Introduction - Section I
The initial section of this e-book, "The Field of Instructional Technology," is designed to provide you with an introduction to the field. It is not intended to be a definitive overview of the nature of instructional technology, only a starting point for your own exploration of this ever-changing field. In this regard it is fitting that the first three chapters provide an initial exploration of three novices in the field.
These chapter were written during the summer of 2004 by three doctoral students at the University of Georgia. At the conclusion of their first year of studies, they struggled with the fundamental question of what was instructional technology and proposed an independent study course under the guidance of Drs. Janette Hill and Michael Orey to explore that very issue.
Soliciting the opinions of twelve faculty members at the University of Georgia, the students developed a reading list with the prompt, "If there were two pieces that you think every doctoral student in instructional technology should read, what would they be?" This list included articles, chapters, and books related to the past, present and future of the field. Selections focused specifically upon technologies used in instructional technology, the "Great Media Debate", and theories and ideas borrowed from other fields (for a complete list see the References section).
As deliverables for this course, each student authored a manuscript: one on the history of instructional technology, one on the present state of instructional technology, and one on where the field of instructional technology may be headed. These three manuscripts form the first three chapters of this e-book. These chapters have not been updated from their 2004 forms, as the editors feel that they represent a good starting point for those struggling with the same issues that these three students had.
The final chapter of this section is a condensed version of the latest definition of educational technology as produced by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) - the professional organization for many in the field of instructional technology - which replaces the one put forth by Seels and Richey (1994). This new definition was written by a committee of academics assembled by AECT and released at their annual convention in Orlando in October 2005.
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