Digital Democracy in Higher Education:
Bridging the Digital Divide
by Susana Juniu
Educators seeking to integrate technology into the classroom frequently lack technological expertise and
pedagogical preparation (Budin 1999). They often feel overwhelmed by the twofold challenge of keeping
abreast of a rapidly changing technological environment on the one hand and of finding pedagogical
strategies that allow for technology to be effectively integrated with their course content on the other.
Meanwhile, in relative isolation from the educators who face this challenge in their teaching, university
administrators and information technology (IT) departments struggle to provide the most appropriate
resources to support classroom integration.
University constituents must cooperate in a community of learning to find new ways to teach and learn with
technology and to examine the role of emerging technologies in higher education. They must clearly define
their respective roles and responsibilities in this process in order for technology to be integrated with content
in a meaningful and appropriate way. All too often, however, differing attitudes about the role that technology
should play in the classroom, power structures in higher education, and insufficient communication among
the various groups present obstacles to true technological and educational development.
In this article, I will discuss what Mitcham (1990) refers to as different "ways of being with technology" based
on my experiences as a faculty user of technology and my conversations with colleagues and other
professionals at different educational forums. These encounters have led me to question the roles and
responsibilities of educators and support staff in order to understand the implications of technology
integration in the teaching and learning process. I will then offer recommendations for how institutions may
achieve a more productive community of learning based on a democratic approach to faculty development
Ways of Being with Technology