Archives for the month of: December, 2013

Over the course of the past semester, my understanding of IDT has grown and evolved. This is my first semester in the GSU MSIT program, and I hope that all future students take this Foundations class in their first semester. The class gave me valuable context for the terms and concepts that I’ve come across in other classes and research.My mental picture of IDT has changed primary in the evolution of the field, future possibilities in the field, variety of required skills, and context for vague ideas.

I’ve realized that today’s version of IDT has integrated and overtaken many different academic/practical fields throughout its history. Learning the history of IDT, from school museums to early educational technology to training films, helped me understand the early purpose of IDT and how it led to today’s version. Also, the constant evolution and synthesis of psychological perspectives has informed my concept of both psychology and of IDT. I now see that one theory emerges, another theory arises to challenge the first, and a third theory combines elements of the first two. This helps me understand that theoretical underpinnings of IDT don’t just spontaneously appear in academia to confuse students. Furthermore, knowing how theories are synthesized over time helps me understand that IDT will always have a “new and better” perspective just around the corner. This encourages me to follow IDT literature throughout my career instead of picking my favorite theory and clinging to it. I’m interested to see how new generation of instructional designers and theorists will revise the current widespread perspective.

Instead of just following instinct, I understand how a particular instructional approach fits into the overall learning experience for the student. I can use that understanding to create a deliberate, considered curriculum instead of just tossing out some activities and hoping the learners understand what I’m trying to create. Also, this course made me realize the diversity of skills required in a good instructional designer, from technology skills to project management to understanding pedagogical theories.

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Amanda Hovious at DesignerLibrarian has a fascinating post today about “new librarianship.” Part of the post explores the idea of the library as a Third Space, or “a community gathering space (virtual or physical) outside of the home, classroom or workplace environment where informal learning takes place. New librarianship facilitates the ‘library as a Third Space’ concept by serving as a bridge between informal and formal learning and literacy practices.”

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, libraries foster both formal and informal learning. DesignerLibrarian points out that new librarianship adds virtual learning to the traditional physical sphere of learning in libraries. As librarians become more conscious of their IDT role, they should remember that their online spaces are a valuable opportunity to foster informal learning.