Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Personal Reflections on Module 0

Module Zero offers us a glimpse into our immediate future. For the next few weeks we will be studying to become consultants.

One of the first things that comes to mind is a sort of dichotomy of the class. Though, the class exist under the broad heading of Educational Technology, the content of the IT consulting class seems more oriented around IT instead of Educational Technology. I suspect that there are several reasons for this, and at the head of the list is probably the amount of material available on IT consulting as opposed to Ed Tech Consulting.

The text, though published in 2000, represents a firm grounding in IT Consulting. That is not in and of itself a bad thing, for consulting, whatever field it exists in, pretty much follows a proscribed path. However, I think that when I signed up for the class, I had envisioned something a little more directly related to Educational Technology Consulting.

Certainly the two additional readings, Those Who Can, Consult: How to Become a Consultant and Is Consulting For You? Take the Personality Test (which is basically a short version of the Jung Typology Test often used in conjunction with the Jung/Meyers-Briggs typological approach). apply in just about any consulting environment. They are very general and simple to understand, and yet complex enough to give the reader some idea of what kinds of trait array they have.

One of the things that seems to me to be missing (and perhaps that is deliberate) is an assessment of either Internet Technology skills or Educational Technology skills. The latter, one would assume, is present to some extent in all the participants, but I noticed in many of the forum posts that there were participants for whom this class was apparently an elective in some other degree program.

So the end result is that we have a slight insight into general consulting skills. Those results are pretty much listed in the forum responses for the entire class. Then the text, helps to tie the dichotomy off by referring to things in a more generalist manner. Chapter One, suggest focusing on the relationship among consulting parties, clearly defining one another’s roles, visualizing success, creating an atmosphere where the consultee makes decisions and the consultant only advises, and finally an over all atmosphere of results orientation. These suggestions help bring the IT consultant into a more generalized consulting mode and are useful tools for all consultants including Educational Technology consultants. And the same thing seems to happen in Chapter Two. Consulting skill sets are considered instead of IT skill sets or Educational Technology skill sets. The end results then allow the readers to tie their thoughts back to the simple trait assessments that they took and then to push ahead with their own personal skill analysis in the Project One posting on “Finding Your Own Consulting Niche”.

Over-all the module goes along ways to calm my fears that the course is more oriented toward IT than Ed Tech. Perhaps the generalist approach is one that is more understandable to those in the class who are considering consultancy as an “elective” or part-time asset to their regular jobs, and complex enough to titillate the imaginations of those who are Ed Tech majors who might be considering Educational Technology Consulting as a personal business.

Some additional web materials can be considered at my page under Module0.

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