Is the faculty today prepared to embrace technology?
By Mohit Phogat on Oct 10, 2013
As professors step out from behind lecterns to stand beside laptops or in front of cameras—or both—the top concern for campus information-technology departments across the country is how they can help faculty members move smoothly into the digital age of learning.
While technology continues to grow on campuses — through both online classes and the increasing usage of mobile devices — the ability of faculty members to use and integrate technology is becoming a big concern; besides worrying about the effectiveness of information-technology spending.
As a matter of fact, its the faculty members who are facing the toughest challenge. In a recent research conducted, helping faculty members acclimate to new classroom technologies was addressed as the biggest concern for the next two or three years. With technologies like smart-classes and revolutions like MOOCs are bringing new headaches to the faculty members.
Infact, there is huge skeptism around this phase of transition - from traditional methodologies, western acceptance of virtual teaching, and our belief of face-to-face teaching. Infact, faculty is also not prepared to believe that the students will accept these modes of technologies imbibing virtual classroom methodogolies - like MOOC.
The generation today - institutions, parents and students alike - expects technology, integrated tools, accomodating mobile usage and upgrade to fast changing teaching tools. In one way or the other, the pressure only is on the faculty. Where aspects like ERP, institution automation were not the only necessity, these tools like BlackBoard, Moodle have become important tools too.
In the institutes today, we seldom see those racks full of magazines, journals... all cluttered in not-so-good conditions. The world has changed to a more contrasting avenue with subscribed e-books and e-journals being available and accessible not only from the workstations in the library but also from the laptops/smart-devices that the students have from anywhere through the internet.
The stakeholders are all consumers and demand a better experience, interestingly which is driven primarily by the institution's faculty. Technology needs to be driven by them and they need to be prepared for it. Not only does it have to be easy to use but also have tools that can enable them to be expressive.
In-line to these thoughts, I came across this 2013 Campus Computing Survey. This might be able to add perspective to the blog above.