Working amongst knowledge professionals within the international development sector, we were dazzled by the rise of Web 2.0 or Social Media (as it is now referred to) and the opportunities it offered. The information age is characterized by the enormous amount of information made easily available online, but a new challenge arises. Namely how do you discern efficiently and effectively which information is relevant for you without spending tons of hours googling? And how do you ensure you have the most recent relevant information so that you are asking the right questions?
I will not quickly forget when Nynke Bos* declared in 2009: “Smart phone ownership has grown to 50% in one year amongst our students.” A mouthwatering statistic for an ICT in education policy maker! Something you can bite into and use to anticipate future service and teaching/learning opportunities. When she started working at the Faculty of Humanities, and planned to hold the same survey amongst her ‘new’ students, I jumped on that band wagon and suggested we hold it amongst the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences as well. And as a good idea often does, it ballooned into a survey amongst all students of the University of Amsterdam.
Behold, the result of our toils (with a huge thanks to everyone who helped us on this endeavor!): “How do students use ICTs in Higher Education?“.
Discussions about the effects of technology, both positive and negative are not new. What is new is that we live in a time where it is developing at such a fast pace that the research into it’s effects can barely keep up. We have technology which begets the new technology. Cars could not make better cars.
The internet, computer processing speeds, social networking sites and mobile technology are exposing us daily to new ways of accessing information and communicating. Many of these technologies have been and are being adopted in the workplace and in education. It is not surprising then that discussions are taking place between lecturers, students and policy makers about which technologies to embrace and which to avoid.
This is Part I of a series wherein I would like to share some recent discussions, publications and presentations on the effects of new technology on society and by extension on learning and teaching.
There’s something about this model which captured my attention. It divides the uses of educational technology into three phases and the division resonated with my experience. In this model, Phase one and two takes technology and infuses it into traditional lessons. Phase three is quite a bit different, more advanced, and requires a paradigm shift.