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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This paper describes some of the problems that IS faculty encounter, when they attempt to teach emerging information technologies. We conceptualize these problems as a dilemma: between an objectivist perspective for teaching the basics of tools and syntax and a more enlightened, constructivist and socio-cultural pedagogical perspective that emphasizes principles and application of the technology. In this paper, we explore this dilemma drawing on a specific case study, where the authors were engaged in teaching eXtensible Markup Language (XML) at a Scandinavian institution. We follow a multi-method research approach drawing on our own critical reflections throughout the term, and feedback obtained from the students at the end of the term. The data indicates that for teaching emerging technologies, educators face challenges at several levels including class content, class conduct, and designing of educational experiences. The students appear willing to pay the cost of fragmented approaches for the benefit of getting an early start on learning emerging technologies. Integrating these with perspectives afforded by the learning theories leads us to strategies that may be useful for designing and conducting courses in emerging information technologies.

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