I sat in on a very interesting learning session at the ICE2017 conference this past week. The title of the session was “The Intersection of Instructional Design and Technology”. So, when the question above was asked. I was confused. After all, we were here to learn all about the joys of ID (my new favorite thing in the world) and technology in the classroom. I recognized that, yes, students should have a particular technology skill set when they turned their tassels, but this question… went deeper.
The facilitators, Michele Eaton and Andrew Marcinek gave us paper and asked us to describe what that graduate would look like. What do they think (head), see (eyes), do (hands) feel (heart), move toward (feet)? One of the drawings with our thoughts is below.
Our take away from this exercise was the graduate doesn’t need to master how to take a test, how to turn on a computer, complete tasks using different apps and software, work independently or with a group or wait for the next instruction to be given. What a graduate needs… what that graduate would look like is a person prepared to use these tangible skills and many more intangible ones, to be whatever their passion allows.
What does instructional design and technology have to do with that though?
Everything. As I discussed with my group, all of us at that table were born in the mid to late 20th century and our concept of learning involved having the teacher be the all knowing one, feeding his/her knowledge into our heads, learning how to go to a library and research things, finding a person that knew the answer to a question we had, taking that little bit of knowledge and going as far as we could with it. Today’s graduate can use technology to do those things. The teacher now, is the facilitator, guiding that student as s/he find their passion. Once that passion is found, the ability to ACT on it becomes possible. Just send a tweet to that author you love and ask for advice on writing a creative essay. Follow your “hero” on Facebook and invite them to follow you. Create your own YouTube channel or portfolio and share your passion with the world and see who doesn’t show up to mentor or work with you to create even more. What the teacher now does is create content, sometimes in the form of online learning, can make that possible.
Instructional design is a tool… not the learning itself, to help students of all ages to find and act upon their passions. For me, ID is the passion I’ve been scratching and clawing to get a hold of in education. For me, so many people can be learning so many different things. How do I help with that? By creating the content to help them get started.
I was that graduate back in 2014 (M.Ed). I have been practicing my trade and honing my skills ever since. My passion is facilitating learning; in the classroom with K-12 students, but also with the adults who teach those students. We are all preparing them to be that graduate we want to see: ready to take on the world the moment they turn that tassel. They will have all the tangible and intangible skills necessary to be amazing.
Are YOU that graduate? What DOES that graduate look like to you?