Volume 3 No.3, Fall 1999
School of Technology
The one thing we can count on in the future is continual
technological change. This paper
looks at the changes in technology education and teaching related to the age of
industry and invention. The growth
of industry forced changes in curriculum and teaching methods.
The challenges facing education in the pas are much the same as today; to
prepare graduates to enter the workforce, to think critically, to solve problems
and to encourage lifelong learning. Critical
issues of the past remain important today; how to keep faculty current, how to
acquire needed resources, how to provide practical hands on experience,
and how to best blend research and teaching.
The information age has led to the use of computers in the laboratory, as
an aid to teaching, and also led to the development of new multi-media systems.
The new technology has placed new requirements on faculty members, but
the overall objectives of technical education remain the same.
The rate of change may be faster now, but continues to drive educators as
it has for years. Technological
change will continue in the future. Understanding
the past can help educators deal with change.
A Johns Hopkins University Professor in 1885 remarked, " as the region of the unknown is infinitely greater than the known, there is no fear of there not being enough work for the whole world for centuries to come. the telephone, the telegraph, and electric lighting, are but as child's play to what the world will see." [Rudolph, p.274]
Educators have been continually faced with change driven by new technology. This paper addresses the issue of technology changes and how they have impacted educators past and present. The details of the technology are much different, yet with all the difference the changes may best be described as evolutionary. The evolution became quite visible during the American industrial revolution in the late 19th century. We can see changes that are the result of new discoveries and inventions that have led to products and ideas that continue to evolve today. Change is truly on going, and we can expect it to continue and accelerate as we move into the future. We will continue to be challenged to deal with change just as all educators have throughout the industrial age and into the information age.
WHERE HAVE WE BEEN?
Perhaps the best way to start is to look back at the history with a
concentration on the changes taking place during the exciting period of
invention and discovery following the Civil War and into the early 20th
century. Here we will see the
foundations of technology and change that are the basis for technology today.
Several areas of
discovery led to inventions that supported the new industrial age.
These key areas include the development of effective steam power, the
development of applications and distribution systems for electricity, discovery
of new materials, the rapid growth in communications technology from the
telephone to wireless, and technology that produced new forms of graphic images.
wonderful book from the National Geographic Society provides an interesting look
at some of the inventions and discoveries that came to power the industrial
revolution and drive change to the colleges and universities.
Steam continued to be a prime power source on the farm, rivers and rails
of the United States through the early 1900s.
At the turn of the century, a new engine, the steam turbine, sparked
the age of the ocean liner. In
1897, for example, the ship Turbinia was
powered by a turbo-charged engine putting out 2,000 horsepower and producing a
top speed of 35 knots. In the fall
of 1879, Edison discovered that a charred cotton thread could become the
filament in an electric lamp that could glow for over 13 hours.
It took several more years to perfect the basic electrical service needed
to open the age of electricity. In
1900 over 24 million electric lights were in use.
Nikola Tesla made long distance transmission of electric power possible
with his invention of a system for producing and distributing alternating
current. Tesla, not Edison opened
the age of electric light. In
1898 he exhibited radio-controlled model boats and torpedoes.
His experiments also anticipated radar, X-rays, solar power and the atom
smasher. Alexander Graham Bell
won the most lucrative patent ever for the telephone in March of 1876.
Henry Ford completed his first car in June of 1896.
The Model T was born in 1908 and by 1927 the 15 Millionth T rolled
off the assembly line. [National Geographic, 1988]
magic of wireless communication became apparent as a result of the experiments
of Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi sent
a signal across the Bristol Channel, a distance of about 9 miles, in 1897.
In 1899 he sent a signal 28 miles across the English Channel.
In his greatest accomplishment, a signal was sent across the Atlantic
Ocean, about 2100 miles, late in 1901. [Karwatka, 1999]
The United States
entered into a period of rapid change and expansion following the Civil War.
There was a continuing dissatisfaction with
classical education that came with a new enthusiasm for science.
The public was demanding education that went beyond the classics and into
the practical and applied sciences.
middle class was growing and continuing to change.
More and more people were going to college to become accountants,
educators, engineers, librarians, psychologists, physicians, and civil servants.
