As part of my Master's Program, I'm currently enrolled in EDTC600, Pedagogical Practices in Instructional Technology. As my first week's assignment, I had the opportunity to interview three technology specialists and ask them what does "Instructional Technology" mean to them?
The first interviewee was Shannon S., the building technology coordinator at the middle school where I currently teach. Her job entails development and maintenance of our school's webpage as well as the teacher's links. It is also her job to make sure teachers enforce district guidelines with all technology usage with students as well as their own independent projects. Because of Shannon, our school has webpages and an abundant amount of technology for teachers to use as a teaching tool.
The second interviewee was Mike S., the school's technology para. His job entails to schedule all the computer labs, clickers, digital cameras, and mobile laptop labs for the teachers. He is also responsible for setting them up in the teacher's classroom per his or her request and assisting the teacher if there are any technological problems.
The third interviewee was Jeremy B., the technology teacher at the middle school. Jeremy teaches five different classes which include things such as video production, digital photography, web design, theater tech. crew, etc.
I found all three interviews worthwhile because I was able to connect with some of my colleagues that I hardly get a chance to see, but also hear their thoughts on Instructional Technology. All three of them agreed that the term Instructional Technology a way to use any technology that aides getting information. It provides a resource to enhance teacher's lesson plans, but it is not meant to be in replace of the teacher. By understanding the best practices and goals, then technology can be used to reach those goals.
The role of technology in instruction is meant to be understood to be a tool but not the means to an end. Being that we are in the "digital age," this is the time to really take advantage of technology, but it is no means something to take place of a teacher. Technology is definitely a quick tool or resource that can be used to acquired the information or objective. If technology is used, then teachers should be taking the time to work with the students and the technology, not let the technology do their job.
The expectations of an Instructional Technology Specialist can be very different from one another. The three interviews that I conducted this week all played completely different roles in the middle school; however, they all had the same goal in mind: Design, Develop, Utilize, Manage, and Evaluate all technology to provide a "digital" experience in education. Because of this, our students are getting the chance to learn the required Colorado State Standards as well as the technology tools that will enhance these standards.
After I interviewed these three specialists, I completely agree with them. Instructional Technology gives teachers the techniques to make learning relevant and current. Because of technology resources, allows teachers to truly enhance the students' learning experience.
Now, what does instructional technology mean to you?