tools, but I know I have to use them competently and creatively for the task at hand before they will work.
    I consider using all of the resources available to me, though sometimes I have to go and find additional resources.
    I am most interested in helping children, but many of my colleagues work with adults.
    I resist doing things only because “weve always done it that way,” but Im also careful not to fall for fads or gimmicks.
    I always try to take the point of view of the person who is going to be using the stuff I make while Im making it; thats really hard, so I get people to try out my stuff as soon as I can to see what I am doing wrong.
    Im not afraid to say, “Yes, thats a better way to do it.”

Finally, here is a list of things I feel one needs to do to become, and remain, an instructional technologist and represents, I hope, the best of what we are doing in our graduate programs:

    Do Instructional TechnologyWork with people; take a genuine interest in their interests; listen.
    Study the design process, study how people learn individually and collectively, and study medias role in learning.
    Strive to understand the interdependency of theory, research, and practice.
    Learn the “hows and whats” of media.
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