Technology in Higher Education: Asking the Right Questions

Technology in Higher Education: Asking the Right Questions

Daniel W. Surry (University of South Alabama,USA), James R. Stefurak (University of South Alabama, USA) and Eugene G. Kowch (University of Calgary, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-147-8.ch001
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Leading technology integration in higher education requires an inquisitive, reflective approach. This chapter discusses key questions that university administrators, policy makers, faculty, and other stakeholders must address in order to effectively integrate technology into higher education. The questions are divided into three categories. First order question are conceptually simple questions that can be answered with basic information and little controversy. First order questions primarily relate to the cost, availability, and capabilities of technology. Second order questions build on first order questions and require more data, greater participation, and deeper analysis to be effectively answered. Examples of second order questions include how to effectively implement technology, the costs and benefits of technology, the unintended consequences of technology, and how to move from operational to strategic planning. Third order questions involve the most complex, controversial, and profound issues of technology and higher education. These questions will likely never be definitively answered but force us to continually reassess and evaluate our fundamental beliefs about higher education. Third order questions relate to the role of higher education in society, the control and ultimate impact of technology, and how technology affects the essential elements of the higher education experience.
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The Key Questions

In this section, we will discuss key questions related to the integration of technology in higher education. We have organized the questions into three categories. First order questions are the least complex, easiest to answer, and least controversial questions. Second order questions are more complex, more difficult to answer, and more open to interpretation than first order questions. Third order questions are extremely complex, highly controversial, highly contextualized, and open to the most interpretation.

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