Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Keeping up with our students

At the recent Educause conference, Julie Evans from Project Tomorrow gave a presentation on what today's K-12 students think about learning with technology, and where they want education to head in the future. According to her presentation, past studies of the adoption of technology in learning (e.g., the adoption of email) show that students generally adopt a technology in their personal lives, and then start applying it to their schoolwork (e.g., using email to collaborate on a project). Next, adults begin to pick it up, then they begin to use it in teaching, by which point student use of that technology is on the decline.

One lesson we might take from this is that to really reach our students where they are, we need to be a little quicker to take up new technologies ourselves. What do you think prevents you from trying new technologies as they come out? Is it fear? Feeling uncomfortable trying to figure it out on your own? Not seeing the usefulness of the new technology? The expense of getting access to it to try it out? Not enough time? Something else?


Laura said...

>What do you think prevents you from trying new technologies as they come out?<
The learning curve. Intimidation? What adult in the midst of all their other responsibilities (work, home, family, etc.) has the time a kid does to explore new "toys"? Adults tend to do these things out of necessity vs. the fun the way kids do. Learning new things because we "have to" is never with the same depth of excitement and priority as learning new things because we WANT to (the way kids are with these exciting new technologies).

GailMult said...

Do I ever agree with Laura! I would love to just play with technology and have someone else cook, shop, clean, teach, etc. etc.
Then I'd be "up" on it all! :)

Anil said...

Yes, it is fear. The reason we, as, adults don’t try new technology is because we are afraid of seeming incompetent. We have to act fast and find out what is good for our students and our institution. We, at ELI rarely meet our students; however, new technology has given us a chance to connect with them and help them instantly. This fast adoption of technology has facilitated, rather than hindered us in serving our students.