Whatever Happened to Instructional Technology?
Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the International Business Schools Computing Association
During the last decade and a half, American higher education has invested about 70 Billion Dollars in information technology goods and services, as much as 20 Billion Dollars of which has gone to the support of teaching and learning. But despite the size of this investment in instructional technology, numerous examples of innovative and successful instructional applications, and a growing comfort level with technology among both faculty and students, instructional technology has not been widely adopted by faculty, nor has it become deeply integrated into the curriculum. By some estimates, no more than five percent of faculty utilize information technology in their teaching as anything more than a "high tech" substitute for blackboard and chalk, overhead projectors, and photocopied handouts. Promising innovations rarely propagate beyond the innovators themselves. This paper examines the broad range of factors that underlie the failure of instructional technology to penetrate the curriculum more widely than it has. Particular attention is paid to the social barriers that impede the diffusion and adoption of promising innovations in instructional technology, and to the unintended manner in which well-meaning efforts to support the development and diffusion of instructional technology by IT support organizations and technology vendors have frequently undermined adoption by mainstream faculty.
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