This is a conversation I have had multiple times over the past 9 years.
How do we keep up?
What skills do we need to stay relevant?
Though this is in the context of Instructional Design, the single-person shops are a lot more common than when I wrote this, and the question of whether Instructional Designers NEED technology skills has been answered (yes), I think this post speaks to a larger issue.
I would argue that the most valuable skill we can cultivate is our ability to learn new things quickly.
Everything else follows from that :)
June 12, 2007
Christy Tucker asks whether Instructional Designers NEED Technology skills. (emphasis mine)
Read the comments and conversation carefully in her post. Quite eye-opening.
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.
said - whenever I start dreaming of a work life of relative ease where I
can focus on one skill set, I think of my friend the Graphic Designer.
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.
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
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.
field has changed. Folks are looking for people who can design in
multiple media. And our world is becoming more computer-dependent by
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.
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.
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?