For the current assignment, I interviewed Lawrence Kotter, an expert at royal commission Yanbu university and institute. He has specialized in education technology and works as a lecturer. Kotter’ earned the highest in the field of management science in 2002. His PhD examined the program of instructional-technology development to determine the impact it has on teacher outcome as consequence of variations in program development. He has also worked as a director for several institutions where his main responsibility was nurture relationship among those members of the institution that are committed to uplifting the level of innovation and use of technology in education. At the current position, his main responsibilities include assisting his faculty in evaluating instructional software. Occasionally, he gets involved in material design and development as well as determining the appropriateness of equipment. For this interview, I focused on the use of technology in education. Since this is the main are that Kotter has specialized in, I considered him to be the best interviewee. I conducted the interview over the mail since it was possible for me to meet him in person. Moreover, it was the cheapest means of communication when compared to others such as the use of the phone.
This interview covered several questions:
When the expert was asked about the main competencies you need to fulfill your job requirements successfully, Kotter pointed out that a person should have basic knowledge in three main areas. First, for one to become an instructional technologist, he needs to develop strong foundations in education in philosophy of learning. Moreover, an individual should comprehend teaching and learning theories. The competence that is required according to Kotter is a methodology to develop instructional systems. He explains that this can simply be explained as the ability to apply principles that relate to the development of the instructions. Finally, the person should demonstrate experience in the related learning environment. His concur with those of İzmirli and Kurt (2009). The authors point out that the area of instructional technologies has been changing rapidly. Consequently, experts in this field should develop new thoughts and innovation to possess the needed competencies.
Kotter indicated that he has the required experience and skill in producing educational videos. He uses new programs that help him to teach students. He is also an expert in creating software programs that adhere to Scrum standard. Further, he has excellent experience on the Internet including social networking.
What are the most prominent instructional technology phenomena/trends in your workplace/sector?
Kotter pointed out that the most prominent instructional phenomenon is that his workmates, most of whom are researchers, in an attempt to come up with better pedagogical designs, adopt interdisciplinary approaches. He also pointed out that technology is the main driver of research and practice of educational technology.
Trends and new directions-interview Report
The use of modern technology in graduate studies is one of the new trends that support teaching methods. In postgraduate courses, some professional use Microsoft Office programs such as WordPress and PowerPoint. As well as simultaneous video programs through YouTube and asynchronous programs produced by teachers or downloaded from video sites. The interviewee revealed that his interest is in using programs like Adobe Audition and Corel Video Studio. During this interview, it became evident that the Kotter has his own reservations regarding these trends. Although the government gives financial support to universities, he pointed out that there is a need for it to facilitate training programs for teachers to help them master the use of technology in education. This is because many of them use traditional methods in education. In addition, there are no incentives to distinguish teachers who use technology from those who do not.
Qualities considered when hiring instructional technology support
The interviewee has worked for many years and basing his judgment on this, he pointed out that the requirements for hiring an instructional designer or technology support differs from one institution to another. Moreover, instructional technologists may vary in competences due to level of education and experience. He points out that one of the considerations is that the person should portray the willingness to learn and improve his ability to deliver quality work. More importantly, he should have a comprehensive understanding of related fields such as information design and communication and demonstrate his experience.
Link to the expert job/internship/fieldwork opportunities search Interview Report
The expert recommended that qualities are important to a new instructional designer and technology support or staff. According to him, universities and schools must provide the modern infrastructure that makes it easy to use technology. For example, they must install computer hardware and accessories in new Labs. Additionally, he pointed out that Internet connection is very important since it enables students to learn the ideas that other people have. Moreover, they get the opportunity to experience new technologies and practice them virtually.
The expert described internship opportunities or fieldwork experience available in his workplace. First, there are training opportunities provided to teachers. Unfortunately, they are very limited. If a teacher is given a chance, it will take a long time before he gets another one. This is because there are many teachers yet trainers are few. Kotter expressed his view that teachers who want to develop themselves should look for training sessions on the Internet or in private institutions. This will give them and their students an opportunity to benefit more.
The expert tips he gave to IT students-interview Report
Kotter thinks considers it necessary for IT students to develop their skills in technology. In addition, they should research for new and advanced programs in the field of education and master them all. They should also preserve the knowledge that they gather in the course of their learning since it will help them in future. The interviewee said that stressed on the need for these students to take it upon themselves and learn how technology is being used in teaching. By developing an understanding of the use of technology in education, they will be in a better position to develop new programs that can find great use in education.
In this model, I have learned that the main aim of educational technology is to improve education. Technology has the ability to improve educational system performance by facilitating the process of learning. From the interview, I have learned that for one to become an instructional technologist, he must be an expert in technology. Apart from having competence in human relationships, he should have a comprehensive understanding of theories in teaching and learning. More importantly, he should have the ability to incorporate technology into the environment where learning takes place.
Additionally, I observed that competences that various instructional technologists have differ depending on where they schooled and their background. Thus, a specialist in this area is likely to encounter problems during hiring since it could prove difficult to meet the set requirements. Consequently, there is a need for me to continue learning new developments in the field in addition to trends in various institutions of learning.
Since it is my dream to become an instructional technologist in future and at the same time be an educator, the module has helped me to understand the need not to lay a lot of emphasis on the role of technology tools. Instead, I should focus on the educational goals and the role of education. Though technology can help enhance the process of learning, it is not the only means through which educational goals can be achieved. I believe that the knowledge and skills I have developed during this module will help me arrive at a neural decision in my future career.
İzmirli, Ö. Ş., & Kurt, A. A. (2009). Basic competencies of instructional technologists. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 998-1002.