The Instructor's Perspective
The institutional setting plays a significant role regarding the effective use of technologies. If people are allowed to explore technologies and determine themselves whether they are appropriate for their particular context, there is more likelihood they will learn more about them and find creative ways of using them. But when the use of a specific technology is mandated by special funding arrangements, the institution must then find instructors willing to undertake pilot projects. Some anecdotal evidence shows that more women instructors are asked to teach using new technologies in trial runs.
The introduction of any new technology, if technology is "a way of doing things," requires a supportive environment in which everyone involved can learn not just how to use a piece of equipment, but how to use it for its best purpose, use it creatively and explore its potential. This type of learning takes place over time and is based on experience as well as training, on cooperative exchanges between users, on mentoring as well as demonstrations.9
For a specific situation, instructors need to be able to learn enough about a particular technology and its application to decide whether and how it is useful. They need preparation time so they do not enter a situation with a "sink or swim" feeling. They may need ongoing technical support for themselves and/or their students, and they should have access to information, facilities and time that will help them develop an appropriate evaluation of the experience.
These considerations are as much a requirement for quality learning as the issues more directly related to learners. An instructor who feels constrained to use technology and does not feel competent is less likely to provide a quality learning experience than one who feels in control and comfortable.