E-teaching - Eroding the Stronghold of Teachers

Gerhard - Chroust


Internet and the World Wide Web have probably caused the most dramatic paradigm changes in learning
and teaching, even more than the printed book. The basic objective of teaching is to transform tacit (’internal’)
knowledge of an creator into tacit knowledge of another person, in academia usually by a third person - a Teacher.
Therefore communication is of key importance in teaching, both synchronous communication between the
Teacher and the Student, and - nowadays equally important - accessing and using stored information (libraries
and repositories). Especially in the case of stored information their availability, access, and retrieval are heavily
dependent on the available communication technology.
In this paper we consider the evolution of communication technology (section 1) from speech, to handwritten
and typeset books, to photocopying and fax, to e-mail, to books produced from camera-ready anuscripts, to the
World Wide Web with powerful search engines, to ubiquitous computing, and finally to social computing. We
discuss how the essential processes of Dissemination, and Teaching (section 2) and the existing Teaching Types
(section 3). In section 4 we discuss basic factors of the teaching process together with their dependence on
technological progress. this evolution impacts the knowledge acquisition and dissemination by the Teacher especially
in relation to the means of the Student for independent access and acquisition of knowledge. Concentrating
on academic institutions we identify three groups of factors of the educational process: Time factors, verification/
validation factors and impact factors. The new technologies tend to weaken the position of the teachers versus
the students with respect to these factors..
We continue by discussing some emerging effects of the introduction of the new technologies (section 5).
foremost questions of verification, validation, lead-time of the teacher and surpsing the teacher. We close with a
discussion of consequences for the academic institutions.


E-teaching; academic education; evolution of communication technology;WorldWideWeb; leadtime

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