Technology at the service of academic education
Education has always integrated in a rich and creative way every new available tool that can preserve, increase, and transmit knowledge. Since its origin in the Middle Ages, universities have always studied and experienced every new available “technologies of the word”: the word “lecture”, for instance, referred to the activity of dictating by teachers, which allowed students to write basic scientific texts. At that time, the available technology was handwriting (chirography), which was the most efficient and effective way to promote the diffusion of classic texts and of knowledge.
Letterpress print, as well as periodical print and the other subsequent technologies up to informatics and telematics, have always been accepted in academic practices in an intelligent and generous way. This predisposition has always gone together with a certain caution, aimed at assessing the real advantages of the adoption of a new technology.
The use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in teaching – so-called eLearning – is therefore extremely new if we consider the available technologies and the opportunities they offer to enrich the learning experience, but it is also completely traditional if we consider the ability and the desire of the university to “do better their job ”.