Reflections

Cape Blanco Lighthouse, Oregon

Discovering Instructional Technology

I used a Career Coach to help me determine which Master's program would be the best fit for me at this juncture in my life.  As I mentioned before, I've done a lot of different things and have enjoyed many of them.  Since returning to the Atlanta area, I've worked part-time in a couple of capacities but no full-time opportunities have presented themselves.  I wanted to further my education but wanted to make sure I was going into something that would be a really good fit for me.  I've worked as a volunteer for Georgia Ensemble Theater for many years and they offered me a part-time position while I attend school.  I considered theater management, medical billing and coding, Med-Tech and various other degree fields.  My Career Coach gave me several types of personality and aptitude tests.  Then she helped me match up my skills, likes, and personal traits to career options.  Instructional Technology became a standout leader.

Some of my strengths include organization and an orderly mind.  But more interesting were the things that I like, that make me happy, "so to speak" - these are a love of learning, curiosity, and an appreciation of beauty and excellence.  The same things that draw me to science will, hopefully, help me as a developer with the changing technology and the methodology that goes into creating orderly, well structured lessons.  But there is also joy in discovery.  I like to keep it fresh and new so I don't get bored and therefore those I design for shouldn't either.  My love of learning will enable me to be a good student to my subject matter experts.  Every project is a new and exciting lesson for me!  Plus, my appreciation of beauty and excellence means that I can also see and appreciate the contributions of others.  For me, Instructional Technology is like Vetruvius' firmness, commodity and delight.  A good design has all the factors to make me complete.  It has love of learning in that it should impart knowledge to its consumer.  It has curiosity by the way a good creative design makes a learner interested in learning and it has beauty and excellence in its form and function.  I believe Instructional Technology is the perfect career choice for me.

I've been doing a lot of research on LMS's.  I have to say I am really frustrated.  Who knew there were so many!  Let me say first that the reason for this research is that Google Drive will no longer be hosting my Web content so all of the projects on this site that link to there will be broken links a few days from now.  I need to find a new solution for hosting them very soon.  Thanks a bunch Google – You’re real pals!  I can’t seem to do it on Wix directly either, maybe if I was paying for the site.  That’s kind of the thing – I’m not really making money at this yet so cost is a factor.  I lot of LMS sites offer free service for a low threshold of users.  It’s trying to figure out what features are important.  They get really complex.  Do I want hosted or downloadable; hosted probably.  How much customization do I want?  It should be mobile compatible and I need to be able to control who can see the things I put on it.  It can’t be totally public.  It would be nice to have some support but since it is low cost, I can’t expect everything, can I?  Finally, if I am going to put the time into an LMS, it should have the capability of hosting and building courses, right?  Not all of them seem to feel that way.  Some come across as just storage areas and places for like-minded trainers and educators to share.  The idea of delivering content as a “class” experience isn’t there.  Just in case anyone is interested, here is what I’ve looked at so far.  On the definitely paid side are Efront learning, Exact learning (who offer a whole host of services beyond just the LMS/LCMS), Matrix, and Latitude learning.  For free either all or part of the time are Neo (same as Matrix but for education only), Edmodo, and Zenler.  I have not yet looked at Coursesites, SCORM cloud or Moodle which seem to be the most popular.

Learning Management Systems  8/25/16