Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Adopting new technology

Thoughts on the development of education and barriers to the adoption of technology at third level.
The fundamental equation is cost benefit analysis. If it takes me three times as long to prepare a class, and my students only learn 10% more, then I don't make the effort.
If my students could potentially learn 40% more, but there's a 30% chance of me looking like an idiot, I don't take the risk.
So putting my notes on line is low effort, low risk and it gets done.
Putting up a selection of links to online resources is low risk and gets done.
Recording my class presentations so that my students can review what I did in class later, is low effort, with modest technology, but its higher risk (What if I make a mistake in class and they have a permanent record of this?), so it sometimes gets done.
Writing and deploying a fully online module, to students who I could equally well teach in a f2f session, is more work and significantly higher risk, (the computers went down for the final and every one got a “get out of tail free” card) so it rarely happens.
So we adopt incrementally and supplementarilly. We play it safe.

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