This week, we began our fourth course; Instructional Design. We are currently exploring the history of instructional media as it pertains to how instruction is presented to the learner. We were asked to read Reiser, R.A. (2007) chapters 1–3 and discuss which topics caught our attention in regards to the development of instructional media over the past few decades. It was pretty interesting reading through how the various innovations in technology were used to standardize, package, and efficiently deliver training to large numbers of people. For our weekly discussion, we were asked to reflect on two or more of the following questions after familiarizing ourselves with the resources and reading s provided:
- What caught your attention this week? Why?
- What was surprising? Why so?
- What was exciting or inspiring?
- What do you think the history of the field has to teach us?
- Based on the history of the field, what are your hopes for the future?
- Do you see anything in our materials that you want to examine in further detail, perhaps in your own time or in a thesis project
Below are my reflections on what I found exciting and inspiring within the readings and what my hopes are for the future of instructional media.
What was exciting or inspiring?
After reading Reiser’s (2007) discussion of the history of instructional media and the history of instructional design, I learned more about the performance technology movement, the increasing interest in constructivism, and the growing use of online instruction. What I found exciting was the history of instructional technology over the past 100 years. It seems that the technological advancements within media communication was closely linked to education. Moving from photo slides to audio and then blending the two to create motion film to deliver visual communication was intriguing. I didn’t know that the motion picture projector was the first media device used in schools. I always assumed the first form of media used in schools would have been in the form of audio. It was interesting to find out that the motion films used for instruction in schools were not accompanied with audio when they were first introduced. It would have been akin to teaching and learning from an old Charlie Chaplin film.
Thomas Edison (1913) proclaimed that books would soon be obsolete in schools. he claimed “It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture.” This could be true of why we saw so many adaptations of novels and books turned into movies.
Even today, we are experimenting with various ways to pair the technology that we have in order to communicate with a mass amount of people around the world. It’s amazing how the computer—in combination with the internet—has allowed us to communicate in all of the ways that were once used previously. Nowadays, the internet has provided so many possibilities for online communication and training. In the late 90’s to early 2000’s WebCT launched and allowed the creation of online courses to be developed and spawned the development of Learning Management Systems (LMS), such as Blackboard. This helped create online content and make online instruction accessible. Learners can now communicate with instructors and peers through email, live chat rooms, video conferencing and audio casts from their personal computers and even mobile devices. I’m excited about combining the technology that we currently have to help create new ideas of facilitating instruction with media. There are so many possibilities that we can utilize and so much more that we have yet to see grow into it’s full potential.
Based on the history of the field, what are your hopes for the future?
There are many advancements being made in Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (Ai), and integrating the iOT (internet of things) to create and utilize interactive data that can be used to enhance the human performance technology movement. My hope for the future is that these advancements will not only be used for enhancing the productivity of humans but will also have an effect on the way we transfer knowledge and educate people around the world. We can now use mobile computing to deliver live visual and audio data via podcasts, stream live video to multiple devices for video conferencing, utilize cloud computing to provide real-time productivity tools, and simulate real-world environments via VR (Virtual Reality) devices to help individuals learn adapt and experience multiple training environments.
The big question is how do we get all of these wonderful tech solutions to be used within our current learning environments? While going through the readings, most of the technologies used in the past fell short of being implemented for long periods of time due to their extreme costs and maintenance. It’s safe to say that our technology is relatively cheaper to attain than it was decades ago. My assumption is that governments, institutions/organizations, and tech companies will need to figure out how to monetize the use of instructional media technologies so that they can be adopted within our classrooms. The use of technology has to be affordable, easy to maintain and easy train individuals who use the technology. However, it seems that the costs incurred to implement the technology within institutions far outweigh the return on investment. Institutions pay large fees to licence software and purchase hardware to integrate the use of technology within their learning environments and organizations. Along with a solid infrastructure, Google Apps For Education (GAFE), Blackboard, and mobile devices such as iPads made by Apple, Android and Samsung are all viable solutions that allow educators to deliver instruction using various forms of media. These solutions make it possible for instruction to be transferred to a large number of people through various mediums. My hope is that we will be able to afford and implement instructional media technology faster and more frequently in order to provide quality education for learners of the future.
Reiser, R.A. (2007). A history of instructional design and technology Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.