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Do Professors Dream of Electronic Students? Faculty Anxiety and the New Information Technologies

Eastern Communication Association Annual Meeting,


This survey of faculty attitudes toward technology calls for more critical dialogue on the uses, effects and hidden costs of information technology in the classroom and the national political economy. A survey was administered to 250 faculty members (135 were returned) at a northeastern university. The comments of respondents fell into two main areas of concern related to the use of information technologies in education. Most dramatically, instructors worried about the devastation of the teaching profession and, with it, the loss of their own jobs. Second, many were anxious about the dehumanization and alienation their students might face in a computer-dominated learning environment and workplace. Much of the expressed anxiety centered on the notion of distance learning. A few respondents said they had no objections to the potential uses of technology in education, but had not explored these personally because of limited resources and time. Others expressed eagerness to do whatever would be expected of them when the new technologies appeared on campus, while some said technology would be impossible to use in their particular disciplines. Many, including elite technology users, said they doubted students were being “educated” simply by using computers, and a few were cynical about the claims that mastery of computer skills in college would enable their students to find high-paying jobs after graduation. Contains 22 references. (AEF)


Novek, E.M. (1999). Do Professors Dream of Electronic Students? Faculty Anxiety and the New Information Technologies. Presented at Eastern Communication Association Annual Meeting 1999. Retrieved February 17, 2019 from .

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Cited By

  1. Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2014

    Leping Liu, University of Nevada, Reno, United States; David Gibson, simSchool & SITE, United States

    (2014) pp. 1–140

  2. Media Richness and Social Norms in the Choice to Attend Lectures or to Watch them Online

    John N. Bassili, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada

    Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia Vol. 17, No. 4 (October 2008) pp. 453–475

  3. Using Emerging Technologies for Faculty Development

    Michael Uttendorfer, New York Institute of Technology, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2007 (Mar 26, 2007) pp. 1140–1145

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