Digital Pedagogy in Irish Tertiary Education: A Myth or Model?

Bane, Deirdre (2014) Digital Pedagogy in Irish Tertiary Education: A Myth or Model? In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


Today's virtual learning environments are prolifically challenging the ivory tower traditionalist approach. Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs), together with students demand for personal learning environments, are driving higher educational institutes to engage more seriously in the practice of digital scholarship. One of the fundamental pillars of education is to provide a platform where an older generation can impart knowledge of the past to the future generations. Historically, such engagement occurred in the classroom with the lecturer driving the student experience. However, in a student led digital environment, the fissures between traditional versus constructivist pedagogy are visible. Students are growing up digital (Tapscott, 2008) and communicating in this form from an early age. Their educational demands are different that a previous generation of students. This shift to digital scholarship demands creative destruction where educators are being asked to detangle their pedagogical approaches to allow for the application of digital tools or skills (if any). This is easier than it sounds! This research investigates if digital technologies are being utilised in Irish tertiary education and to what extent. The need for this research is captured by Watson (2010: pp 15) who points out that 'we are in for rather stormy weather over the next few decades as the analogue minds of both teachers and parents clash with the attitudes and behaviours of digital minds'. The goal of this research is to perform a preliminary audit of the use of digital technologies in third level pedagogy practices in Ireland. It is hoped the results will help inform policymakers addressing the cleavage between traditionalist and digital pedagogy and provide a framework from which digital scholarship is integrated into the Irish pedagogy experience to respond to the 'grown up digital' generation.

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