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute catalog for the 1864-65 academic
year included recommendations for practical student furnishings including
drawing instruments, chemical instruments, text books and stationery, and to
provide them selves with a suit of heavy and substantial clothing, boots,
etc. for field service and botanical and geological excursions.
At Michigan State University in 1884, men and women studied engineering
as a part of the agriculture course. They
took courses in mechanics, civil engineering, machinery, mechanical drawing,
surveying and leveling. [Grayson, 1993]
reports that Frederick A. Barnhard, President of Columbia University, wrote in
with the advancement
of human knowledge and the growing diversity of the arts of civilized life new
fields are opening and new wants springing up which imperatively demand the
creation of new agencies." Barnard
argued that university reform was unavoidable.
If colleges did not change to meet social needs. They would simply die,
and the early part of the 19th century produced a flurry of school
start-ups and closings.
sentiments of Barnhard were echoed by the leaders of other reforming
institutions including: Charles W. Elliot of Harvard, Daniel C. Gilman of Johns
Hopkins, Andrew D. White of Cornell and James B Angell of the University of
Michigan. All pressed for the
growth of modern and practical subjects, particularly the natural sciences, and
the expansion of advanced instruction. The university reformers began to
emphasize the importance of training students to think scientifically.
The growth of laboratory based instruction:
The leading scientists believed that the only adequate way to teach
science was through laboratory work. Science
educators convinced the universities of the importance of providing adequate
laboratory facilities. Johns
Hopkins, for example, became noted for its investment in research facilities for
its faculty and students. Reuben
cites botanist John Coulter as stating, "The laboratory method means that
the old recitation, which was the retailing of second-hand information as to
facts, and second-hand opinions concerning them, has given place to the direct
observation of facts and the expression of individual opinion concerning their
significance. As a result, students
are sought to be made thinking rather than memorizing machines, with the
intuitive power developed rather than the imitative."
After the Civil War
leading universities all adopted laboratory methods.
Angell of Michigan noted in 1888 that "the method of scientific
instruction has been entirely revolutionized.
In the last half of the century, no more important step in education has
been taken than in the universal introduction of the laboratory methods in the
sciences." [Reuben, 1996]
A new concept of
higher education in America forced the curriculum to grow to take in new
subjects. Subjects were added to
provide higher education and training for the industrial classes.
The new higher education addressed the needs
of a previously neglected clientele. Universities
were formed to educate the 'industrial classes' in ways that were 'liberal' and
'practical', and for the 'professions'. The
educational mission was to include topics related to agriculture and the
mechanic arts, and what was practical and new.
Field work, observation and laboratory experiments became recognized
tools of the new education. [Johnson,
technical schools were busy trying to keep up with the new discoveries and the
rapidly changing technology that came with them. The
internal combustion engine, the spark-ignition engine, steam turbine, electric
generator, electric motor, storage battery, voltage transformer, incandescent
lamp, phonograph, and telephone were all invented during the last quarter of the
19th century. The technological revolution in the early 20th
century continued to force change on our colleges and universities. The growth
was extraordinary and seems to be similar to the type of growth and change we
are seeing today. By 1914 there
were 10 million telephones in the United States.
500,000 phonographs were sold in 1914, and in just six more years 100
million have been produced. [Grayson, 1993]
of calculating machines, telephones, and typewriters drove significant change
into the classroom as well as the home and factory.
Photo from Grayson, 1993
changing purpose of a college education began to lead to changes in the approach
to teaching. The German approach of
connecting original research and graduate study along with its methods of
science was the model that was adopted.
Lectures with demonstrations were an important teaching technique at the
turn of the century. Professors
typically handled all the instruction. [Grayson, 1993]
The techniques of lectures supplemented with classroom demonstrations
were as popular in the 1920s as they are today. The history shows students
across the country were being taught using industrial-grade equipment, a trend
that continues at many schools today.
"The laboratory method is now so widely accepted as necessary for
is evidence that laboratory instruction can be educational."
(even though the demonstration may not achieve its full potential
"Laboratory teaching assumes that first-hand experience in
observation and manipulation of the materials of a science is superior to other
methods of developing understanding and appreciation of research methods.
