Kathryn MacCallum breaks the mould with her recent appointment as an associate professor in EIT’s School of Computing.
At 35, the programme coordinator for the Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology is EIT’s youngest associate professor and a high-achieving academic in the predominantly male world of information technology.
Kathryn’s twin passions are educational technology and seeing it used effectively in the teaching environment.
After gaining a Bachelor of Business Studies, she progressed to honours and then a PhD in information systems.
Her PhD thesis looked at the adoption of mobile technology in tertiary education. Since gaining her doctorate, she has looked at the adoption of mobile technology at all levels of education – not as a novelty, she says, but as a means of engaging students.
“It becomes a tool for teaching. The education sector is still grappling with using it effectively in teaching.”
Kathryn points to Hawke’s Bay Schools Trades Academy robotics classes as a good example of the effective use of technology in teaching.
“It engages the students while they are learning programming. And they are using technology to create things.”
Kathryn says a great deal of work has also been undertaken with primary school pupils using iPads.
“The technology isn’t replacing traditional learning in reading, writing and arithmetic, it adds on to it. You can do more by using technology – it brings the kids in and they can create their own learning.”
She is looking forward to teaching a three-week block course at the Regensburg University of Applied Sciences in southern Germany later this year.
EIT and the university have a close relationship, with teaching staff secondments and international student exchanges centred on the computing and business schools.