Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 8, No. 1 (2011)

Academics Wrestling with the Dynamic Impact of Social Connectivity to Integrate Emerging Technologies into Higher Education Curricula

Karl Matthews, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
Patrick Alan Danaher, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Abstract

This article considers how academics wrestle with integrating emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs) into their teaching, and the benefits that they reap as a result. The effective integration of these emerging ICTs into higher education curricula poses a significant challenge for academics. Emerging ICTs create unprecedented opportunities for academic staff members to collaborate on a widespread scale, crossing campus, disciplinary and institutional boundaries to create educational resources and design innovative curricula. This article proposes the authors’ contemporary updating of Latané’s (1981) Dynamic Social Impact (DSI) theory in order to explain this complex, multidimensional reality and to explore the convergent and divergent ways in which a group of academics from a single faculty in an Australian university wrestle with, and reap the benefits of, integrating emerging ICT capabilities into their respective higher education curricula. The data analysis considers the interplay between the social and the technical dimensions of the emerging ICT capabilities technologies, and how they can be understood through the phenomena of clustering, correlation, consolidation and continuing diversity (Harton & Bullock, 2007). It is through wrestling with these phenomena that the participating academics reap the educational benefits of integrating emerging technologies into their higher education curricula.

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