Here is a short article on how students are using the internet.
Quote: “Pop quiz: True or false? Today’s college student internet users are tech-savvy.
Answer: False. It’s a commonly held misconception that college student internet users are all tech wizards. There’s a big difference between frequently using technology and being tech savvy.
In our experience, college students don’t always care how an app or new technology works. They just want it to be easy to access and use. Give them a product that takes too long to figure out, and they’re on to the next one.”
There are numerous sources that reinforce this concept that our current university students actually have a lower Computer Self-Efficacy (CSE) than they did a decade ago not the other way around. I think of CSE as roughly computer literacy, but also with components of technology integration and exploration confidence. Somehow we as educators have decided that if a student understands how to use twitter/facebook/blog/skype/secondlife/pinterest/podcast/jing/prezi (feel free to insert the current technology flavor of the month here) better than we do they are inherently adequate at incorporating technology into learning and we do not need to support them in this area (note the recent removal of technology as a required course in HPU’s GEC). I have recently read through a bunch of articles designed to create and validate instruments to measure CSE (both generic and specific). In that process I have come to the conclusion that, outside the CIS department, two of the people on our campus with the highest CSE are Dr. Plagens and Dr. Hopp. Both of these individuals are masters as evaluating technology and incorporating it into the classroom. Since neither professor is necessarily labeled a “Computer Guru” this might come as a surprise, but I think it points out the difference in perception between what CSE is and what some folks think it is.
Wow, Lester! “I’ll take valuing your colleagues for $500, Alex.” I think the first thing we need to do is define CSE. I bet our definitions across campus would vary dramatically. I think the best approach from this point forward is to find a way to empower and equip faculty members to better incorporate technology in the classroom, not provide further polarization.
The main idea I take from the quote you pulled out is students don’t care how it works, only if it does and it is easy to use. To me this speaks volumes about what we currently do, and should do in the future, in regards to technology. Instead of compartmentalizing technology to one class that forces them to jump off the deep end I feel we should look to incorporate technology, with progressive depth and discipline specificity, throughout the students time at HPU. How can a student gain mastery of anything in a 3hr course. So, again, why don’t we empower and equip faculty members so that our students can reach a higher level of CSE that specifically applies to their discipline.
My intent is not to polarize faculty. My intent is to explain that when we say we want/need our students to be able to handle current and future technology removing a key technology component from the GEC is similar to trying to increase their writing (math, communication, reading, etc) knowledge by removing the writing (math, communication, reading, etc) specific course and replacing it with “progressive depth and discipline specificity, throughout the students time at HPU.” Should we also try to increase communication knowledge by removing the required COM course and increase mathematical reasoning by removing MAT requirements? I guess I never thought of the Introduction to IT course as jumping off the deep end.
I don’t believe the intro course to be jumping off the deep end either (should have clarified more in my response). I was stating it that way due to the quote and your exposition.
I would love to hear your thoughts on why my recommendation is not pedagogically sound? I mean, I do teach writing in my music history courses, as I’m sure you do in yours. What I want my students to accomplish through their research, and the presentation of said research, is discipline specific and requires depth due to being upper level courses. Students gain incredible, invaluable knowledge about writing and critical thinking through their English courses. What I am doing is building on the knowledge and experience my students gain in these courses. I am not asking them to compartmentalize their writing skills.
In the tech area we compartmentalize. In order for students to develop a high CSE we as faculty (all of us) must model behavior, encourage in application, celebrate breadth of knowledge, and go deeper in discipline specific action.
By stating that only two faculty members, outside of CIS, possess a considerable CSE level is polarizing.
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