The development and evaluation of innovative use of information technology to change behaviour, motivate and engage tertiary learners to improve learning
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Technology proponents like Prensky and others want society to believe that technology, today, is superior and new; but is it really new? This thesis highlights ancient technologies compared to technology available today to confirm that sophisticated technology has been around for centuries and have been manipulated by human beings through the ages to fulfill their needs. In line with Prensky's thinking, The New Zealand education sector made significant structural adjustments to the sector with technology as the focal point in order to usher in the Ministry of Education Information Communication Technology Strategic Framework (ICTSF) in 2006-2007. The ICTSF encircles the learner with technology and completely removes the teacher out of the classroom learning environment, placing the teacher at the same level as librarians and kaumatua, which conveys a strong message that technology alone, beamed into the classroom learning environment, will educate learners.However, presented in this thesis is compelling evidence that technology alone cannot motivate and engage learners in tertiary study in order to change their behaviour.The findings of the combination of a longitudinal study at a tertiary institution from 2007 to 2009 and face-to-face interviews at companies in 2009 provide clear evidence that technology alone cannot impact on learner or employee behaviour. Human relationships, the need for inter-generational cross pollination of ideas, culture and knowledge are crucial success factors to motivate and engage both employees and learners in learning.In this thesis, towards a Strategic Education Model, an open model is developed, which allows for accumulation of knowledge in the classroom and at organizations from both the learners and teacher. This open model allows for incorporation of current knowledge from colleagues, friends, families and experiences gained from field trips, case studies and action observation to further enrich the classroom learning environment and the organizational environment. The highlight of this thesis is the development and description of a Strategic Education Model characterised by the importance of the classroom learning environment, relationship building, connecting and sector wide collaboration.Two unexpected finds were that, within the participating organizations, technology drastically impacts and intrudes on personal, family and home life and, more importantly, that the face-to-face communication skill is at risk. Both formal and informal meetings, including social events, were consistently scaled down over a number of years to the point that face-to-face meetings are at an absolute minimum and social activities arranged by the organization is virtually non-existent.
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