Educational Technology as a Career

By Sadaket A Malik
Coordinator, IGNOU, SC 1264 Bhalessa Jammu and Kashmir Voice: 08803542605

E

ducational Technology is the science of designing

instructions for learners, so that it facilitates the whole process of learning. Any instruction needs design but it is more effective when the instruction takes place in an e-learning environment. The instructional designer prepares Instructional Design for online courses, interactive multimedia packages, learning objects as well as for any other econtent. Educational Technology (ET) is the efficient organisation of any learning system adapting or adopting methods, processes, and products to serve identified educational goals. This involves systematic identification of the goals of education, recognition of the diversity of learners’ needs, the contexts in which learning will take place, and the range of provisions needed for each of these. The challenge is to design appropriate systems that will provide for and enable appropriate teachinglearning systems that could realise the identified goals.

The key to meeting this challenge is an appreciation of the role of ET as an agent of change in the classroom, which includes not only the teacher and the teaching-learning process but also systemic issues like reach, equity, and quality. Over the past decades, educational technology in India has taken two routes: The first route involved a large number of experiments aimed at the qualitative improvement of schools, adopted the systems approach to analyze the problems plaguing the particular situation, and have evolved a range of solutions. These have included the development of flexible systems, alternative curricula, multilevel organization of classes; low-cost teaching-learning materials, innovative activities, continuous support systems for teacher training, etc. While many of these experiments have demonstrated intrinsic merit, they have been restricted to pockets of intense practice and have failed to influence the larger school system. The second route is government sponsored schemes such as the Educational Technology (ET) Scheme and the Computer Literacy and Studies in Schools (CLASS) and their present-day analogues, including partnerships with global players. This included the supply of radio-cum-cassette players, colour televisions, microcomputers, present-day computer labs, and even satellite-receiving terminals. These schemes have largely remained supplydriven, equipment-centred, and disseminative in design. Scant attention has been paid to the development of the entire support system that would establish ET as a reliable, relevant, and timely

intervention, and despite clear indications of the necessity for this action. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have brought in a convergence of the media along with the possibility of multi-centric participation in the contentgeneration and disseminative process. This has implications not only for the quality of the interchange but also for drastic upheavals of centredominated mindsets that have inhibited qualitative improvement. Modern Educational Technology has its potential in schools, in the teaching of subjects, in examinations, in research, in systemic reforms, and, above all, in teacher education, overcoming the conventional problems of scale and reach through online, anytime, anywhere. There exists today a well-established publishing industry, including desktop publishing, with Keeping in line with the government’s scheme ICT@schools , NCERT plans to start an online course in action research in educational technology. The programme is meant for teachers and teacher educators. On what encompasses educational technologies (ET), Educational technology is a very broad term which implies those processes which facilitate learning. This includes planning, developing, using, evaluating, and managing technologies for enhancing quality of learning (and/or teaching). Also, it encompasses face-to-face, distance as well as elearning. ET includes all the modern media, methods and materials which are used at all stages of education

whether used for kindergarten group or for students sitting in remote places and learning through distance education. The fact that this field offers a variety of career options makes it a prospective subject that can bring qualitative changes in the field of education. The field of educational technology opens a plethora of jobs ranging from educational technologists, instructional designers, script writers for educational TV and radio programmes, producers, directors, editors, among various others, she informs. Some of them require a formal degree or diploma level training/education, while others can be mastered through short-duration workshops or learnt while being on-the-job. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN Instructional design, a relatively new career within educational technologies, focuses on the systematic process of planning any teaching-learning process and developing an effective educational system. It also involves micro-planning and material development for actual teaching learning activity. CIET also plans to start online courses in instructional design later this year. ” SCRIPT WRITING Scripting is a major aspect of any audio or video production process. Though there are thousands of institutes offering courses in mass communication and media, there are very few which offer any specialised course in educational media.This year (2011), CIET has planned to train 1,200 script-writers (600 each for audio and video) through EduSat video

conferencing mode. Teachers interested in participating in this six-day training programme may visit website for more information www.ciet.nic.in/workshops.php. The script-writers are in great demand not only for educational programming but also in entertainment. ROLE OF NCERT CIET is taking the lead in developing e-content in the form of Learning Object (LOs). It is developing interactive multimedia LOs for classes IX to XII in science, maths and geography. CIET is also guiding State Institutes of Educational Technology (SIETs) to develop LOs. For this, CIET is training teachers as instructional designers face-to-face. However, the Central Institute of Educational Technology has the aim to provide and promote educational technology mainly at the school level and it has been set up in 1984 as an integral part of National Council of Educational Research & Training (NCERT). The organization has the status of an autonomous body working under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The institute universalizes the primary education by designing, developing, and publishing alternative learning systems besides addressing various educational problems at micro and macro levels. CIET is planning to produce a series of programmes based on Game and Activity Based Quiz for Grade V students from MCD, KVS and State Govt Schools. School Principals are invited to send in their entries (A team of 3

students). Programme recoding will start from April 2011. Who can become an instructional designer? Almost anyone can. If you have the skills mentioned in the first three lines, you can become an instructional designer. Punam, who has been conducting ID training for 4 Years, feels, In terms of traits, you need to have a sense of being hands - on, should love the idea of learning and education, should have an eye for detail and be process oriented. In terms of skills, you need to be aware of learning theories at a high level, be a good communicator, and structured thinking. Anyone who has dealt with content and has good analytical skills can become an instructional designer. ID hones all writing skills because it provides a structure to all content. Courses offered in Educational Technology in India Masters Degree Courses:Yashwantrao Chavan Open University MA in Educational Technology (S.N.D.T Women's University) Masters in Educational Technology with Computer Applications (METCA)

PG Diploma Courses:Symbiosis Centre For Distance Learning - PG Diploma in Instructional Design (PGDID) – Bharathiar University- PG Diploma in Educational TechnologyIndira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) PG Diploma in Educational TechnologyDiploma Courses: Vinayaka Missions University. -Diploma in Educational Technology Online Courses:(S.N.D.T Women's University) 4-Credit Online Course on Instructional Design Wavelength (Delhi) The Instructional Design and Content Writing Certificate course ( IDCWC Online The eLearning for Non-eLearning Professionals Certificate course (ENPC Online The Training Design & Delivery Certificate Course (TDDC Flash ActionScript Certificate courses (ASDC Techno Point Bangalore Technopoint india offers diploma and technical writing training, technical documentation and instructional design services

Tenable Learning Solutions (Hyderabad) Instructor Led Training (ILT) However, new developments offer new challenges for the instructional designer to constantly learn and innovate while strategising for optimum learning experiences. Perhaps the term “instruction” is too narrow to convey the value added by the instructional designer; “Learning Designer” is what is more appropriate. As we are moving towards convergence and integration in digital economy, the field of e-learning is seeing a perceivable move towards blending digital learning with various learning formats, ranging from classroom-based learning to use of realtime technologies. Knowledge management is another area where learning initiatives will fine scope for integration, enhancing the agility of workplace learning. Also, several enterprise software applications such as ERPs, CRM, HRM.

Sadaket Malik is Coordinator in IGNOU Special Study Centre Bhalessa (Jammu and Kashmir and can be mailed at sadaketjammu@gmail.com

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