Integral to the student experience at SPU is the development of character. Through creating a space of rigorous scholarship, community outreach and Christian heritage, SPU endeavors to foster a growth of character for each and every student. This view of individual transformation is integral to all learning, at SPU and beyond.
Too often, however, popular literature focuses on educational change, disruption and upheaval, terms partnered with technology in an effort to solve the struggles of assessed learning. Technology is presented as a solution in and of itself, and when specific applications or software do not meet lofty expectations, blame is often dispersed among users who failed to understand its effectiveness. Such thoughts are prevalent but wrong. Technology is not a neutral solution, but rather an element of a transformative experience.
SPU’s Department of Educational Technology and Media sees learning as synonymous with character formation. Through the development and promotion of modern pedagogies we seek to aide faculty in providing transformative learning opportunities for students, spaces where content merges seamlessly with character and Christian fellowship. Technology is not about easing the burden of traditional practices for either faculty or student, but rather expanding horizons and opening up the possibilities of learner engagement. ETM supports this objective by focusing on collaborative projects where students and faculty alike are the owners of their technological footprint. We do this by providing scaffolding and support to foster agency, autonomy and advocacy for faculty and their pedagogical growth, working towards a space where subject expertise and pedagogical know-how become intertwined.
Our view of technology is not one of applications and software, hype and promises, or tools and instruments. Rather, it is an extension of pedagogical practice, an opportunity to create greater opportunities for teaching and learning with faculty and students alike. Technology as a means to promote ease and efficiency has its benefit, but that benefit rarely revolves around learning. Technology designed with teaching and learning at its core promotes user ownership over user ease, in doing so allowing creative and innovative opportunities for each person.
Through guidelines and objectives we will publish in the weeks and months ahead, ETM will outline the elements it sees as integral to authentic learning experiences and classroom environments. Through communities and individual relationships, ETM will aid faculty in their personal pedagogical and technological journeys. Through outreach and development, ETM will provide tools and instruments designed to promote contemporary learning theory and best pedagogical practices. Through scaffolding and support, ETM will work with faculty to understand and utilize the tools of teaching and learning, in any and all learning environments.