Technology and Higher Education

When the focus is on student-learning, technology is superior.
When the focus is on technology, student-learning is inferior.

Technology in higher education is a hot topic across the world, and one that gets the hearts of passionate educators pounding. Unfortunately, it’s also a tool that is MASSIVELY abused and overused.

It’s important to remember that technology is a tool to enhance the learning environment, and not the be-all-and-end-all of education. Too much time is spent asking “how can I use this [insert latest buzz-device] in my class?” and not enough is spent asking “how can I use any/all of the resources available to me to develop the optimal learning environment for my students?”.

Taking the quick-fix or long-term solution

Obviously, the former is the easier of the two questions to answer. However, you’d be hard-fetched to sell the idea it is the best question to ask, or even an appropriate question to ask at all.

Alternatively, time can be spent to develop and enhance the learning environment. By learning environment, I mean everything linked to providing the student the ability to develop. However, this is something that requires time, open-discussion, and resources…unfortunately these things are all at a premium in modern day HE.

Talking about it

Earlier this year, (in addition to a panel discussion on social media with Helen Keegan and Sue Beckingham), I was invited to present at the BETT Show (go there it’s awesome) on how I’ve integrated (or rather attempted to integrate) technology into higher education. You can find the slides from our presentation entitled “Integrating technology into HE sports programmes; the good, the bad, and the ugly” here (my colleague Kate Wilkinson joined me)

I’ve spent a lot of time (and late nights) chatting about the use of technology with colleagues and peers in-person,over e-mail, and mostly on Twitter debates. Although I’ve gained a lot of experience from educators that work with students at all ages, most of these have been at the sub-16 year age. There seems to be a lot more educators integrating technology into education at the younger ages than in higher-education. Although this does appear to be changing slowly.

Integrating technology into higher education is challenging

I’ve spoken previously about the challenges of the changing the higher education learning environment (see the links at the bottom), but one thing I’d like to share are the final three slides from the presentation Kate and I gave; the good, the bad, and the ugly of technology in higher education. Do you agree?

The good…

BETT final_good

The bad…

BETT final_bad

The ugly…

BETT final_ugly

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