Technology is cool, technology is fun but it can be much more than that. The members of the new generation have grown up with a laptop from the age of two. These individuals have a completely different manner of studying and exploring the world from the past generations. This is why technology has already made its way in the learning experience. Many colleges are already doing it right and embracing new trends.
So, how is technology used to enhance learning? Several great examples of integration exist and they teach other academic institutions a valuable lesson.
Learning from Technology: An Overview
Technology helps teachers – the instructor is no longer the only source of experience and academic help. Students can start turning to alternative sources, which diversifies the information that they get.
Education is no longer restricted to the classroom. Students can benefit from video streams and online tutorials that give them access to academic materials and study guides during any time of the day (or the night).
In the past, many parents used to be involved in the learning process. This is no longer the case. The majority of parents are very busy professionals, which means that both high school and college students are on their own. The technology has stepped in to deal with this modern family factor, as well.
Statistics show that college students own an average of seven personal devices. These include a smartphone, a laptop, an mp3 player, a printer, a digital camera, a tablet, a desktop and a TV, among numerous others.
Nine in 10 undergraduates and graduates have broadband internet access. The national average is 66 percent, thus the student niche is much more tech-savvy and it has better access to new technologies. Nearly 73 percent of college students say that they can’t study if they don’t have access to modern technologies. More than 90 percent of students use email to communicate with professors, 70 percent use keyboards in class rather than take notes by hand and they rely on apps like calculators, audio recorders, to-do lists and homework assignment trackers to improve their academic performance.
Social Media and Studying
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the basic technologies utilized in college, it’s time to dig a bit deeper. Certain technological trends are seen as having primarily entertainment and business purposes. Social media rank among these technologies. Do social media, however, also have a place in the classroom?
For a start, social networking has increased collaboration between students and improved its results. They find it much easier to talk to each other and partner up through the use of websites like Facebook.
Students taking a particular course and their professor can easily create a Facebook group or a Google+ virtual “meeting.” Apart from creating a particular “community” these technologies take learning out of the classroom, make students share their opinion freely and result in a creative medium that can be tremendously stimulating.
Social networking teaches college students valuable lessons that they can use later on in life. The ability to connect to new individuals, develop these relationships and maintain those over the long could have a tremendous impact on future professional opportunities.
Can another popular digital trend – blogging –also be incorporated in the academic world? Current experiments suggest that this already happens and it has an overly positive effect.
The blog is merely a platform that can be used to deliver a particular message. It can contain additional study materials and reflections. Blog posts generate lively discussions and when all students are on board, these platforms can take the learning experience to the next level.
A professor can easily create an academic blog. The other possibility turns blogging into an assignment. This is a particularly great opportunity for students taking creative disciplines and courses in the fields of language, marketing, even history.
Students can easily be given models of what they have to achieve in the form of other blogs. Blogging can be used to conduct social experiments, make impressive presentations and stimulate the creative thinking of young people. The possibilities are vast when it comes to the use of this digital platform and its integration in the academic world.
Young people of today are learning when doing something, rather than by adopting a passive approach. This is the main reasons why so many colleges and professors have pushed for change. Technology encourages interactions and it makes the college experience available everywhere. As the years go by, the number of technologies incorporated in the academic process is going to increase. A revolution has already started and we’re yet to see and experience its full potential.