Faculty: Is Your Hand Being Forced?

An article in the Sept./Oct. issue of the EDUCAUSE Review, “Faculty 2.0,” suggests that changes in our classrooms and in our students’ technical skills are forcing faculty to confront technology, ready or not. And for the not ready, there is an obvious “balance-of-power shift” (66), as students often watch us fumble with the even the easiest of the old technologies–VCR/DVD players, Web browsers, PowerPoint slides.

The authors are right on the mark when they observe that “Faculty members think of technology as technology” and “Students think of technology as environment.” This difference results in faculty using technology to present information, whereas students would prefer the kinds of technologies that create environments for “active learning” (66).

This is where Web 2.0 come in–blogging, wiki collaboration, social-networking, tagging. . . . Read Tim O’Reilly’s thorough definition of Web 2.0.

The EDUCAUSE article shows a useful table (64) of the differences between the old teaching-centered and the new learning-centered classroom styles that faculty are being forced to model. The table is from a 1995 source, perhaps showing how long it is taking us to reinvent the classroom, almost as slow as evolution in some cases.

If you’re balking that the lecture is still the best way to teach, this article has a response for that, too. It’s not easy reinventing the classroom, though, is it? Any faculty or students out there with tales from the front about successful learning environments using a new technology?

Joel L. Hartman, Charles Dziuban, and James Brophy-Ellison. “Faculty 2.0.” EDUCAUSE Review 42.5 (2007): 62-76.

See also Marilyn M. Lombardi. “Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview.” EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (2007).


Categories: education, learning, teaching, technology, Web 2.0

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