Archive for Career

American Society for Training and Development Leader’s Conference

I’m running late on this post.  I attended the ASTD Leader’s Conference in the middle of October.  I have to say that it is one of the best conferences I’ve attended.  It a small conference for leader’s of ASTD chapters.  I served as President for 3 years of our local Hattiesburg GIG (Geographical Interest Group) which is part of the Mississippi Chapter of ASTD.  I am currently the Past-President, but this was my first opportunity to attend this conference.  A friend and fellow ASTD officer and I co-facilitated a session on “Communication Across a Geographically Disperse Chapter.”

This conference renewed my excitement and energy in the field of training and development and ASTD.  Training and development continues to be my passion, but my career has drifted away from this.  Having the opportunity to network and learn from other professionals in the field re sparked my passion and left me with my mind racing with ideas.  The conference had some awesome keynote speakers including Jim Smith, Jr., Lou Russell, and Heather Richetto-Rumley.  All three speakers gave interactive, amazing, and inspirational talks.  I also loved that the conference gave us so many opportunities to connect with others who share the same passion.

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Keeping up…

I find myself struggling to keep up.  I like to try to keep up with research and material in my field, but with the podcasts, blogs, journal articles, social networking groups, and on and on, how do we has professionals keep up?

With all of the budget cuts and taking on more responsibilities, how do we manage to find time to pursue our own professional development?  I think it is important to still set aside time to improve yourself and learn new things in your field.  One of the ways that I accomplish this is by making sure that I block out the time on my calendar to attend my local ASTD meetings.  These include professional development opportunities and give me the opportunity to network with other professionals outside my office.  I also submit presentation proposals to local conferences.  My work no longer has the money to pay for these, but I set aside my own money to go to local conferences because I think it is important for my own professional growth.

What are you doing in these hard times to ensure you still grow as a professional?

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What Does an Instructional Technologist Do?

Whats one of the first questions someone asks you upon meeting you for the first time…what do you do?  When I tell people that I’m an Instructional Technologist, I often get this look of bewilderment with their eyebrows raised and the next question I get is, what’s that?  I think the most important part of my title is actually the instructional part.  Technology, of course, is part of my job, but the instructional part is what makes it all worth while for me.  So, to answer the question, what does an instructional technologist do…

  • Evaluate new technologies to discover new and better ways to enhance instruction
  • Assist faculty in discovering methods of improving their instruction with and without technology
  • Conduct training sessions teaching faculty and staff how to use new technologies
  • Conduct research studies evaluating the use of technologies and their impact on student learning outcomes
  • Create training materials to accommodate the self-learners and provide resources for our “customers”
  • Manage the implementation of new technologies on-campus for the use of instruction

The above list gives an overview of what I do on my job.  I would suspect that all Instructional Technologists  have similiar duties, but depending on the type of environment you work in they could definitely vary quite a bit.

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