Instructional Technology

Day 35_ students for Humanity!!What do you think an instructional technologist’s role is?

I am asking the question in all seriousness because I expect to have a master’s degree in instructional technology in December.

To my thinking, the role of an instructional technologist usually includes the following:

  • Working with teachers to integrate technology.
  • Helping teachers and students learn how to use technology such as computers, cameras, digital audio equipment, software, interactive white boards, projectors, and the like.
  • Maintaining the school’s network (not sure I agree this is the role of an instructional technologist, but often falls to them by default).
  • Keeping the administration and faculty abreast of trends in technology.
  • Offering technology professional development to faculty.
  • Teaching technology-related courses.
  • Researching and purchasing technological equipment and software for the school.
  • Monitoring use of technology by students, and in some cases, faculty (policing acceptable use).

What would you add to this list? Take off?

Creative Commons License photo credit: frerieke

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9 thoughts on “Instructional Technology

  1. You sort of brought this up in the third bullet, but I would think an instructional technologist would need to work with the IT staff of a school or school system to help manage the technical end of the technology being used by faculty, students, and administrators. That may not mean actually maintaining a network, but it would mean serving as a go-between between the end users and the techies, and communicating the needs and wishes of the users to the people who make the systems work.

  2. In an ideal world, an Instructional Technologist would be able to teach courses on technology for students. I worry that their other duties would make this difficult.

    We don't have an Technologist in our school, so I use my software technician background and nerdy knowledge on my own. We have a staff of 9, with varying levels of computer knowledge. Myself and another teacher are the go-to people for technology questions.

    Even with such a small staff, it can be difficult to integrate technology well in my classes, and support other teachers in doing so. Granted, our school is non-traditional, but I can see this being a difficulty for Instructional Technologists.

    Perhaps fewer preps than most?

  3. Maybe instructional technologists might do activities to further a "culture of technology" at their schools? Some examples of such activities might include the following: a technology camp in the summer; an information technology symposium (or roundtable); a webpage-building competition; a school-wide scavenger hunt via computer; etc.

  4. Evaluating the school's/district's effectiveness in integrating technology. This is a tough one I've been researching. Coming up with a system of assessment that will assess to what degree teachers integrate technology and to what level. Ultimately, we want teachers to get the tech in the kids' hands, having them produce/create/problem-solve…

  5. I would have thought that a key focus would have to be quality learning and the pedagogy that underpins effective use and choice of technologies. After all, a clear learning framework would need to inform the way that the tech is used – or is that a job for the teacher? Someone needs to have a foot in the pedagogy/content camp as well as the technical camp if the use of technology is to be strategic.

    • I agree. I think many times we as teachers are guilty of using technology because it's new and not because it's the best means to teach or assess. Certainly an IT would be instrumental in introducing technologies to teachers and students, but I wonder if choosing certain tools for classes or tasks might be better for the individual subject matter to decide. I teach at the high school level, and I'm sure it's different at the elementary or even middle school levels. Any elementary or middle teachers care to comment?

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