Teaching with Technology and Teaching Technology

Technology for Teaching

I am very much a technophile. I have actively incorporated technology into my teaching and assessment activities since I first started teaching. As of mid-2010’s, the areas where I use technology platforms, beyond the use of platforms such as Angel and Blackboard, include: (a) use of online quizzes, following a gaming metaphor; (b) use of audio-recorded lectures with slidedecks with voicethread that students can explore; (c) ultra-rich interaction platforms such as adobe connect; (d) use of a platform for online exams such as speedexam.

Teaching Technology

The expectations for a faculty member teaching technology are many. S/he must present material that the students are expected to absorb. On the other hand s/he may wish that the students learn underlying principles and are able to understand and apply these technologies given a problem. The different pedagogical schools of thought support these objectives to varying degrees. The learning of basic tools and syntax, which must be presented by the instructor, is best supported by the objectivist camp. Learning the underlying principles requires that students construct their own stock of knowledge, arguing for a constructivist approach. Finally, interaction with other participants, while instantiating and applying the principles learned to specific problems argues for a social/cultural approach. The broad mapping indicates that a pedagogical practice for teaching information technologies must integrate all three camps in a concerted effort. This integration of approaches presents a difficult challenge, as the roles the instructor must play – an all-knowing instructor vs. a participant in a democratic learning process – can be in conflict. Balancing these is the challenge that we face.

  • Nilsen, H., Purao, S. 2005. Balancing Objectivist and Constructivist Pedagogies for Teaching Emerging Technologies: Evidence from a Scandinavian Case Study. Journal of Information Systems Education. 16(3), Fall, 281-292