Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 9: Rethinking technology-enhanced learning: disconnect passive consumers, reconnect active producers of knowledge
The aim of this chapter is to offer a contribution on the changing trends in technology-enhanced learning and the development of digital competence in tourism education. It critiques the tendency to use digital instruments to position learners as passive ‘end-users’ of technologies adopted ‘for them’ by teachers and institutions. Without disregarding the relevance that technology-enhanced learning could have in developing information literacy in learners and sometime in educators, this chapter draws attention to a broader perspective. It is argued that engaging students as active producers in the employment of the latest technology in their studies and in the co-construction and mobilization of knowledge is of the utmost importance. This chapter advocates the need for better attention to the learning process rather than to the learning of products in online and mobile educational initiatives, and, further, to the need for attention to the ethical dimension of digital competence. The chapter presents a project conducted at a New Zealand university as an example of ‘rethinking’ technology-enhanced learning and the students’ online presence. The project uses a combination of experiential, collaborative and problem-based learning approaches where wikis, ePortfolios, iBooks and mobile augmented reality apps are used with a maieutic approach and a critical attitude of ‘healthy disenchantment’ rather than a glorification of the technology itself. Details about the project and reflections about emerged issues and implications are described to stimulate further discussion on the role of digital technologies in twenty-first-century learning. Lecturers and tutors might find in this chapter some similarities to or inspiration for their class activities, whilst program coordinators might benefit in their approach to multi-modal literacy and knowledge management as cross-disciplinary objectives.
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