The Challenges of Introducing New Technologies in Humanities: A Case Study of the Perceptions of Academic Staff of Classics

By Dimitrios Vlachopoulos.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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The purpose of this paper is to show the attitude of the academic staff of humanities towards the use of information technology in learning activities during the undergraduate courses. The study was realized in the departments of Classics, Greek Philology, Modern Greek and Mediterranean Studies in three countries: Greece (University of Athens and Patras), Spain (University of Barcelona) and The United States (University of California at Berkeley), with the participation of forty-five instructors. Almost half of them (42%) were examined individually (with face-to-face interviews and surveys) and the other 58% answered a survey and participated in discussion groups, where they exchanged about a) the challenges they face while introducing ICT in their courses, b) possible solutions in solving the problems that occure and c) the potentiality of innovation technology in humanitities. After this data analysis, and by following G. Moore’s (1989) classification, we separated the participating academics in three groups: the “conservatives”, the “mainstream” and the “early adopters”. Since the starting point for the application of innovation in the classroom is the instructor, the policy makers are called to focus on helping him/her become conscious of the change in teaching methods and to include his/her opinion during the design of the innovative projects.

Keywords: New Learning Methodologies, Teaching Culture, Classics and ICT

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.51-60. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.660MB).

Dr. Dimitrios Vlachopoulos

Graduate Instructor, Faculty of Education, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Dimitrios Vlachopoulos was born in Athens, Greece. He studied Greek Philology at the University of Patras, focusing on didactics of language and literature. He continued his studies at the National University of Athens earning a Master’s Degree in “Southeast European History and Culture” and a DEA (Diploma d’Estudis Avançats) in “Evaluation of Educational Programs” at the University of Barcelona, Spain. His PhD dissertation focuses on the teaching of the ancient Greek language in Higher Education with the use of Information Technology (IT) and the creation of virtual courses of ancient Greek by using open source software packages (Learning Content Management Systems). Since 2003, Dimitrios Vlachopoulos has been involved in several EU-funded projects (e-Learning action, Minerva, Leonardo, Satellite Communications Programme- VI FP etc.) and since 2006 he has been working as a researcher and instructor at the Department of Didactics and Educational Organization at the University of Barcelona. His latest publication is the “Manual of Ancient Greek grammar exercises” (2008), which was financed by the regional government of Catalonia.