Laboratory training is also frequently used to develop complex skills
necessary for more advanced study or research and to develop familiarity with
equipment, measures, and research tools." [McKeachie, 1994]
Research has shown that a problem-solving method is superior to more traditional manual methods in teaching students to apply principles. Studies repeated point to the importance of developing understanding, rather that teaching problem solutions by going through a routine series of steps. Problem-solving methods as opposed to cookbook methods." [McKeachie, 1994] "While teaching a Statics and Strengths of Materials course, test and quiz scores clearly showed that the majority of students had problems comprehending external truss reactions and internal axial truss forces.... Emphasizing problem-solving processes, developing pattern-recognition skills, and using consistent terminology lead to enhanced student performance and understanding. [Reynolds, 1998] A problem-solving approach is desired by industry and has been shown to boost student learning.
SIMILAR CHANGES THEN AND NOW
basic objectives for technical education remain much the same as they were at
the start of the century. We
are preparing our students to enter and function in a difficult and changing
world. They need to be able to use
current technology and be prepared to learn and use the technology of the
future, and more. Students
need to be able to think! According
to Brookhart, We also need to
teach our students critical-thinking and learning-how-to-learn strategies much
more deliberately than we do now, to prepare them for changes we may not
foresee. While we are at it, we
need to instill a disposition to lifelong learning - before a good quality, but
now a near necessity for the future we contemplate.
Students must leave the university prepared to keep learning and to take
advantage of the new visual media. ...skills
at learning from visual representations are more important now than ever before,
given the use of computers for retrieving and representing information. [Brookhart,
1998] We need to challenge our
students with activities that force them to pull different technologies together
to solve problems. "True
integration comes when students learn through computers, not about them.
There is no value of learning word processing unless it is used to
further content comprehension." [Dockstader, 1999]
challenge to the educator goes well beyond teaching todays technology.
Joanne Johnson, an elementary teacher in Springfield, Oregon, noted for
her active classroom: Its
important to be training kids how to think.
Were training them for jobs we dont even know about.
Her focus is on getting closer to real life.
Textbooks are secondary resources. Experience
is primary. [McChesney, 1996] Who
can predict were we will be in just a few short years?
We can be sure that the technology we use today will change significantly
in the next five years.
many respects what we are trying to with todays technical education is quite
similar to what our colleagues were trying throughout the period of industrial
revolution and invention. A leading
technology school stated their beliefs in the following manner.
we believe in current, applications-intensive technical education.
Our portfolio of technical programs includes a two-year
and four year
programs." [Sprinsky, 1998]
from Adventures in Manufacturing Workshop, at Purdue University in
problem we now face is how to give each student not only the theory but also
actual experience with the projects and equipment that are not the bread and
butter of engineering practice. The
solutions should be performed on modern equipment with techniques used in
todays practice. Students in our
programs are provided opportunities for hands-on experiences and real
problem-solving using industry standard equipment.
technology leads to new research. Research
in the application and use of the new technology leads to new ideas, techniques,
applications, and methods of teaching. University
research in engineering, according to Lester A. Gerhardt, is both a process and
a product. It serves to create an
environment for engineering education that enhances classroom teaching in terms
of relevance and what is taught an how it is taught.
A good teacher is often the most active researcher. [Qazi and Ishaq,
is traditionally conducted by the engineering faculty at the universities with
graduate programs who can bring research grants and use graduate student sot
help conduct it. Applied research
at institutions offering engineering technology programs is becoming important
due to the change in technology and the resulting change in the contents of
courses in their programs. It is also important for the faculty to stay current
in order to teach effectively and be able to develop new courses in their
curriculum. In addition, the
business and accrediting agencies are putting pressure on engineering technology
programs to make teaching more industry-oriented. [Qazi and Ishaq, 1998]
curriculum for the B. S. program in Electrical engineering technology included
theoretical issues and emphasizes the use of current state of the art
equipment, and emerging technologies to solve practical design and application
problems. This necessitates the
development of new courses in the emerging technologies and state-of the-art
equipment and laboratories which is critical because of the strong hands-on
emphasis. [Qazi and Ishaq, 1998]
THE IMPACT OF THE COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS REVOLUTION:
computer-based technology revolution is having a significant impact on the way
we teach and the way students learn. The
effect of the computer can be seen in the tools are used in classes and the way
computers are used to help teach. The
changes have been dramatic and continue to develop at a rapid pace.
