ERIC Number: ED269114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Are Communications Technologies in Education a Threat to Faculty? ERIC Digest.
Needham, Robbie Lee
Communications technologies have the potential to transform the educational process. In the community college context, these technologies have the power to change the the roles of faculty. On one hand, these changes might mean a reduction in the number and status of teachers. On the other hand, communications technologies may afford teachers greater opportunities for role differentiation and specialization. Another change made possible by the introduction of new technologies has been an upset of traditional power relationships in the learning process, with teachers relinquishing authority and students assuming more control over their own learning. Communications technologies also allow for much greater individualization of learning, permitting students to progress at their own speed and freeing teachers from repetitious analysis and prescription. As educators realize the potential of computers for innovation in education, many possibilities for enhancing student learning arise: (1) computers can create realistic models and involve students in real-world computer applications; (2) throughout the college, students are using the computer as a tool to analyze data, draft and revise sketches, perform laboratory experiments, or draft and revise reports; and (3) individualized instruction is available via computers in public libraries, video outlets, and electronic universities, diffusing higher education's monopoly on learning beyond high school. A final area in which communications technologies can affect the educational process lies in their potential for furthering the professional development of faculty. Realizing this potential requires that administrators and policymakers help faculty develop new skills through planning and allocating adequate resources for computer skills and courseware development. Perhaps technology's primary gift to community college faculty is the demand that they look again at the essentials of teaching and learning. (RO)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Junior Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.