What is IT?

Instructional Technology (IT) is a relatively new field that combines ideas and practices from many different disciplines. Most people seem to agree that Instructional Technology and Design combines hardware, such as computers, with ideas, such as constructivism, in order to improve the teaching/learning process. Many people see Instructional Technology and Design as a field dedicated to innovation and change in education. Change Agents help people see the dynamic and powerful possibilities that technology offers. A good Change Agent will also help people anticipate and prepare for the inevitable problems associated with technology and change.

One way to define the field of Instructional Technology and Design would be to look at where Instructional Technologists and Designers work. Instructional Technologists work in a wide variety of environments. Many work in Business and Industry as Instructional Designers or Media Developers. Instructional Designers work with subject-matter experts and production specialists to create instructional products such as training manuals, computer-assisted instruction, and instructional films. Media Developers produce graphics, multimedia, digital video and sound, and text to be used for the World Wide Web, CAI, and other formats.

Many Instructional Technologists and Designers work as Technology Specialists in Higher Education. These positions involve working with college faculty, administration, and staff to incorporate innovative technologies into the classroom. Instructional Technologists in Higher Education often conduct training workshops, work in the development of labs and other facilities, help faculty purchase and use hardware and software, assist in the delivery of distance learning courses, and help faculty develop grants.

Many people in the field of Instructional Technology and Design work in K-12 schools, often as a Technology Coordinator or Technology Teacher. Technology Coordinators work at large schools or school districts and help teachers and administrators effectively use technology. Technology Coordinators typically help set up and maintain labs, administer networks, troubleshoot problems, conduct workshops, advise teachers on copyright law and software piracy, and work with vendors to order hardware and software. Technology Teachers usually teach one or more computer-related classes such as Tech Prep or Computer Discovery.

There are many other jobs in the area of Instructional Technology. Other popular careers in IT include sales, network management, evaluation, research, private consulting, and corporate training. To find out more about Instructional Technology, please contact IT faculty members at the USM Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education.


What is MS IT?