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Instructional Technology and Design Philosophy

Caucasian girl with brown hair laying on whtie background with colored notebooks and pens all around her

My own thoughts on Instructional Technology and Design and Philosophy I have always had a fascination, love, and passion for education. My experiences growing up were not the typical childhood education experiences. I grew up on a small island off the coast of North Carolina where I could often be found playing on the beach, in the woods, or by the sound. Our educational experiences on the island included marine biology and other non-traditional education experiences. This is what helped develop my love for the environment, environmental education, museums, and museum education. The island was home to both a lifesaving station museum and lighthouse museum. Many of my childhood school field trips were to these museums where I developed a love for learning through museum education. Museum and environmental passions have been woven throughout the rest of my life in various ways whether living on a military base visiting various base museums or enjoying nature programs at various museums. It wasn’t until my internship with Wyoming Wildlife Advocates and AmeriCorps in 2020 that I realized I wanted to become an instructional designer for a museum or with a school in regards to environmental education. Because we were in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic, this was a virtual internship. During this virtual internship, I helped to develop school age programs, both in person and virtual, regarding wildlife education and loved every minute of it. This is when I realized I wanted to pursue a career within the ITD field.

Instructional Design. Mercadai (2021) states that instructional design involves the practice of establishing the goals within instruction and what each learner requires, then being able to develop the groundwork and bridge between the two. Technology is a way to create a bridge between the two. The purpose of using instructional technology in museum education and schools is to enable students to learn and understand concepts with a variety of tools. Using technology within a museum education or school setting allows learners an opportunity that normally would not present itself in the traditional setting. I believe that instructional technology creates an avenue of multiple learning experiences which can help foster a level of learning that just using a traditional lecture style may not. I believe this is important. In the early 1900s, roots of instructional technology and design began with school museums followed by the use of educational television in the mid 1900’s. During the 1980’s, many students were exposed to computers in schools. 1991 changed the instructional design and technology field by the development of the world wide web (An, 2021). By the 2000’s social media had become a part of the instructional design and technology and educational history (An, 2021). One can see that the instructional design and technology field has been through vast amounts of change through the years. How do we as instructional and technology designers keep up with that change though and ensure the field continues to grow?

Philosophy. One of the ways I can ensure the ITD field continues to grow is through my own philosophy. By having a solid personal philosophy on instructional design and technology, this will help educate others in a positive and well-rounded manner. I believe each learner has the right to an inclusive, non-traditional, highly motivated learning experience that will expand their knowledge and form a basis for further questioning and want to seek more. My philosophy is based on a combination of theories including Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory, John Dewey’s theory of participatory experience, and Vygotsky’s proximal development and scaffolding theories (Porcello, 2017). Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory states that “human beings have different ways in which they process data, each being independent” (Slidemodel, 2021). I believe Gardner’s theory of multiple of intelligence can be used within educational technology to have learners figure out what they are best at within that lesson and encourage their creativity. John Dewey’s theory of participatory experience states that “ education is learner based. Learning through experience is important” (Porcello, 2017). Porcello (2017) stated that “visitors want more engaging activities” within museum education. I believe educational technology is the perfect way to create this experience both at the museum and virtually, or within a classroom at a school. Vygotsky’s theory of proximal development and scaffolding states that “learning is social” and “students learn more through individuals who are more informed” (Porcello, 2017). Educational technology can help me build products and service, whether within a museum education or classroom setting, which can collaboratively and foundationally allow for growth. My own personal philosophy also aligns with Moore’s (1989) Theory of Interaction. I believe educational technology allows for a more non-traditional approach to education, whether in museums or schools. By allowing people to learn not only through the content being created and through an instructor, but also by allowing the learners collaboration with each other, this will increase the learning experience. Bates (2015) SECTION model has now become a guide in assisting in the selection of educational technology tools. I now recognize that my own time is a valuable asset in the educational technology selection process. By having a solid personal inclusive philosophy within educational technology and instructional design, this will help enhance the instructional design and technology field.

Reference: An, Y. (2021). A history of instructional media, instructional design, and theories. International Journal of Technology in Education (IJTE), 4(1), 1-21. Mercadai, T. (2021). Instructional Design. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Moore, Michael. (1989).Three Types of Interaction. American Journal of Distance Education. 3. 1-7. 10.1080/08923648909526659. Porcello, J. (2017). Education Theories in Museums. Retrieved February 4, 2023. Slidemodel. (2021). Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences: 8 types of intelligences. Retrieved February 10,2023.



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