The recent literature offers many examples of the use of new
computer-based tools. Undergraduate engineering students often find a course
divided into a lecture portion and a laboratory portion.
The lectures address specific behaviors of the system elements and the
related assumptions and mathematical techniques used to evaluate the behaviors.
The laboratory portion of the course was intended to enable students to
run the necessary software packages and interpret the results. [Navaz,
Henderson, and Mukkilmarudhur, 1998] This
pattern is seen in many current course designs.
are numerous examples of new industrial technology coming into the curriculum.
A good example is the growth in computer-aided design (CAD) and systems
supporting concurrent design. In
the past ten years a significant move away from drafting and manual drawings has
brought campuses across the nation into the computer age with the introduction
of powerful and reasonably priced CAD systems emerging for personal computers.
Now the technology is jumping ahead once again with the development of
processes and tools for rapid prototyping, one of the most widely used is stereo
lithography. Users of CAD
systems have always desired a means to produce three-dimensional hardcopies of
their CAD models. Manufacturers of
rapid prototyping equipment have finally provided this capability.
Students are able to quickly build mockups of their designs, in order to
evaluate their fit, functionality and in some cases use as patterns in the
schools foundry. [Zecher, 1998]
methods and the tools used will change, but the intent of helping students learn
and prepare to be contributors in the future remains the same.
mere use of computers in classes is only the beginning.
The push for computers in the classroom is driven largely by the applied
use of computers and new technology in industry.
Accredited programs in manufacturing engineering technology stress
hands-on applications and problem solving using the computer as a tool.
The computers found in technology laboratories come in many different
forms directed at solving a particular problem, developing and documenting a
product design, controlling a process or machine, or even helping to manage the
business side of the operation. Students
learn to program and operate many different computer-based applications.
The computer is rarely used in manufacturing classes as a teaching tool
or as an aid to the instructor, other than in the basic applications of word
processing and spreadsheet programs. The
powerful computers in manufacturing labs are not often used to improve the
teaching or learning activities of manufacturing technology classes.
and new methods of instruction: Multimedia
has been referred to as a marriage between the computer and television.
Actually, the elements of s multimedia system include text, still and
animated graphics, audio, and still and motion video images.
Portable computers of sufficient capacity are readily available to
perform these functions. Engineering
education has traditionally taken place using the test- lecture- problem set-
laboratory- student design- test paradigm.
Overall teaching is quite a complex activity involving planning, writing,
delivery, interaction and evaluation. It
is obvious to many instructors that some change in the teaching paradigm is on
the horizon. An instructor must
decide which (teaching) functions a computer can perform and if the computer
will really save time or improve the quality of instruction.
Most classroom and laboratory facilities were not designed for a
multimedia approach and will require expensive modifications and equipment for
this new technology. [Meyer, Randall, and Morrow, 1996]
is a critical issue impacting the rate of change and the applications of the new
technology. The price tag for new
computer and multimedia hardware and software can be more than many schools can
afford. In most cases, the available budgets of colleges and universities cannot
cover the costs without some type of budget supplement.
The challenge of how to get what is needed often leads to new and
creative partnerships with industry and the discovery of funding sources outside
the university. Industry drives the
demand for graduates that have skills developed when applying the technology to
solve problems in classes. Technology
support from industry or other funding agencies for any single program can
easily reach into the millions of dollars.
high costs of facilities and the changes in the make-up of the student
population add fuel to the fires of change.
More of the students in engineering technology, for example, have several
years of real work experience in industry and are now returning to gain new
skills or upgrade their skills.
driving new distance education initiatives:
The more mature population requires special consideration and attention.
A major problem forcing change on the campus is the location of the
students. How do we deal with
the problem of students that cannot come to campus?
Computers and new telecommunications technology now support ...linking
two sites 150 miles apart by using the new methods of information technology.
