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Abstract The current information technology mediums such as the Internet pose exciting new opportunities for researchers and educators and at the same time present numerous questions and challenges One of the current frustrations of many faculty includes their limited conceptual grasp of how these technologies can benefit themselves and their students For certain the Internet as it currently exists is largely an undefined and unrefined information resource This ostensible weakness however provides early adopters of these infant technologies to participate in and to define the role of the Internet for our discipline before it gets defined for us The primary objectives of this paper are to present the potential of technology to faculty just beginning to consider it as well as open a dialogue with colleagues regarding its utility as a research tool and a heuristic device in the sociology classroom Three specific questions guide the discussion 1 Why should sociologists concern themselves with the Internet 2 What are the various Internet technologies available to sociologists and 3 How can faculty begin to integrate these technologies into their classrooms and research Key words teaching sociology information technology on-line teaching Introduction Information technology is quickly becoming the hub of efforts within the higher education community Indeed colleges and universities have demonstrated a fierce rush to amass technological tools and are only now addressing the possibilities for adapting them to academic use Ideally new networked information technologies such as the World Wide Web and E-mail will become fruitful pedagogical tools for faculty of all disciplines As academic libraries are virtualized and classrooms are equipped for Internet teleconferencing and distance learning faculty are left to rethink and redefine their role as educators It may be that the higher education community has constructed technology around education and now must meet the challenge of re-building education around technology Inventing technological-enabled education falls principally on the shoulders of university faculty who must learn
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