Instructional Technology has been part of my title for the past ten years. I have spent those years continuously defining it for other people, yet never really knowing the background definitions from historical research. I never would have guessed that the concept of instructional design existed before the mid 20th century. It appears that I have just been uninformed. I found the background information to be a bit confusing until diving further into the more current definitions. If you had presented me the early 20th century definitions and asked my opinion about them, I would have just said they are probably a bit vague in their description.The talk specifically about the media and not so much about the process of learning. When people are posed with the question and have not ever learned about instructional technology and design, even today, they tend to focus more on the presentation style and less on the process itself. I have never defined it in such a way to bring out specifics as presented in the most recent definition, but do strongly believe that instructional technology and design is and should only be used to help expand on and develop learning. If the form of media used is not doing that, it is the wrong tool for the job. We don't use the pencil to complete every job and we can't expect a video or a song to be the right tool for every job either. My experiences in the elementary, middle and high school classrooms have developed my understanding of the growth of knowledge and ability that can develop through the use of informational technology. As the Director of Instructional Technology, it is my responsibility to understand those steps and help teachers to see the potential learning and growth through use of different forms of technology on a daily basis. The definition provided in (Reiser & Dempsey, 2012) allowed me to further understand the true definition in that it not only encompasses the learning and method of delivery, but includes the research and theory that I often don't find myself considering in the development of learning opportunities.
One thing I love to include in my lessons is student-centered learning with end goals in mind. Of Reiser and Dempsey's (2012) 6 characteristics of instructional design, I seem to find those the easiest to incorporate. I did a school wide lesson in research this year. I laid out the process of research, considered the elements, and came up with systemic ways of helping them to problem solve the complex process of research. The students had goals set for their days of research in the library. Each was responsible for choosing a topic and coming up with keywords about that topic that extended beyond the title itself. These words were often difficult, but with a bit of time and allowance to struggle, the students quickly filled their poster paper with many topics relating to their title. Using those terms, they were then tasked with choosing one database and searching their list of terms. Some chose databases wisely based on their names and their content area, and some students had to learn the hard way that databases are not all the same. The best part was stoping every so often and just asking for successes and failures. This would prompt suggestions from other students around the room. It was amazing to see students finally understand the basics of research and to see how they can be self sufficient while allowing meaningful feedback from others. This particular lesson successfully adhered to the six characteristics of instructional design. Not all of my lessons have. After reading this chapter, I can see that meaningful performance is often missing in many lessons I observe. If the students don't relate to or grow interest in the topic, it is often left as a blip in their history of learning... here and gone. This is something I will continue to work with teachers on and help them to develop a plan for continued growth.
In reading about the differences between instructional media and instructional design, I do not necessarily believe Resier ommited teachers, textbooks and chalkboards to say that they are not part of instructional media. According to Disctionary.com (2017), media is defined as the means for communication. That simple definition includes all three of those items as a way for a student to learn and grow. Each of the three elements allows information to be shared and therefore learned by others. A person provides information through voice, action, and lack of action. As a former kindergarten teacher, I know that lack of action sometimes provides more instruction than voice or action. When you stand silent in front of a classroom with your arms crossed, the message is conveyed clearly. I can hear you all giggling at that statement, because as a teacher, we have all used that technique. Textbooks provide pictures of places we can't or will not ever visit, like the human organs or remote parts of the rainforest in South America. The allow self guided learning and are certainly considered a form of communication. Chalkboards, are an extension of the human thought sharing process, like blogs and computers. If a student can gain knowledge and understanding through what is displayed on it, like math, than it to is a form of communication and should be considered part of instructional media. I do believe that part of instructional design's purpose is to incorporate media. When designing a lesson, one has to consider all the ways a student may best learn the topic and then use those tools to allow for learning. If we are not using media, then we can't truly be teaching effectively for all of today's diverse learners.
Media. (2017). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved June 8, 2017 from Dictionary.com
Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2012). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Boston:
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