Kent State launched the Distributed Learning Pilot Program, supported by
desktop video conferencing and distributed multimedia.
... the program began as a test of the distance and multimedia
components on a course by course basis. "we
are basically taking it one step at a time." [Dumont, 1997]
concept of distance education, teaching where the instructor is physically
located apart from the learners, is one of the hot topics in education today.
Many schools see the opportunity to reach out and serve students in a
wide area without the constraints of the traditional classroom.
The drive to serve a changing student base is forcing change out to the
campus. Universities throughout
North America are looking for alternate modes of delivery of educational
resources: asynchronous learning, distance education, WEB-based resources, and
so on. In the next decade, there
will be a tremendous change in the way course are presented and in the resources
required. Some observers have
likened this evolution in education to that which followed the development of
the printing press. That evolution,
however, occurred over several decades. The
current evolution is marked by major developments occurring on a monthly
basis. [Toogood, Lipsett, Lorimer, Hrudey, Peterson, and Varnhagen, 1998]
learning uses the emerging technologies of computers, the Internet and
fundamental learning principles that are common to all types of education.
The new teaching approach has been shown to be active, collaborative,
customized and accessible, of excellent quality, lifestyle-fitted.
The WWW is a gathering place for: presentations, on-line seminars,
evaluations, student projects, office hours, classroom discussions and group
meetings. The basics of
effective course design still require attention.
The basics include
decisions on the content, how assessment will
take place, what (team) resources will be needed to develop the course, how long
is the development to take
and others. [Boettcher and Conrad, 1997]
are numerous schools pursuing distance delivery.
And, many people are retreading the same paths of others in the pursuit.
Many of the people that have been assigned to get it up and running by
next semester have little or no experience in the technology or the pedagogical
concerns unique to distance learning. ...
There are faculty who are enthusiastic about the prospects, but face
administrators whose support ranges from reluctantly supportive to
recalcitrance, and there are many enthusiastic administrators facing reluctant
and recalcitrant faculty." [Landis and Hafer, 1998]
new concept in distance education is the newly formed Western Governors
University, a non-traditional virtual university.
Courses can come from a variety of sources made available to students in
any location through the power of the Internet.
"What's unique about Western Governors University is that it will
make competency-based degrees available to more students, regardless of their
locations, while also serving as a broker for multiple educators in different
states, ranging from universities to corporations that offer skill training.
...member institutions will be linked so that a student in Colorado,
say, could take a course offered in Utah." [Hettinger, 1997]
use of the Internet and the development of courses for distance learning
requires careful attention. The
following comments from a confirmed Internet curmudgeon confirm that care
must be exercised when using this new technology.
The curmudgeon identifies several significant concerns that beg for
attention as faculty members consider the great new electronic frontier known as
the information superhighway. "The
Internet is less a highway than a diabolical maze.
This road is incessantly interrupted by intersections, is cluttered with
ambiguous detours, lacks even a rudimentary roadmap, harbors villains uncounted,
is pockmarked with advertising, and is very expensive to ride."
A recent report (1997) shows a high level of dissatisfaction with
cyberspace. People are not able to
find what they are looking for, and are unsatisfied with reliability.
being asked to lurch into the future with very little
assessment. "Look before you
leap" and be prepared to face not only the triumphs, but also the trials of
the net. [Morgovsky, 1997] "If
the course is well designed and carefully implemented, online instruction can
provide and effective educational environment and can be an enjoyable experience
for both students and the instructor - particularly if the students are
motivated and self-disciplined and the instructor maintains continuous
interaction with them." [Cooper, 1999]
Good teaching, whether in a traditional classroom or using the technology
of distance education and the Internet, requires careful attention to detail.
The design of the course should never be left to chance or allowed to
develop without a plan.
use of computer and information technology in the classroom and course
assignments increases student enthusiasm and makes communications and data
exchanges more efficient. The World
Wide Web (WWW or web) and the Internet allow students to communicate with each
other and with the instructor on their own schedule.
The WWW consists of sites also
called pages or home
pages linked by an addressing system that utilizes addresses called URLs
(Uniform Resource Locators). The
sites or pages are simply files o the owners computer that are formatted in a
standard form and made accessible to the world.
