Spring 2010     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 14, Issue 1
Editorial: Technology in the Humanities

There is a wide range of technologies that can be utilized to enhance education. Scholars can focus their efforts in issues such as integrating different pieces of hardware, software or Internet applications into teaching and learning. The matrix of possibilities becomes further complicated by the strategies that are employed during the learning experience. Thus, researchers can choose to investigate hardware teachers use to deliver instruction, the software students use to record findings as they engage in inquiry or the communication, and collaboration tools both teachers and students use as they support one another in the pathway to achieving learning goals. Researchers can also examine the concerns related to attitudes, perceptions or experiences of teachers and/or students as they engage with technologies. Furthermore, there is a range of technology applications that researchers can examine depending on the subject domain in which they practice their scholarship.

This special issue, Technology in the Humanities of the Academic Exchange Quarterly examines the increasing pressure and exciting possibilities of new media technology for educators in this important domain. While at first glance, the humanities may be perceived as more about the human and less about the machine, the authors in this issue have found that integrating technology opens up unlimited possibilities for learning, although they have also cautioned about obstacles that need to be overcome and provided suggestions for doing so. Ma, Glosson, and Salsbury’s paper examined the benefits and challenges of using Video Observation System to connect to K12 elementary school classrooms in pre-service teacher education courses. Clausen described students’ experience incorporating the Amazon Kindle DX wireless reading devices along with other technologies to create a paperless learning and instructional context. Kilickaya and Krajka conducted a survey among 80 language instructors and discovered that they were not aware of the opportunities such as online glossing and wikis provide for vocabulary teaching and learning; instead, teachers are still using traditional word lists and flashcards for instructions. Lopez Ortiz and Holmes examined the complex nature and feasibility of using ePortfolios in the student teaching seminar. Each article not only represents its own unique scholarship, but also relates to one another examining the benefits and challenges of new technologies for teaching and learning purposes. Each represents a variant of the broad world of the use of technology in education as described above.

Examining issues of technology in humanities as an interdisciplinary research will only become more important as new generations spend more time with technologies and start using technologies at a younger age. Similar topics will continue to be examined in Academic Exchange Quarterly (AEQ). We strongly encourage researchers interested in humanities and technologies to contribute to this interdisciplinary research field by submitting your work for consideration.

The editors of this feature invite you to read the articles included here. As you go through them, consider the similarities and differences of the technologies these researchers present with the ones you have access to. Reflect on the parallel or lack thereof of the peoples who use the technologies and the intricacies of the study of the subject domains in which the technologies are embedded. We hope the ideas shared through these articles help you devise ways to benefit from the affordances of these technologies while overcoming the challenges present for the improvement of the teaching and learning processes that are of interest to you.

Lin Lin, Ed. D., Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies University of North Texas,
E-mail: Lin.Lin@unt.edu

Brenda I. López Ortiz, Ed.D., Assistant Professor of Ed Technology St. John’s University, NY,
E-mail: lopezorb@stjohns.edu