Pedagogical reboot

David Gunkel
David Gunkel

Virtually no field or discipline has been left untouched by technological innovation.

This is especially true in the field of communication, where so many daily interactions with each other have moved to computer-mediated systems. For this reason, it is often considered necessary to teach students how to use the technology that has and will continue to be a fundamental aspect of their personal and professional lives.

But this effort is incorrect.

It is not only inadequate to teach students about technology, says Distinguished Teaching Professor David J. Gunkel, but potentially counter-productive.

Gunkel will deliver a Presidential Teaching Professor Seminar at noon Monday, March 30, on “Pedagogical Reboot: Teaching How to Learn About Technology.”

The presentation takes place in the Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center. Refreshments are served at 11:30 a.m. No registration is required, and all are welcome.

Educators must recognize that technology changes quite rapidly, making any instruction in a particular piece of hardware, software or system virtually obsolete the day of the lecture.

For this reason, the task is to not to teach students about technology but instead how to learn about technology – a subtle shift in emphasis Gunkel has found crucial for preparing the next generation of tech-savvy leaders and decision makers. His students in media and communication studies already have achieved remarkable success under this pedagogical method.

He is the author of five books, including “Hacking Cyberspace” and “The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots, and Ethics.” He has lectured and delivered award-winning papers throughout North and South America and Europe, is associate editor at Philosophy and Technology and is the founding co-editor of the International Journal of Žižek Studies and the Indiana University Press book series Digital Game Studies.

Gunkel’s seminar is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. For more information, call (815) 753-0595 or email facdev@niu.edu.
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