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Presidential Teaching Professor Seminar

Pedagogical Reboot: Teaching How to Learn About Technology

Dr. David Gunkel
Dr. David Gunkel

David Gunkel, Ph.D.
Department of Communication
Distinguished Teaching Professor

There is virtually no field or discipline that has been left untouched by technological innovation. This is especially true in the field of communication where so much of our daily interactions with each other have moved to computer-mediated systems. For this reason, it is often considered necessary to teach students how to use the technology that has and will continue to be a fundamental aspect of their personal and professional lives. But this effort is incorrect. Teaching students about technology is not only inadequate but potentially counter-productive. Because technology changes at such an accelerated rate, any instruction in a particular piece of hardware, software, or system is virtually obsolete the day of the lecture. For this reason, educators need to learn how to teach students not about technology but how to learn about technology. This subtle shift in emphasis is crucial for preparing the next generation of tech-savvy leaders and decision maker. But it requires an entirely different conceptual focus and pedagogical approach. In this presentation, David J. Gunkel will detail this method of technological education, which has had remarkable success with students in media and communication studies.

David J. Gunkel is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University (USA) where he teaches courses in communication technology, information ethics, and web design and programming. He is the author of five books—Hacking Cyberspace (Westview Press, 2001), Thinking Otherwise: Philosophy, Communication, Technology (Purdue University Press, 2007), Transgression 2.0: Media, Culture and the Politics of a Digital Age (Continuum, 2011), The Machine Question: Critical Perspectives on AI, Robots, and Ethics (MIT Press, 2012), and Heidegger and the Media (Polity, 2014). He has lectured and delivered award-winning papers throughout North and South America and Europe, is associate editor at Philosophy and Technology, and is the founding co-editor of the International Journal of Žižek Studies and the Indiana University Press book series Digital Game Studies. More information is available at

Monday, March 30, 2015
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center
11:30 a.m.—12:00 p.m., Refreshments
12:00 p.m.—1:00 p.m., Presentation and Q&A

No registration is required—Everyone is welcome!


Office of the Provost
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Last Updated: 2/26/2015