Programs called browsers read these files and display the results on a
computer screen. Users move from
one page to another by giving the URL
of the desired location. In many
cases, links are included on WWW sites to allow the movement to be done with the
click of the mouse button. [Starrett,
one faculty member reported... "I don't like to say it (computer
technology) takes the place of textbooks, but in terms of giving color to the
textbooks, I can go to Hawaii and see interactive pictures of live volcanoes.
What textbook gives you that? And
[the Web] allows sharing of information not only within this district, but
across the state and across the country." [Litvin, 1998]
The growing use of virtual laboratories
and factories is allowing students to see real work places using the Internet,
places that might not be possible any other way.
The Internet is one of the most exciting tools of modern education.
Internet opens new opportunities for communication between students and faculty.
E-mail mailing lists and WWW bulletin boards are being used more
frequently to encourage student-to-student and student-to-teacher communications
and discussions outside of the classroom. Course
syllabus information is being provided completely on the WWW in a growing number
of courses. These electronic
syllabi often include homework and reading assignments, test dates, sample
questions, project requirements, links to additional resources related to the
course and grade information. The
web contains an overwhelming amount of tutorial and instructional information.
Numerous sited describing the use of HTML and graphics are readily
available. Software and graphics
are available and easily downloaded directly through the WWW. [Starrett,
new technology is forcing faculty and students to jump into the computer age
with both feet. It is no longer
acceptable for people in industry or the students on campus to work and learn
without developing and applying at least basic computer skills.
"...it must be understood that overcoming the fear of using a
computer lies in each individual's attitude toward accepting change.
...computers are here to stay because we are in the "information
age". [Garcia, 1998]
still expect our students to follow a code of conduct that emphasizes integrity,
fairness, and honesty. We are,
however, asking for this while we open up access to information and
communication technology that can provide a great temptation for students that
do not wish to do original work. "Before
the world was linked by the Internet, hard-to-detect plagiarism required
ingenuity and skill. But today with
a click of a mouse, even technologically inept students have access to vast
information resources in cyberspace without having to leave the comfort of their
dorm rooms." [Ryan, 1999] It
seems clear that computers and the tools of new technology are here to stay.
It is also clear that the effective use of the new technology requires
careful planning and attention.
related problems: Problems,
however, come along with the new technology
some new, and some old.
After Sputnik (the Russian satellite that
frightened U.S. Government officials and educators into thinking American
students were falling behind, we started all sorts of new programs that were
total failures. [McChesney, 1996] It
is essential that we take time to understand what we are trying to do, and then
address how the new technology can help.
We can learn from past mistakes, and the mistakes of others.
a jungle out there." The use
of the new technology it is not without its share of problems.
getting the technology into the classroom and laboratory has been a major hurdle
for may schools. It is easy for the
technology acquisition phase of a new project to consume much of the available
time of the faculty involved. "Until
just recently we spent so much time just purchasing stuff, we did not think
about what we wanted it for, or what we wanted to do with it. Now we are finding
out that what is more important is the curriculum, the content of what you
teach, and the technology is just a tool. You
don't need technology to get students actively involved, but by God if you can
use it the right way, you can make a big difference. [Litvin, 1998]
This issue was demonstrated in the mid 1990s in many labs when new
equipment arrived and it sat idle for months waiting for the faculty to catch up
and begin to integrate the new equipment and software into courses.
It takes time and careful planning to bring all the elements of the
technology together for an effective class experience.
for the use of new technology must include the on-going development of the
teachers and faculty members involved. Learning
to use the new technology and preparing to teach with it requires a significant
faculty commitment. "Teacher
education in the use of technology, is an ongoing endeavor.
The increasing demands for program assessment add new demands to the
limited time available to work with the new technology.
Preparing teachers for the 21st century, with onrush of new
technologies and the flood of multimedia products, requires a restructuring of
content, rethinking of existing methodology and another look at existing
assessment tools. [Charp, 1998] The
new technology can not be expected to just drop in to existing course designs.
ARE WE ANY BETTER OR WORSE AT DEALING WITH CHANGE NOW, THAN IN THE PAST?
is an interesting question!
