Wednesday, 21 July 2010

the attitude or the technology?

Just noticed this short article on Wired Campus 

So I've just copied it >>>

"Faculty members and information-technology staff members alike say technology is useful for teaching and learning, but professors take a narrower view of what technology belongs in today's classroom, according to a report released on Monday by the technology company CDW Government Inc.

Eighty-eight percent of the 303 faculty members surveyed said technology was essential or useful for student learning, and over 60 percent said they used electronic materials in their teaching, according to the report.

The most popular tools cited by professors were e-textbooks and online documents, with faculty members reporting far less enthusiasm for other electronic tools. Under a quarter of faculty members surveyed use wikis or blogs in their teaching, and only 31 percent of professors surveyed considered online collaboration tools "essential" to today's classroom, compared with 72 percent of over 300 IT employees surveyed.
That suggests an interesting gap between technology staff members and professors when it comes to how smart classrooms need to be. How wired should teaching spaces be?

It's only a short article but really resonates with the situation here in the UK education arena. i.e. some see the benefits of the technology, and strive to create environments to nurture 21st century learning expereinces. This is often hampered by differeing levels of support (both IT and senior management) .

The comments about the reluctance to grasp the significance of collaborative platforms also does not surprise me - sadly.  The thread of comments posted under the article could have been penned by any UK educator - which is also quite scary. I advise you to read them - very insightful to see the interpretation of technology enhanced learning from differing perspectives. I especially like this comment :

If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

My advice is to get back to basics and work from curriculum up - redesign to incorporate these (collaborative) learning methods - or they'll always be bolt-on. And also ensure the support mechanisms are in place - implementing technology is so about the people and so not about the "systems"
Use the JISC infokit to help redesign your courses - you know it makes sense !o) , it really is very good :

Transforming Curriculum Design and Curriculum Delivery through Technology

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