(photo from newswise.com)
As a Learning Technologist I’m normally excited when it comes to learning about new technology or software designed to make the learning experience a smoother process. I am positive that not all professors share this sentiment, and who can blame them? It seems year after year teachers are asked to update their knowledge on the technology/software used in class and while this is a necessity in higher education, the process by which it happens isn’t always the smoothest. This in turn ends up affecting the students in a negative as well.
Author of 5 Components Necessary for A Successful School Environment, Lisa Nielsen points to five reasons where the process of learning and teaching new software/technology can fail. Nielsen states “Lack of Vision, Skill deficit, Lack of incentives, Lack of Resources and No Action Plan”(Nielsen 1). Each of these issues adds a level of imbalance to the learning curve. For example having a lack of vision for what the software or technology can be/will be used for leads to confusion on why the software is a necessity to begin with. A professor who is not the most technologically inclined may experience anxiety and pressure to learn or teach new software provided to them. The negatives associated with this are obvious, but are easily combated with skill development workshops and tutorials. The goal of the universities should be to accommodate and provide professors with resources and reasoning necessary when implementing new software or technology in the classroom, otherwise what at first seem helpful will prove otherwise.
(Photo credit Lisa Nielsen)