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Technological talespinning : new media and higher education in the USA : an examination of technological determinism

By Suellen Maree Tapsall


This thesis examines the theory of technological determinism, which espouses the view that technological change drives social change, through an analysis of the impact of new media on higher education models in the United States of America. In so doing, it explores the impacts of new media technologies on higher education, in particular, and society in general. The thesis reviews the theoretical shape of the discourse surrounding new media technologies before narrowing in on utopian claims about the impact of new media technologies on education. It tests these claims through a specific case study of higher education in the USA. The study investigates whether 'new' media technologies (eg the Internet) are resulting in new forms of higher education in the USA and whether the blurring of information and entertainment technologies has caused a similar blurring in education and entertainment providers. It uses primary data gathered by the author in a series of interviews with key education, industry and media representatives in North America in 1997. Chapter 2 looks at the literature and history surrounding several topics central to the thesis - the discourses of technological determinism, the history of technology use and adoption in education, and impacts of new media technologies on education. Chapter 3 presents the findings of the American case study on the relationship between media and higher education and Chapter 4 concludes and synthesises the investigation

Topics: Technology Social aspects, Education, Higher Technological innovations, technology, information policy, higher education, technological determinism, educational technology, new media technologies, social shaping of technology, Internet, thesis, masters
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 1998
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