Christy Tucker asks whether Instructional Designers NEED Technology skills. (emphasis mine)
Read the comments and conversation carefully in her post. Quite eye-opening.
I occasionally envy those folks whose world is so compartmentalized. Who have the luxury of being able to focus on one letter of ADDIE. Who are able to let go after they have finished their Design piece.
Realistically, I'm probably too much of a control freak to thrive in that situation.
That said - whenever I start dreaming of a work life of relative ease where I can focus on one skillset, I think of my friend the Graphic Designer.
The Graphic Designer REALLY wants to find a new job. She's very good at the nuts and bolts of graphic design. She created beautiful things on paper and has an impressive portfolio of work.
But she continues to run into the same problem.
All of her potential employers ask about her computer skills. Does she have a web site and web development experience? What desktop publishing tools does she use? Is she skilled in Photoshop? Illustrator? Quark XPress?
The change happened slowly...imperceptibly....
She keeps arguing that her current skill set is enough.....yet she still hasn't found new work after 2 years of searching.
Her field has changed. Folks are looking for people who can design in multiple media. And our world is becoming more computer-dependent by the day.
I look at Help Wanted ads and find that more employers (especially corporate employers) expect their trainers to have baseline computer skills (mostly Office and PowerPoint) and their instructional developers to be familiar with a wide array of educational technologies.
Having the professional knowledge and experience of an instructional designer gives you a theoretical base. And, as has been documented in other educational blogs, the theoretical sands are shifting.
More importantly, as organizations and universities move towards computer-based education - either as the core of their educational strategy or as a supplement - our clients will expect instructional designers to be versed in the technological tools of our trade.
Are you ready?