AN EVALUATION OF THE IMPACT OF ACADEMIC STAFF DIGITAL LITERACY ON THE USE OF TECHNOLOGY: A CASE STUDY OF UK HIGHER EDUCATION

E. Garcia1, K. Dungay1, I. Elbeltagi2, N. Gilmour1

1Plymouth College of Art (UNITED KINGDOM)
2University of Plymouth (UNITED KINGDOM)
The proliferation of new forms of technology and specifically Web 2.0 and internet technologies has undoubtedly affected every aspect of our lives and none more so than education. Increasingly Web 2.0 tools and eLearning is being promoted within Schools and Colleges and concepts such as Cloud Computing, Bring your own device (BYOD) and bring your own technology (BYOT) are being considered as viable options for enabling students and educators to integrate technology into their education.
As a result of these developments educators are being asked to pay a greater amount of attention to the digital literacy of their students and to ensure that students are prepared and able to use technology competently. However whilst much focus is placed on the student use of technology less attention has been paid to the digital literacy of academic staff.
Academic staff will often be integral in selecting the manner in which information is presented to students as well as the manner in which students are required to complete and submit work. Therefore whilst students may wish to utilise web technologies for their education it is unlikely that if academic staff do not understand or engage with such tools that students will be given the opportunity to fully engage with these technologies within their studies.
It is within this context that this paper considers the degree to which the digital literacy of academic staff may be an issue within UK Higher Education. This is undertaken through the analysis and discussion of primary research undertaken amongst the staff within a UK based Higher Education institution.
This paper considers the degree to which academic staff have engaged with Web based technologies and general IT within both their daily lives and within their teaching practice. This research suggests that staff are familiar with Web based technologies and are engaging with such technologies within their daily lives but do not have the confidence to utilise these technologies within their teaching practices particularly as students are expected to already be very familiar with such technologies.
This paper provides a research model in which the factors that may influence the degree to which academic staff feel confident in utilising Web based technologies within both their personal lives and for teaching and learning can be tested. As a result of this research this paper a final research model is created and ways in which any barriers to the use of technology may be overcome as a result of findings of this research are considered.