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Student Disengagement in Higher Education : Two Trends in Technology

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Author(s): Eric Main

Journal: Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences
ISSN 1013-090X

Volume: 41;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 337;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: Student engagement | Technology and education | Learning environments | Motivation | Mechanization | Privacy

ABSTRACT
As internet-based technologies increasingly colonize learning environments in higher education, they allow purposes contrary to learning to have direct access to students. The internet as a governing metaphor for transparent connectivity and equal access is a red herring because the power relations across the connections are unequal. The internet also functions as a mechanism for the operant conditioning of students by commercial interests and for surveillance and control by political authorities, purposes which can, if not restrained, undermine the intentions of teachers using technology.Teachers should resist fully automating their course management, especially grading and assessment because too much mechanization can only produce reductive thinking.A related trend is the gradual replacement of liberal studies by vocational courses that feature technology as the subject. This cooperates with the aforementioned trend to effectively censor the creative and critical thinking that instructors strive to teach.
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