Saint Leo University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 5304-5311
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
As competition among higher education institutions intensifies, colleges and universities are developing innovation strategies to attract and retain students, and to prepare them for the workforce of the 21st century. Online education and other technology based tools are being increasingly utilized to meet these objectives. As a result, some of the underlying premises of higher education and thoughts of how student needs should be met are fundamentally changing. At the core of these changes is the belief that because traditional college students of today are digital natives, they are necessarily digital learners. In other words, students are exposed to technology so early and in so many areas of their lives, they now expect to experience technology in their learning as well (Carlson, 2005).

Researchers also suggest that increased technology in the education experience enhances learning as it motivates students, encourages participation and interaction, and energizes the classroom (Bowden & D’Alessandro, 2011; Davis, 2011; Delgado-Almont, Bustos Andreu, & Pedraja-Rejas, 2010; Jamil & Shah, 201; Meyer & McNeal, 2011). Most importantly, incorporating technology in their education helps students prepare for their future roles as working professionals (Davis, 2011). In order to compete for scarce employment in the 21st century, entry-level employees must not only have advanced education, but they must also demonstrate the ability to use and apply technology in innovative ways to solve problems and to interact in a global society.

Faculty are, therefore, encouraged to incorporate technology in online as well as face-to-face instruction. Moreover, in some institutions, faculty are denigrated for failing to embrace or incorporate new media and technologies. The assumption is that these faculties are behind the times or resistant to change and innovation. This quantitative study investigated the use and acceptance of some of these technologies by surveying the faculty of a private, Catholic University. The significance of the paper is that faculties are constantly bombarded with new and unique ways to incorporate technological tools into teaching, and on occasion may even be pressured into believing that the tool itself enables or encourages learning among students. Findings show that respondents incorporated technology with their instruction, and they believed this technology enhanced student learning. However, faculties did not believe the institution provided adequate support or training in the use of the technology. Implications of this research, recommendations for the effective use of advanced technologies, and suggestions for additional research are discussed.