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Do Professors Dream of Electronic Students? Faculty Anxiety and the New Information Technologies

Eastern Communication Association Annual Meeting,


This survey of faculty attitudes toward technology calls for more critical dialogue on the uses, effects and hidden costs of information technology in the classroom and the national political economy. A survey was administered to 250 faculty members (135 were returned) at a northeastern university. The comments of respondents fell into two main areas of concern related to the use of information technologies in education. Most dramatically, instructors worried about the devastation of the teaching profession and, with it, the loss of their own jobs. Second, many were anxious about the dehumanization and alienation their students might face in a computer-dominated learning environment and workplace. Much of the expressed anxiety centered on the notion of distance learning. A few respondents said they had no objections to the potential uses of technology in education, but had not explored these personally because of limited resources and time. Others expressed eagerness to do whatever would be expected of them when the new technologies appeared on campus, while some said technology would be impossible to use in their particular disciplines. Many, including elite technology users, said they doubted students were being "educated" simply by using computers, and a few were cynical about the claims that mastery of computer skills in college would enable their students to find high-paying jobs after graduation. Contains 22 references. (AEF)


Novek, E.M. (1999). Do Professors Dream of Electronic Students? Faculty Anxiety and the New Information Technologies. Presented at Eastern Communication Association Annual Meeting 1999. Retrieved December 5, 2019 from .

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