Teaching and learning with technology
Passivity still seems to be the norm for most college courses: students passively try to learn information from teachers who unwittingly cultivate a passive attitude in their learners. As the subject matter experts, many faculty are reluctant to give up some control. We know the material, there’s a lot to cover, and let’s face it, going the lecture route is often just plain easier for everyone. We “get through” the material, and students aren’t pressed to do anything more than sit back and take notes. Teacher and student thus become complicit in creating a passive learning environment.
Students are giving their instructors high marks for using technology effectively. Results from latest annual technology survey by Educause Center for Applied Research (ECAR) found that 68 percent of the more than 100,000 students surveyed said that most or all of their instructors effectively use technology to advance their academic success. That’s up from 47 percent just two years ago.
“Hybrid education” has become a hot catchphrase recently as faculty blend face-to-face learning with online technology. But the growth of hybrid education has been steered by the unstated assumption that hybrid technology should be used to facilitate discussion outside of the classroom, while classroom time should be spent lecturing.
It is critical to spend time training your students how to properly use the systems you’ve adopted into your teaching repertoire. A common fallacy is to believe that because students today are “digital natives”—meaning that they grew up with technology—they are good at using any technology. I’ve found that students’ understanding of technology is narrow and deep. They are very adept at text messaging and navigating Facebook, but they are not versed in using blogs, wikis, document sharing systems, and the like.
The New Media Consortium (NMC) and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) have released the 2010 Horizon Report. The annual Horizon Report features the continuing work of the NMC’s Horizon Project, a long-term research project that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have considerable impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within higher education.
It wasn’t all that long ago that the only people using Web 2.0 applications were Millennials and other early adopters. Today Web 2.0 tools are making serious in-roads into the higher education community as valuable weapons in today’s teaching arsenal. And while it’s no surprise that students are drawn to these applications, what may be