Teaching in the Age of Technology: Tensions and Possibilites

By Heather Hemming, Deborah A. Day and Gregory MacKinnon.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Technology has the potential to alter traditional conceptions of schooling, teaching, and learning. When the School of Education at Acadia University undertook a three year curriculum-wide initiative to embed the use of technology in the Bachelor of Education programme, the faculty and students were faced with many challenges and unique opportunities. The global purpose of the project “Teaching in the Age of Technology” funded through the J. W. McConnell Family was to prepare graduates to be tomorrow’s leaders in the innovative use of technology and pedagogy”. This paper focuses on five themes which evolved over the three years. The discussions of curricular conversations, faculty support, micro- and macro- level projects, the integration of new faculty into the project and the national leadership which emerged identify some of the possibilities and tensions created in a project aimed at preparing pre-service teachers to thing critically about technology and to develop skills in using the technology in ways that are innovative and pedagogically sound.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Leadership and Change, Curriculum Integration

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.63-70. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 497.001KB).

Dr. Heather Hemming

Director, School of Education, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Dr. Hemming is a Professor of Education specializing in curriculum, literacy, and electronic literacies. She is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Professional Studies at Acadia University. She was co-project leader of the technology initiative,"Teaching in the Age of Technology" during her tenure as Director of the School of Education. She has worked extensively in the area of e-literacy combining her interest in information literacy and workforce and health literacies. She is currently conducting applied research in website usability studies at the Acadia Culture Digital Observatory.

Dr. Deborah A. Day

Assistant Professor, School of Education, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada

Deborah Day, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She teaches assessment to pre-service teachers and is very involved in the graduate programme in counselling, teaching courses in assessment, life and career planning counselling and child and adolescent counselling. She is interested in the roles technology may play to support those involved in preparing for helping professions to develop a more nuanced understanding of critical issues in their field of study. Specicially, she is exploring how pre-service teachers may use technology to consider assessment practices from a critical perspective and how they may gain a deeper appreciation of high school students' implicit theories of assessment, which shape their engagement in the teaching-learning process. Her other research interests focus on conceptualisations of resilience. She has presented papers at a variety of conferences in Canada and the U.S. and has published work in the Journal of Psychological Type and Perceptual and Motor Skills.

Dr. Gregory MacKinnon

Professor, School of Education, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Academic Background: Bsc(Hon) Chemistry; PhD Biorganic Chemistry (Drug Design);BEd (Science & Math Education); MEd (Science and Technology Education) Recent Publications include:(a)MacKinnon, G., Aylward, L. & Bellefontaine, J. (2006). Electronic discussion: A case study of the range of applications in a laptop university. Computers in the Schools 23(1) 59-71., (b) MacKinnon, G. (2006). Contentious issues in science education: Building critical thinking patterns through two-dimensional concept mapping. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia. 15 (4), pp. 433-445. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.,(c)MacKinnon, G. & Williams, P. (2006). Models for integrating technology in higher education: The physics of sound. Journal of College Science Teaching 35(7), 22-25.,(d)MacKinnon, G. & Williams, P. (2006). An enhanced studio physics model: Which technologies are productive?. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching. 25 (1), 29-40.,(e)MacKinnon, G. R. & Keppell (2005). Concept mapping: A unique means for negotiating meaning in professional studies. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia 14 (3), 291-315.,(f)MacKinnon, G. (2005). Symbolic interactionism: A lens for judging the social constructivist potential of learner-centred chemistry software. International Journal of Technology in Teaching 1(2), 89-102. and (g)MacKinnon, G. R. (2005). Forging new teaching models through enhanced communications: Action research in business, education and science classrooms. In Powers, S.M. & Janz, K. (Eds.), Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing in Higher Education. Terre Haute, IN: Curriculum, Research and Development Center. (peer-reviewed research monograph)


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