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5th Teaching & Learning Conference 26-28 September, Westville Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (paper #91)
e-Learning: Positioning yourself as a Lecturer
School of IS&T, UKZN
Technology has great potential for managing the challenges presented by the massification of education. This suggests we, as lecturers, need to seriously consider its practical impact on our pedagogy. Unfortunately however, the higher education classroom in the main, has not been revolutionised by new technologies. While the converts will speak enthusiastically of technology in the classroom these statements are often met with scepticism by some academics. Nonetheless global imperatives to embrace change and to exhibit high levels of adaptability are clear. In higher education this may be accompanied by direct or indirect pressure to move to specific computing tools.
This short paper will initiate a discussion around the position of the lecturer in relation to an ever changing technological world.
When asked about technology use in their teaching, lecturers may experience a range of emotions and may present a variety of arguments for their pedagogic position. A lecturer may perceive the choices of technology as being impacted by the content they teach, their context and an expectation of the role technology should (or could) play in teaching. However, these responses may be because of the way in which they have experienced technology. For example: Theories relating to technology support a technicist paradigm focusing on features and functional use. Technology can however be viewed from a broader paradigmatic perspective where technology becomes more than a tool and may fulfill a less expected role; for example, that of providing emotional support (as may be demonstrated via facebook).
This discussion will present an opportunity for lecturers to consider a less bounded view of the potential use of technology in their own HE teaching and create the opportunity for group engagement.