Need to bridge technological gap between teachers, students: Expert

Apr 17, 2013 by

DOHA WITH the initiatives of Qatar to offer world-class research and education system, the onus is now on faculty members to facilitate further integration of technology into the classrooms, says Dr Othmane Bouhali, Co-Chair of the Technology in Higher Education (THE) Conference.

Talking to Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of the third edition of the annual conference which opened at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) on Tuesday, the Texas A&M faculty member said that the main goal of the event was to take serious initiative to bridge the gap between teachers and students through the use of technological approach in education.

“The main goal of the conference is to bring together IT experts, professionals, educators and students. We feel that everywhere in the world there is a gap between the teacher, who is teaching in a traditional way, and students who are using modern technologies. We hope to present how both teachers and students can benefit if we include more technological tools in the classroom,” he said.

THE Conference is designed to foster learning, innovation and practice in the use of technologies in higher education. It targets faculty, instruction designers, administrators, librarians, support personnel, technology leaders and enthusiastic users of technology, who understand the need for remaining updated on technology issues in higher education.

Dr Bouhali also mentioned the plan of Texas A&M to adopt a flipped classroom approach by next year. Also called flipped teaching approach, it encourages the use of technology to leverage the learning in the classroom and gives teachers an opportunity to interact rather than simply give lectures.

“Bringing technology in the classroom means that teachers and students will start talking in the same language. There are two approaches to this: one is to retain the traditional classroom setting, and incorporate technological tools in it. The other is to restructure the entire teaching method. The challenges of introducing these approaches lie in convincing faculty members who have been teaching for a long time on the benefits of technological integration,” he added.

The year’s theme ‘Today, Tomorrow and Beyond: Innovation in Teaching, Technology and Learning’ seeks to encourage attendees to explore how to effectively meet the challenges and opportunities of the present while anticipating the possibilities of the future.

Academic IT Consultant and retired CIO at Yale University Philip Long provided the keynote presentation this year. Other speakers included Derek Bruff, Director of Center for Teaching in Vanderbilt University, who shed light on how educational technology can facilitate new avenues for student learning and Steve Wheeler of the University of Plymoth, who discussed the number of possible scenarios that might emerge during any generalised adoption of new learning technologies.

via Qatar Tribune – First with the news and whats behind it.

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