The Opportunity of Information Technology in Engineering Education. Engineering as a profession is changing at a rapid pace in large part owing to an ever-evolving technology landscape. The technological changes are wrapped increasingly in societal transformations that allow for better and rapid exchange of information and practices. Distance, time, and space are no longer boundaries for the practice of engineering. Essentially, the transition of computing infrastructure from an individual “sitting at the desk in isolation” paradigm to a “network-based” paradigm has resulted in knowledge production and sharing at a pace previously never considered possible. More importantly, the transformation of engineering practice through information technology is seen in the convergence of theory and experimentation (which are traditional approaches to engineering problem solving) with modeling and simulation, where design and problem solving are primarily in silico (meaning performed on a computer [chip] or using computer simulation). “Advances in computing and simulation coupled with technologies that mimic rudimentary attributes in analysis, may radically redefine common practices in engineering” (National Academy of Engineering [NAE], 2004, p. 15). Information technology (IT) impacts our daily lives in fundamental ways. Nowhere is this impact more obvious than on a university campus. A new generation of students – digital natives – armed with a dizzying array of gadgets and gizmos roam the hallways of academic institutions struggling to keep pace with speed of the digital world. Learning happens everywhere and at any given time. A recently published U.S. National Academy of Sciences report entitled Learning Science in Informal Environments: People. Places, and Pursuits states, “all learning environments, including school and non-school settings, can be said to fall on a continuum of educational design or structure” (National Research Council [NRC], 2009, p. 47). Information technology allows this continuum to be traversed and possibly controlled in very useful and effective ways.
|Title of host publication||Cambridge handbook of engineering education research|
|Editors||Aditya Johri, Barbara M Olds|
|Place of Publication||New York, NY, USA|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|