Academic journal article International Journal of Instructional Media

Integrating Instructional Technology with Information Technology and Its Implications for Designing Electronic Learning Systems

Academic journal article International Journal of Instructional Media

Integrating Instructional Technology with Information Technology and Its Implications for Designing Electronic Learning Systems

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

By examining today's technologies in different aspects of education, one can observe a growing interest in introducing new disciplines of study. Among these new disciplines: food technology, biotechnology, engineering technology, computer technology, instructional technology and information technology and many more. The common factor in all these disciplines is technology application. Technology application makes a big shift in all aspects of our life. It manipulates and handles information in every conceivable form, whether it is music, video, graphics, speech, data, or text. It also embraces an increasing range of technologies. Smart cards, computer animations, interactive compact discs, computer based training, computer integrated manufacturing, virtual reality systems; the list is endless. There is also an increasing impact of technology on how individuals access, process, store and use information.

It is well known that educational programs are struggling to adapt to a rapidly changing educational context (Shapson, 1998) particularly in the area of integrating different technologies into the curriculum. In addition, a sizeable pressure is being put to increase the role of technology in both teaching and learning. This has meant that as faculty, we have to develop our personal use of technology in our teaching, as well as keep up with the ways various technologies are being used in the major curriculum areas across the school system. As to the learners, they should be kept at the center of the learning process by providing them with suitable technological tools, resources and processes. In this paper, the concepts of instructional technology and information technology, the linkage between them, their integration, and their implications for designing electronic learning systems will be highlighted and discussed.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PAPER

The Importance of this paper stems from the following points:

* It tries to strengthen the ties or the links between instructional technology and information technology for better utilization.

* It helps in viewing instructional technology and information technology as an interdisplinary domain rather than two separate entities.

* It opens doors for researchers to integrate research in the area of instructional technology and information technology for educational uses.

* It sheds light for the implications of the integration of instructional technology and information technology on designing electronic learning systems (online learning systems / web based learning environments).

METHODOLOGY

A descriptive analytic approach is used in this paper where the concept of instructional technology and the concept of information technology are analyzed and the integration and linkage between them is established based on the analysis of the current literature. The implication of this integration for designing electronic learning systems will be discussed.

TECHNOLOGY

The word technology has a rich meaning. Technology is often used as a synonym for hardware--machines, equipment. At best some think of technology as hardware plus software, but not many people take it further. What we really need to know is what does technology exactly mean? Galbraith (1967) defines technology as

      "the systematic application of scientific or other organized
   knowledge to practical tasks" (Galbraith, 1967, p. 12).

First, to be a systematic application the technique must have a carefully designed framework that provides a total system. Next, to be an application of scientific knowledge the technique must embody ideas (theories) that have been tested and found successful, and the application itself should have been validated through testing. This definition implies that the systematic application of scientific knowledge is needed when dealing with problems. This systematic application reduces the probability of human errors in solving these problems. …

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