Technology and Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges for the New Era
Patricia J. Gumport & Marc Chun *)
*) Penulis adalah peneliti di National Center for Postsecondary Improvement, Stanford University, School of Education. Versi modifikasi esai ini telah diterbitkan sebagai satu bab dalam American Higher Education in the Twenty-first Century: Social, Political and Economic Challenges, disunting oleh Philip Altbach, Robert Berdahl, dan Patricia J. Gumport (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).
Kemajuan teknologi informasi dan komunikasi telah memungkinkan pendekatan baru terhadap pengajaran, pembelajaran, dan riset ilmiah. Paper ini membahas bagaimana teknologi menimbulkan dampak pada pendidikan tinggi, dikaitkan dengan kondisi sistem pendidikan tinggi dan konteks sosial yang lebih luas. Lima hal yang penting dibahas adalah sebagai berikut: (1) pendidikan tinggi dan teknologi dalam masyarakat modern; (2) dampak historis teknologi terhadap pendidikan; (3) bidang-bidang pendidikan yang tersentuh kemajuan teknologi terkini; (4) pertimbangan kebijakan pemerintah dalam bidang teknologi; and (5) keengganan terhadap perubahan teknologis dalam pendidikan tinggi. Kemajuan teknologi telah memperluas akses dan penyesuaian pembelajaran dengan kebutuhan koginitif dan tingkat kesiapan pembelajar. Satu contoh adalah layanan perpustakaan digital, yang bukan sekadar penyimpan kumpulan pustaka, namun juga membuka akses yang lebih luas terhadap sumber-sumber informasi lain, misal lewat cyberspace.
Kata Kunci: teknologi, pendidikan tinggi.
It is difficult to overestimate the influence of technology on the everyday life of academe. The extensive reach of technology into higher education is captured by briefly recounting the process of writing this chapter. For much of the time that the chapter was being written, we were traveling, and therefore communicated with each other and with the editor via phone, voice mail and e-mail. References and background information were located through computerized searches of the library holdings, by reviewing on-line journals, and via the World Wide Web. Drafts of the chapter flew through phone lines as electronic versions and as faxes. Not only did technology provide access to the information we used, but it also shaped the very way in which we collaborated. In other words, both the product and process were heavily influenced by technology. However, despite the many ways technology facilitated this process, there were also numerous incidents of technological difficulties: problems converting files between computers, inability to access e-mail, and network servers that went down. An irony, of course, is despite the fact that the chapter acknowledges the power of technological advancements and that we have come to rely on them, the end result is not distributed on CDROM or posted on a web page, but is of course a chapter in a book, a medium now considered a low-tech means of disseminating knowledge. Although many of us may take for granted the ways that technology hasaltered academic work, such experiences remind us that it is useful to step back and reflect on the nature of these changes.
As we near the turn of the millennium, advancements in information technology and communications technology have made possible new approaches to teaching, learning, and research that were previously unimagined. While some advancements have been wholeheartedly embraced as valuable educational innovations, others have been less enthusiastically received. The goal of this chapter is to discuss how technology potentially impacts higher education, while acknowledging its interdependence with a complex array of opportunities and pressures that reside in the higher education system and in the wider societal context. We focus our analysis on five areas: (1) higher education and technology in modern society; (2) the historical impact of technology on education; (3) the arenas of impact for contemporary advancements in higher education; (4) wider policy pressures and legitimacy considerations; and (5) resistance to widespread technological change within higher education.1