Professors at top research universities are highly skeptical of the value of the instructional technologies being injected into their classrooms, which many see as making their job harder and doing little to improve teaching and learning.Some of the professors make a point that I've made for years--that technology is good for administrative tasks but its usefulness in teaching is somewhat more limited.
That's the conclusion of "Technological Change and Professional Control in the Professoriate," published in the January edition of Science, Technology & Human Values. Based on interviews with 42 faculty members at three research-intensive universities, the study was funded under a grant from the National Science Foundation and particularly focuses on professors in the sciences, including chemistry and biology, with anthropology thrown in as a point of comparison.
Consider the opinions of two different chemists. "I went to [a course management software workshop] and came away with the idea that the greatest thing you could do with that is put your syllabus on the Web and that's an awful lot of technology to hand the students a piece of paper at the start of the semester and say keep track of it," said one. "What are the gains for students by bringing IT into the class? There isn't any. You could teach all of chemistry with a whiteboard. I really don't think you need IT or anything beyond a pencil and a paper," said another.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Technology For Its Own Sake
I'm not the only one who wasn't smitten with Cupid's technology arrow: