Trillwing does an excellent job of laying out the conflicting issues facing faculty today as they try to incorporate technology into their teaching. Let me respond from a faculty perspective.
I agree that the underlying issues and fears are pedagogical, but they may be deeper than Trillwing suggests. She observes:
On the surface, these seem to be technical details, but they’re really pedagogical questions: What images can I share online with my student within (or despite) copyright laws? Will my students be uploading original images, collecting existing images, or modifying images? Will we be soliciting comments or other participation from people who aren’t members of the course? If so, what kind of access does the public have to this tool? In how much detail will I require my students to study or analyze the images? Will students need to organize the images themselves? Will they need to be able to highlight and comment upon specific parts of the images? Do I want students to socially tag the images? These questions get at the levels and kinds of collaboration and intellectual and creative production in which we want students to engage.
Few faculty that I know think about teaching substantially differently than the ways they were taught. I suspect that very few even understand the questions Trillwing raises, much less the answers. What I mean by that is that few faculty understand enough about alternative pedagogical approaches to know what questions to ask. Teaching consultants, like Trillwing, could be instrumental in helping faculty imagine the fundamentally different ways of teaching and learning that the tools of instructional technology now make possible. Indeed, I hope that will be a primary goal of our institution’s new Center for Teaching Excellence. I think that the change I’m suggesting will be more profound and thus more scary for faculty than perhaps the also very real issues Trillwing raises.