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Colleges at the Crossroads

Taking Sides on Contested Issues

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Edited By Joseph L. DeVitis and Pietro A. Sasso

Focusing on crucial issues in higher education, this book challenges readers to go beyond taken-for-granted assumptions about America’s colleges and universities and instead critically examine important questions facing them in today’s troubled world. Each chapter presents divergent perspectives, that is, "pro" and "con" views, in the hope of stimulating reasoned dialogue among students, faculty, administrators, and the public at large. Readers will explore how internal factors in the academic community often interact with external social, economic, and political influences to produce conflictual results. They will see that academe is hardly value-neutral and inevitably political. This book urges them to transcend strident political persuasion and instead engage in the careful analysis needed to make colleges better.

The text provides in-depth appraisal of key topics of controversy: the purposes of higher education, liberal education, academic freedom, political correctness, tenure, shared governance, faculty workload, admissions tests, student learning, Greek life, the worth of college, equity and social justice, athletics, student entitlement, technology and distance instruction, and college amenities. The book will appeal to students, faculty, staff, and all those interested in the future of higher education. It is especially useful for courses in contemporary issues in higher education, foundations of higher education, higher education and society, college student development, and the organization and administration of higher education.

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19. Instructional Technology as Revolutionary Savior of Higher Education Classrooms: An Analysis of Scope, Ethics, and Virtues (David S. Knowlton)

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19.  Instructional Technology as Revolutionary Savior of Higher Education Classrooms: An Analysis of Scope, Ethics, and Virtues

DAVID S. KNOWLTON

When I was first asked to write a chapter arguing that technology could be the savior of the higher education classroom, I immediately felt unsettled, overwhelmed, and intimidated. I was surprised by my own negative reaction. After all, I am a professor of instructional technology, and I have done much faculty development promoting the use of technology in the higher education classroom. When I teach face-to-face courses, I regularly tell my students to boot their laptops, get out their cell phones, and fire up their tablets, as I have found that these tools can help elevate the quality of classroom discourse and provide pathways toward student engagement. Furthermore, these days, I mostly teach online courses, and I have been known to argue that online courses can be more pivotal and transformative than their face-to-face, traditional counterparts. Thus, enthusiastic advocacy of instructional technology as applied in both traditional and online classrooms would seem to be right up my natural alley.

Still, I was so overwhelmed by the task of arguing for a full embrace of instructional technology that I almost declined the invitation to write this chapter. Upon accepting the invitation, I began my own walk through a process of uncovering my apprehension. A first reason for apprehension related to clarity over definitions of terms. ← 283 | 284 →

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