Christopher Fitzpatrick is a senior majoring in Psychology. Here are his thoughts on the ways that technology enhanced his experience in the classroom.
My first semester in college started in late August of 2009. This was a time in which amazing technological advancements in the realm of personal computing were occurring. Tablets were just being introduced and smartphones were rapidly evolving. Websites became more user-friendly and digital content was beginning to outpace physical means of content. However, in spite of this rapid pace of evolution, there wasn’t an incredible amount of focus on ways in which these advancements could be successfully utilized to enhance classroom experiences. We had Blackboard, which almost no professor used, and PowerPoint presentations, which were used sparingly. That was it.
As time went on and, more specifically, as advances in Academic Technology became more known, certain technological advancements were slowly integrated into the classroom. More professors began to post their syllabuses on learning management systems (i.e., Blackboard, EC Learn). More PowerPoint presentations were used, with which visuals were introduced into the classroom. Videos from media streaming websites such as Youtube were used more often and provided a great adjunct to lectures. The introduction of Turning Point receivers in science classes facilitated teaching by enabling the professors, at least from my experience, to realize what the class is having difficulty learning.
All of these technologies created an interconnected web between students and faculty that allowed for better overall communication of a course’s content and assignments. They helped me learn difficult topics and also helped me become a more organized person. Without these technologies, this interconnection would be lost and the communication and learning strategies that it facilitates would be severed. Thus, it is clear that this technology has settled itself within high education at an increasing rate, and has proven extremely useful and also vital to the process of learning.