The History of the Institute of Media Informatics

Utolsó módosítás: 2015. április 27.

The history of the Institute of Media Informatics, which is part of the Faculty of Teacher Training and Knowledge Technology at the Eszterházy Károly College, spans almost 4 decades.

The increasing popularity of programmed education and the propagation of audio-visual and mass communication devices in the 1960s gave rise to the need for new methodological approaches. At the same time, technological innovations related to pedagogy began to exert a significant influence on Hungarian teacher training, eventually leading to substantial changes in teacher training curricula. The Institute and the departments within it grew out of the Audiovisual Cabinet, which was formed in 1970 as part of the Department of Technology, which was under the leadership of Prof. János Somos. The main task of the Cabinet was to prepare student teachers to use and operate audio-visual devices. The Cabinet was headed by Vince Halász, an assistant professor at the college.

The Instruction Technology Group was formed as an independent unit in 1976, and until 1978 it was led by assistant professor Ede Erdész. The National Instruction Technology Centre was established in 1973 with the support of UNESCO. Its research and development network consisted of teaching training institutions. The College joined the network in 1976. Subsequently, training that had focused on the operation and use of audio-visual devices was replaced with "Educational Technology," a subject of study that was obligatory for all students enrolled in teacher training programs. The Group gradually expanded the focus of its activities and the related infrastructure as its profile came to include film and video clubs for amateurs, in addition to founding professional photography, microfilm, and video studios complemented later with a media collection. Pursuing an independent research theme, the Group studied the potential of video as a tool in pedagogical development and also participated in the student scholar movement. The Instruction technology training program was launched as an elective subject. Between 1978 and 1987 the Group was led by associate professor Miklós Thiel. Following his retirement, assistant professor Dr. Lajos Kis-Tóth was given the assignment of running the Instruction Technology Group.

In 1989 the Instruction Technology Group evolved into the Department of Instruction Technology and Informatics. Since the middle of the 1980s, due to the rapid development of personal computers and the success of projects designed to introduce computers into schools, the discipline of Instruction Technology has continuously been enriched with new themes and subjects. Alongside audio-visual media, an array of personal microcomputers came into use that facilitated programmed learning. Consequently, in addition to exploring the potentials of multimedia instruction packages, researchers began to examine computer- assisted learning options. Thanks to the respective curricular developments, students were offered two mandatory, two mandatory-elective, and more than ten elective subjects in instruction technology and informatics. In 1997 the Department's organizational structure was expanded to include the Instruction Group, the Informatics Service Group and the Multimedia Research Laboratory. Furthermore, under the expert guidance and supervision of the Department, the integrated communication infrastructure system of the College was elaborated and implemented. In 1999 the Library Informatics program was launched for full-time students. The Institute of Media Informatics was established in 2000 with the following units: Department of Informatics, Department of Instruction and Communication Technology, Multimedia Research Laboratory, Regional Informatics Centre, Informatics Service Centre, and the Lyceum Television. Since 2007 the Institute has been part of the Faculty of Teacher Training and Knowledge Technology. In autumn 2009 the Department of Motion Picture Culture was established to promote the study of motion picture culture and the media, and in 2011 the Department of Cultural Heritage and General Cultural History was formed. Thus the past decades have born witness to the evolution of a Cabinet or sub-departmental unit into an INSTITUTE consisting of four departments, a research and teaching centre the high standards of which have earned it international acclaim. In addition to instruction and research, the Institute is responsible for the strategic planning, maintenance, and development of the College's informatics and communication technology infrastructure. True to its best traditions and committed to its mission to meet the needs of a knowledge-based society, the Institute of Media Informatics contributes to the College's training efforts at all levels. In MA level teacher training programs students are familiarised with the information and communication technology aspects of their profession. The instructors of the four departments and the support units are involved in the training of media technology assistants and information and communication technology specialists at the MA and postgraduate level, as well as teachers of motion picture culture and media and experts in library informatics and cultural heritage. Moreover, the Institute also plays a leading role in the Pedagogy and Educational Science Doctoral Program. In addition to its substantial contribution to the instruction and training profile of the College, the Institute of Media Informatics initiates and oversees extensive research projects and is dedicated to promoting scholarly cooperation, hosting scientific forums, and facilitating the mutual exchange of research results. Accordingly it has been home to the biennial Agria Media international conference on informatics and information technology, a scholarly forum that has won significant international acclaim. The dynamic growth of information and communication technology, which includes audio-visual media, computers, and the Internet, has led to infrastructural developments in the cultural and instructional sector, but furthermore has also modified prevailing views on information communication, teaching/ learning processes, and cognitive architectures. The respective research efforts of the Institute are disseminated in scholarly publications, traditional and electronic lecture notes, learning packages, professional texts, and conference proceedings in ten volumes. The professional elaboration of multimedia texts with a learner support function integrated into an e-learning framework constitutes a significant step forward in widening the perspective of instructional system development, as does the expansion of distance learning. In addition to the continuous improvement of the existing programs, curriculum development efforts aim at the introduction of the Pedagogical System Design and Information Technology programs. The Institute of Media Informatics, which is led by Dr. habil Lajos Kis-Tóth, includes 31 instructors, 20 of whom hold advanced scientific degrees, and 27 associates in various positions.

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