Tidbits, Resources, and Discussion for ELI Faculty

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How do our students perceive our technology use?

This Inside Higher Ed article has some interesting data on how professors view their use of technology in teaching and how it contrasts with how students view our technology use. Perhaps not surprisingly, the students don't really think we've figured this stuff out yet! Relatedly and even more importantly, students don't think that we are preparing them well to use technology in their careers.

What do you think is the answer to this "technology gap"? Do we need to just hire a bunch of youngsters who are digital natives and already know how to use this stuff? Is there a way to really get current faculty up to speed on technology? Do we need college policies on how to use technology and how much to do so? Do we need a "technology across the curriculum" initiative to be sure students do have an opportunity to learn a range of technologies they'll need to use in the workplace? As a faculty member, do you think you really know what kinds of technologies are being used every day in workplaces outside academia? Does it matter?

1 comment:

Laura said...

I feel I am pretty savvy in some technology but ignorant of other forms. I also get the sense that our students are still all over the place on this. Some are more tech savvy than us, others less so. And since we have to cater to all tech levels in any given class, I don't feel pressured to use more than I already do and even sometimes hesitate to use as much as I might otherwise. I feel I have to use tech to the lowest student level, not the highest - otherwise I would leave some students in the dust. Technology is a tool for teaching and should always come as a second consideration, not first. If we can do things the old fashioned easy way for all, why utilize technology that would otherwise be a "stumbling block" that could interfer with some students' learning? Perhaps a survey of student tech levals would help faculty determine what levels of tech we can comfortably expect our students to be able to manage without much trouble. For example, at this point, I expect students to have and use computers for writing papers, internet, and e-mail. Some of our ELI students do not seem to know how to manage Blackboard! I might like to use Blogs or have students work together on a Wiki but I first would like to know what % of our students are already comfortable with such tools.