Embracing the technology revolution in higher education

Maarten van de Ven

Universities are implementing educational innovations. Nowadays, educational innovation is unthinkable without the consideration of the use of educational technology. The pace of education technology innovation outpaces many professors’ abilities to thoughtfully integrate new tools in their teaching practice.

This article introduces readers to three foundational educational technology theories: Rogers’ diffusion model, Davis’s technology acceptance model and Mishra & Koehler’s technological, pedagogical and content knowledge model. Each theory holds important implications for those interested in helping higher education faculty members to make the most of emerging classroom technologies.

These models identify the patterns by which technologies are adopted, the optimal preconditions for technologies to take hold and the knowledge that can help educators employ new technology tools. While these models can be useful, they require action on the behalf of professors and designers of professional development. With thoughtful support, grounded in established technology theory, many higher education faculty can take advantages of the capabilities of recently emerged technologies. Higher education leadership can help their faculties make the most of education technology tools by including the implications of these theories in their professional development designs.

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