What do students think about technology?

Waddington, Shelagh, Crowley, Una and McCaffery, Conor (2011) What do students think about technology? [Conference Proceedings]


Increasing use is made of technology of various types in an attempt to enhance the student learning experience. One of the drivers of this development would appear to be the increasing size and diversity of the student body. While this use may be desirable and, indeed, inevitable, issues have been identified in relation to attitudes of the student body towards this trend. Indeed, some studies have suggested that ‘we may not be at the point of changing the classroom practices of either professors or students, contrary to common assumptions (Lohnes and Kinzer, 2007) about the ‘Net Gen student body and their interests in technology or their perceptions about its use in education. This paper presents the results of a study which has explored not only the varied use of such technology, but also the student response to this usage in large classes in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Results from this exploration reveal that while students often react very favourably to the technology used as part of their studies, their responses also reveal a number of concerns, some relating to specific issues and others which raise concerns about the students general understanding of the nature of education. Data for this report were collected as part of a larger project on Large Group Teaching, partly funded by a grant from NAIRTL. The authors wish to express their gratititude for this and for the co-operation of staff and students of NUIM in the work.ReferenceLohnes, S., and C. Kinzer. 2007, Questioning assumptions about students' expectations for technology in college classrooms. Innovate 3 (5). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=431 (accessed June 13, 2010).

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