DANIELA VILARINHO-PEREIRA, & DENISE DE SOUZA FLEITH
Introduction. There have been increasing calls for the integration of technology for educational purposes in higher education institutions. However, to achieve successful technology integration, several factors must be considered, and it is required significant changes for educators and institutions. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the perceptions of university professors about the advantages and disadvantages of technology use for educational purposes and the barriers they encountered in integrating technology in their teaching practices. Method. It was performed a descriptive exploratory study. Nine professors from a Brazilian university were interviewed about their perceptions of technology integration in higher education. The Grounded Theory was used to interpret the qualitative data. Results. The results indicated that the professors identified advantages which were categorized as Compensatory and Potentializing (i.e., Reduction of Space-Time Barriers, Illustration of Theoretical Concepts, Medium of Communication, and Diversity and Dynamization). The disadvantages cited by the participants were related to Teacher-Student Distance and Challenges to Use. Several interviewees described the barriers faced by faculty, from which two categories emerged: Personal Resources (i.e., Difficulty of Adequacy in Technology, Faculty Resistance to Change) and Institutional Resources (i.e., Faculty Training, Technical Support, Infrastructure, Administrative Issues). Discussion and Conclusion. The lack of support from the university administration is one of the biggest difficulties in implementing technology the professors reported. The importance of rethinking the role of the university professor within the context of the digital age is discussed. By exploring these professors’ perceptions and experiences, we learned about their conditions and hoped to raise awareness about the changes needed in Brazilian institutions.
Technology integration, teaching practice, higher education, university professors, institutional barriers.
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