Over the next month, I will be doing several blogs around topics prompted by three books that look very different, but each of which raises critical questions about the role of technology in teaching and learning in higher education. The three books are:

Katz, R. et al. (2008) The Tower and the Cloud Boulder CO: EDUCAUSE, available here

Gilbert, J. (2005) Catching the Knowledge Wave: the Knowledge Society and the Future of Education Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Council for Educational Research Not available online. To order, go to: http://www.nzcer.org.nz/default.php?products_id=1215

Sangra, A. (2008) The Integration of Information and Communication Technologies in the University: Models, Problems and Challenges (La Integració de les TICs a la Universitat: Models, Problemes i Reptes) Unpublished Ph.D., Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain (Original in Catalan: for an extensive English summary click english_summary_final2).

The first three blogs will be straight-forward reviews of each of the books. The subsequent blogs will look at the issues that are raised in different ways in all three books. In particular, I want to discuss the following assumptions that underpin a lot of the discussion about the changing role of technology in teaching and learning:

Assumption 1: because of the development of information and communications technologies, the nature of knowledge is changing, and that affects not only what we teach, but also how we teach.

Assumption 2: information technology is no longer just a useful tool that supports university and college administration and to a lesser extent teaching and learning; rather it is now an integral and essential component of almost all core higher education activities, and as such needs to be used, managed and organised accordingly.

Assumption 3: higher education institutions know how to manage ICTs effectively, and in particular know how to integrate technology effectively into teaching (or perhaps more provocatively, it could be posed as the opposite: Most HEIs haven’t a clue about how to manage ICTs effectively, and no idea about how to integrate technology effectively in teaching and learning).

I do suggest most strongly that you try to read each of these publications for yourself. They are all worth reading, and some familiarity with them will facilitate the discussion I hope my blogs on the assumptions will provoke.

For a review of the Tower and the Cloud, click here
For a review of ‘Catching the Knowledge Wave’, click here
For a review of ‘The Integration of ICTs in the University’, click here (to come)

For a discussion of Assumption 1, click here (to come)
For a discussion of Assumption 2, click here (to come).
For a discussion of Assumption 3, click here (to come).

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