Teaching and the New Technology: Managing the Transition


  • Linda O'Brien


Within every university we are witnessing a ground swell of interest in applying 'new' technology to teaching. By 'new' technology I am referring to the linking of the power of a PC with networks to achieve new ways to apply technology. Most universities now have staff using technology in their teaching, whether through a successful teaching grant application or simply through their own initiatives. They may be giving PowerPoint presentations or using video clips in lectures, placing their lecture notes on the web or generating student discussion through email listservs. This conference will assist you, as participants, to find and incorporate graphical images in your teaching using technology and undoubtedly you have been attracted here because you believe it is time for you to enhance your use of technology in your teaching. But several questions must be answered before you can successfully take the ideas from this conference and apply them in your teaching. ¥ How will you find the resources to do this? the time? the money? ¥ What facilities will you need access to? equipment? software? information? professional help? ¥ What facilities will your students need access to? ¥ What skills do you need? Do your students need? And before successfully applying these ideas some more fundamental questions must be answered. ¥ How will your students benefit from this? ¥ How will you benefit from this? ¥ How will the University benefit from this? Broad-based integration of new technologies into university teaching is inevitable. This paper explores the reasons why this is so by examining the changing context and new paradigms for higher education, the potential of the new technologies and the subsequent shifts and tensions within the higher education sector. It closes by explaining that successful integration of new technologies into teaching and learning cannot be done in isolation from the UniversityÕs broader planning, policy and budget processes.