sue watling

 Why offline? It’s very personal in the THES by Janet Hanson, head of education enhancement at Bournemouth University, resurrects the ‘should they shouldn’t they’ debate over teacher engagement with technology. In 2007 Karl Fisch  suggested that digital literacy was the responsibility of the individual and that refusal to engage with technology was on a par with refusing to learn to read or write;

The article “Displaced but not replaced: the impact of e-learning on academic identities in higher education” in the journal Teaching in Higher Education, appears to suggest that some staff are threatened by technology to a degree where one describes feeling “out of control” when she started to use PowerPoint in her lectures, with her academic presence “reduced to a mechanical process of pressing a key on the PC to change the slides”. Comments from readers pick up and challenge this resistance to technology; one of which links to David Warlick’s online article ‘If you can’t use technology get out of teaching!’  Harsh words but I remain convinced that rather than pushing virtual boundaries forwards, it’s non-engagement that is the key issue  I suspect that the more the label Web 2.0 is used to influence institutional practice then the more those who are not yet blogging or tweeting will switch off.  The debate is far from being over. We are quick to praise pockets of good practice but it’s the pockets of resistance that need addressing.

 p.s. never mind PowerPoint; take a look at Prezi instead!



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