Educational technology is not solely about using technology for the sake of using it in the name of education. Educational technology is about considerate and appropriate application of technology in order to achieve an educational learning goal. This means before the introduction of technology all appropriate analysis and evaluation should be considered before implementation.
The majority of my focus in educational technology has been to support the faculty and staff at the educational institutions where I worked. As such, I have developed many different skills in educational technology that help support the goals of the institution.
Through my role as a higher education web developer, two main themes have emerged from my experiences in working with faculty, staff and administrators. These themes are focus on the professional technologist and leadership.
As a professional technologist, I am frequently asked about new technologies and if they should be used to achieve a goal. In a higher education organization, a professional technologist is an important role to play within the organization. Part of my job as a professional technologist is to analyze a technology for use and constantly question it.
- Analysis of the Technology
- Analysis of the Target Audience
- Analysis of the Target Facilitators or Instructors
- Analysis of the Goals
- Analysis of the Available Resources
- Analysis of the Time Frame
This analysis of a technology is much like the instructional design analysis process where a designer conducts instructional analysis before any design, development, or implementation takes place. This belief in analysis forms part of my philosophy for educational technology as well as technology in general. Without analysis of a technology, the technology is doomed to fail no matter how it is implemented.
Leadership for a professional technologist, is probably one of the most important attributes one could have in the educational technology field. As a leader, I sometimes need to set aside my technology hat in order to lead others toward the technology.
To paraphrase Schwahn and Spady (1988), a leader cannot implement a change unless they are willing to do the following:
- A leader should give valid reasons to follow their lead.
- A leader should listen to their audience.
- A leader should give the audience a chance to make a difference.
- A leader should model the expected outcomes.
- A leader should show others how a change can affect them personally and organizationally.
These listed ideas make up my attitude and philosophy for when it comes to leading in educational technology. I must be willing to listen, invite participation, model outcomes, show how a change affects other, and validate my leadership. If I cannot do any of these, I may as well pack up as I will never be able to affect a change or lead a project efficiently.
My philosophy as someone who plays a supporting role in educational technology in one of being a professional technologist and a leader. My belief in the importance of analysis lends itself to being a professional in technology. Technology cannot be implemented properly for any purpose educational or not without such analysis. Equality as important, leading through example, consideration of others, and modeling the outcome can help make others believe that the technology can help them.
As such, my philosophy in educational technology is one that lends well to working in both higher education as I love, but also corporate as I am currently employed.