Technologically-challenged

MORGAN LEGEL | Columnist

This is no longer our parents’ college. We are in an era where new technology has transformed the landscape of higher education.

PowerPoint presentations, online syllabi, and websites allowing students to electronically turn in assignments are just the start.

A new, technological era is being thrust upon us, bringing mixed emotions.

Nearly half of American teachers have implemented technology in their lesson plans, according to Edudemic, a website used to connect education and technology.

Kim Manlick, a French professor at Butler University, is amond the numbers.

“I think technology can serve us very well in education,” Manlick said. “And at a school like Butler where classes are small enough you can control what’s going on, I think (technology) use is fine,” she said.

However, Manlick has some guidelines for using technology in her classroom. She would much rather the technology be used by her than by her students.

“I think it’s great when teachers use technology,” Manlick said. “But there’s not much room for kids using cell phones and things like that.”

While the reason for this rule is clear, what does this say for students who take notes on their phones, laptops and tablets?

Electronically-taken notes can be just as useful as hand-written notes and sometimes can contain more.

Junior Caroline Berg has learned her limit and does not bring technology to class anymore.

“I, personally, get distracted if I bring my laptop into the classroom and if I don’t put my phone away,” Berg said. “I just don’t learn anything and it’s pointless to even go then.”

As college students, we are able to make our own decisions and restrain ourselves from inappropriately using technology. The problem is, we do not use this ability as we should.

We allow ourselves to get distracted and lose attention for the topics being discussed. We spend more time on Facebook and ESPN. Then, we get mad when teachers ask us to put away our computers, tablets and phones.

The solution for this problem is for teachers and students to meet in the middle.

Teachers have to remind themselves what they already know—that there are various  learning styles.

Some students learn better with more technology, and they have to make room for that.

Students have to see it through  teachers’ eyes and understand their frustration with technology use.

Teachers are here to teach us the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life.

Sometimes, among all of our homework, annoyance and social lives, we forget  they are here to help us.

If teachers and students realign themselves, their beliefs and their actions to recognize where the other is coming from, there will no longer be an issue with technology use in classrooms.

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