I would like to think that I could be classed as innovative when it comes to technology in education. However, for every person who shares my passion, there are also plenty of people who do not. So where do we all stand in the grand scheme of things? Some teachers are on twitter, some of them are writing blogs, some of them are helping with resources & training. Then some of them, some of them are doing nothing…
Reading my student mail, I saw an email from an IT Lecturer at the University of Newcastle; it read something like this,
“I have put timetables for interviews on my office door. Please choose a time and write your details on the timetable sheets. – IT lecturer”.
What is wrong with that sentence? An IT lecturer, asking students enrolled in an IT related course to use pen and paper to book appointments… Some people would argue that there is nothing wrong with that, and they would be right. However, think of it from the other side of the argument.
The University of Newcastle is pumping out hundreds of teachers yearly, with the Institute of Teachers expecting that they will be just a little bit competent with technology in the classroom. But what does it mean for them, when even the IT faculty can’t get it right?
Using technology in education, and technology education is about solving these problems through a digital medium. If a seasoned lecturer, “competent” in many aspects of modern technology fails to use the features intertwined with the very email he sent (Live Meeting, Live Calender), how could we ever expect new teachers in other non-technical syllabi to ever move past the PowerPoint?
We need to change our approach to the practical uses of technology when creating program content within tertiary education. Failure to do so will result in more teachers that are highly skilled in jumping through hoops to achieve “accreditation”, but not offer any real value in the highly technical world our students will live in.