Dried Up Technology Skills

Cooks are encouraged to examine his or her dried herbs every one to three years for loss of potency. Every two to three years he or she should evaluate their ground spices and every three to four years it’s the whole spices. Each category is relatable to an area of instructional design competencies.

For example, given the nature of how fast authoring tools and methods for training development have been changing, we should (1) examine our technology skills every one to three years (2) evaluate our instructional design approaches and techniques every two to three years and (3) assess our experiences in which both technology and ID skills are applied every three to four years. In these next few blogs, we will look at these three distinct professional areas for development.

So let’s start with our dried herbs, technology skills. With a large push towards using authoring tools to develop just in time training, we need to be at the forefront of the latest training development trends to discern the best technical solution for a client.

The Dishing Duo acknowledge that not all instructional designers are developers, but we also know that in order for us to consult our clients we should have a comprehension of the current methods for development and their capabilities and limitations. (Yes, ID practices and processes are also a part of this, but that’s another blog!)

So whether you are new to ID or returning to the workforce or just plain curious about what is trending in the way of authoring tools, we have compiled a few resources to help you not only be better informed, but also to determine if you want to learn a new piece of software!

First, you should become familiar with current technologies and tools. Being well versed in different authoring tools and their capabilities will help you analyze your client’s goals and objectives and design solutions that meet their needs. Joe Ganci’s article in Learning Solutions Magazine, Toolkit: The Tumultuous Year in Review provides a solid foundation of all of the technology and tools that are the talk of 2013.

Want to know what developers think of the authoring tools that are readily available for use? The folks at Kineo, a global training and performance company, have an amazing repository of reviews of nearly every authoring tool you can think of, complete with their recommendations for use. Also note their Authoring Tool Selection page which helps you evaluate a tool for your project and/or client’s needs!

Perhaps you are a bit more interested in mobile learning or gamification and how technology skills interplay with these hot topics. Allison Rossett’s recent post, The Pulse of Mobile Learning, is a great starting point. Be sure to check out her other most recent entries on this subject as well! While Karl Kapp provides his two cents on Three Programs for Creating 3D Training Games over at his blog, Kapp Notes.

Do you really need technology skills? As we noted earlier we comprehend that perhaps you are choosing to only do design and not the development or perhaps you work in a team where there are developers. But, then again, maybe you are not sure. Though this article has some outdated technologies the main ideas within Christy Tucker’s blog, Do Instructional Designers Really Need Technology Skills? is still relevant today. She also follows up this post with another that discusses Two Big Technology Skills that appear to be essential for an ID.

Do you have some technology skill resources, tips, tricks, or recommendations to share? Leave a comment and contribute your thoughts!

2 Replies to “Dried Up Technology Skills”

  1. Thanks for the links! Some of my old posts are easier to update than others. That particular post, with its snapshot of jobs posted in 2007, isn’t easy to update. If I did, I think it would change so much that some of the following conversation would seem out of context. I should go back and do a new snapshot now, 6 years later, to see what employers are asking for most now.

    As you said though, the general point is still true: just knowing Microsoft Office isn’t enough for most ID jobs.

    People who are looking to update their skills might consider Jane Hart’s 10 Tools Challenge. This challenge asks us to learn about 10 new tools this year. It’s a nice way to structure it so you’re being deliberate about improving your skills.

  2. Thank you for sharing Jane Hart’s 10 Tools Challenge Christy (and stopping by our blog)! We think you are spot on with relevancy of the general idea, but much has changed (it seems like a lot doesn’t it) since 2007! Let us know if you create a reflective blog on the subject so we can share your perspective from now and then! Cheers!

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