Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Getting beyond Us vs. Them: Our Recent Conference Reveals the Common Ground K-12 and Higher Ed Share in the Effort to Bring Technology into Learning

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Getting beyond Us vs. Them: Our Recent Conference Reveals the Common Ground K-12 and Higher Ed Share in the Effort to Bring Technology into Learning

Article excerpt

AT CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY 2008, the annual conference hosted by our sister publication, Campus Technology, hope flared in my educator heart for technology's use in higher education and K-12, which both struggle at integrating technology into instruction, each tending to find fault with the other. "If they turned out better-prepared teachers who understood how to use technology in teaching and learning," we argue, "our problems in K-12 would be much fewer."

What sparked my hopefulness at the conference was the presence of so many prominent CTOs, CIOs, and other university technology leaders, all focused on how technology can help teaching and learning.

At one session, a group brainstormed about what tools will most impact education over the next five years. More than 80 percent of the technologies mentioned focused on teaching and learning, with virtual worlds and immersive education tools topping the list.

In another session, panel members were asked to name the most important aspect of their jobs. Driving IT toward instructional priorities was the consensus winner, while using technology to customize learning was second.

Why hasn't higher ed made these priorities into realities? As one panelist said, "The biggest problem is people, not the technology. We need to make IT easy for faculty, and provide time for both IT staff and faculty to plan for innovation. …

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