Nye teknologier kan føles som en tsunami

Undervisningsudvikler og senior lector Linda Price fra The Open University i England, fortæller om de udfordringer og muligheder, som brugen af digitale medier giver i forhold til læring og undervisning.

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I forbindelse med et seminar om Blended Learning i Aarhus i december, talte Linda Price om teknologiforskrækkelse, om forholdet til termen ‘digital natives’ og om hvordan undervisere og undervisningsudviklere forholder sig til de store omvæltninger i deres fag.

Feltet er præget af mange termer, der viser de forskellige holdninger, der er til Blending Learning, Enhanced Learning, E-Learning og lignende, hvilket Linda Price også adresserer.

“In my own research, I call it “Teaching and learning with technology”, because for me it’s all about teaching and learning. I can’t even separate teaching and learning; the two have to work hand in hand. It has to be teaching and learning together and it is with technology, so people understand that there is this other thing that I am trying to introduce. I don’t want to foreground the technology, which I think some of the other notions do,” fortæller hun.

Digitaler teknologier skyller ind over uddannelserne

The Open University har i over 50 år lavet fjernundervisning ved hjælp af mange forskellige teknologier, som har gjort det muligt at give flere forskelligartede studerende mulighed for at få en akademisk uddannelse. Det har været lige fra tv og radio i 1960’ernes England til globale undervisningstiltag på internettet siden 1990’erne. Men som undervisningsudvikler på andre universiteter oplever Linda Price ofte, at de teknologiske fremskridt kan opleves som en tsunami.

“I think for some people it’s a big tsunami and for some people it’s a small tsunami. But it is a tsunami nonetheless, because people don’t know what to do and some just don’t see it coming. Then suddenly they are just in it. When this feeling of the tsunami passes then we become lost, because we haven’t prepared for this,” fortæller hun og uddyber sit billede:

“Technology has caused a great disturbance. It is not necessarily because of technical ability or infrastructure or anything else. It is often a question of what to do in relation to education. How do we design our courses? How do we design them differently? What kind of infrastructure should we have, and I’m not only speaking of technical infrastructure, but also physical infrastructure. And how should that change?”

Væk fra tanken om digital natives

Linda Price mener, at det er uhensigtsmæssigt, at man ofte tillægger yngre generationer en bedre evne til at anvende teknologi og digitale medier.

“I have a problem with that assumption, splitting digital natives and digital immigrants based on age, because I think it is ageist. I don’t think that people’s ability to use technology well in education or even use technology at all is defined by their age.”

Man har som underviser indflydelse på, hvordan de studerende oplever og gør sig erfaringer med teknologi i uddannelserne. Denne indflydelse kan ifølge Linda Price også gøre sig gældende i forhold til den måde, som man udvikler uddannelserne på, og hvordan man designer de enkelte forløb.

For at ændre læringsmiljøerne, er det essentielt at starte med at undersøge og hente information fra de studerende selv:

“Some courses might be working quite well, some courses might already be using technology in a way that supports the students learning and students are happy with it. I would start to look at what the state of play is and what data we can gather on the student learning experience,” fortæller Linda Price

Skrevet af Anders Hjortskov Larsen