Lecture and lab exercises are still the primary forms used in technology
education. The changes we face
today are similar to the changes faced by educators for the past 100+ years.
Could todays challenges be more significant with respect to students,
objectives and methods then in the past?
If so, will future educators have to
rethink everything they know about training to accommodate this
technologically savvy generation of workplace learners?
Not necessarily. Amid all
the hoo-ha involved in defining the hallmarks of each generation, its easy to
forget that certain human characteristics are constants, regardless of the
generation in question. [Wellner, 1999]
According to David Merrill, professor of instructional design at Utah
State (as reported in Wellner) You do need to tailor your teaching style to
A change in
generations requires a change in the surface structure of learning the
way lessons are packaged and the way learners are sold on the learning
process. Members of
'generation next' for example are more familiar than their predecessors with the
Internet. The Internet offers many
options for incorporating and manipulating different media into the learning
process. [Wellner, 1999] The
fundamentals of teaching will not change, but the delivery mechanism and media
will change, and that will impact the faculty.
took an interesting look at the pace of change in technology.
"One of the most difficult challenges of technology in a
computer-supported classroom is keeping up with the relentless pace of change in
the computer industry."
soon as we become comfortable
something newer, more exciting, an potentially
even more useful appears. "One
of the best ways I have found of coping with this continuous process of
technological innovation is to stay in touch with history."
In a reference to Lanham, 1993, Kalmbach reported
"By reminding ourselves of how teachers in the past have integrated
new technology into their classrooms, we can better prepare ourselves for coping
with innovations that might otherwise seem revolutionary." [Kalmbach, 1996]
can now submit papers of outstanding quality!
The days of the typewriter, erasable bond paper and the careful planning
and writing of the manuscript that came before that actual typing of assignments
and papers are long past. Students
today have the tools available to allow them to concentrate too much on the
cosmetics of an assignment and too little on the content and quality of the
work.. "The underlying
conflict between forma and content, and "making it pretty" as a
strategy for surviving school will remain largely the same." [Kalmbach,
1989, is also noted in Kalmbach said, "I realized how difficult it
was for me to mark the errors on an student assignment which had been printed
with a laser printer. The paper
looked polished and perfect. Marking
on it made me feel as if I were defacing a book."
"Students have always found ways to fixate on appearance rather than
content. They have neatly and
laboriously recopied handwritten essays, used typewriters instead of pens, film
ribbon instead of cloth, daisy wheels instead of dot matrix, etc."
nor will the urge to make it pretty stop at laser
printers." [Kalmbach, 1996]
CONCLUDING REMARKS ... WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN THE FUTURE?
of the number of new Internet users and the growth rate of this powerful network
of computers on the evening news remind us of the impact that the technology has
on us all. We can expect computers
and the software that runs with them to continue to evolve and change.
The power of computers in our lives and in our teaching will continue to
increase. In the past six years the
use of the Internet has increased significantly.
Many faculty members now use e-mail and have taken course materials out
to the web.
is a certainty in the developing information and computer systems age.
Even before we get comfortable with the current state-of-the-art
technology the next generation is being rolled out.
Computers, of course, are not that smart;
they need to be told exactly what things are, how they are related and how to
deal with them. Extensible Markup
Language (XML for short) is a new language designed to do just that, to make
information self describing. This
simple-sounding change in how computers communicate has the potential to extend
the Internet beyond information delivery into many other kinds of human
activity. XML offers a
particularly convenient way for scientists to exchange theories, calculations
and experimental results. MathML,
ChemicalML (CML). AstronomyML (AML), etc. [Boask and Bray, 1999] You can
just imagine the next set of problems facing educators using the web.
must continue to manage change with respect to our educational objectives just
as our predecessors in education did at the turn of the century, and again at
the start of the computer revolution, and now as we continue deeper into the
information age. The tools and
systems we use to teach and prepare our graduates for entry into the real
world will continually change and develop and become even more powerful.
We can only hope that the powerful computers and systems that speed up
the pace of change and open up new possibilities for educators will also provide
assistance in the management of change and help us stay in control.
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