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Technology changes the way students learn

By Loumarie Rodriguez
On November 15, 2012

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The new iPad mini will be on the market soon and may be the latest fad for tech-savvy students. With all of these new devices constantly coming out, there is the notion that technology can really affect the student's perspective when learning in and out of the classroom. Professors and other instructors rely heavily on technology for many of their teaching needs, such as posting slides online and homework as well. A few students feel that with a lot of technology they can really get something from the learning experience.
"The cons with technology in the classroom are many students don't attend classes when notes are online," said Sukrit Sekhri, a 5th-semester business major. "Also, with technology we delay a lot of work that we have and don't manage our times well, since all the information is online. The pros are it is convenient and easily accessible."
A few professors agree with the notion that technology can be detrimental to student learning in the classroom.
"I think it's a distraction," said professor Oliver Hiob of the literatures, cultures and languages department. "I do like technology, and it is a good tool for students, but to look things up on their own time. People tend to not listen in class, often checking their Facebook or email. Students never turn it off when I tell them to. Taking notes by hand is another way of viewing the material."
"Technology can be a risk sometimes because there is that risk of it getting in the way of communication rather than facilitate learning," said professor Ronald Schurin of the political science department. "But I think it could be beneficial in large classes for faculty and students to connect with each other."
Many professors and students agree that there are pros and cons with technology.
"With technology I can connect with people and build relations especially with people I don't see often," said Thanh Hoang, 5th-semester accounting major. "Google docs have been very useful to share ideas and even setting up meetings with people. The downside is it's a major distraction, especially with Twitter and Facebook."
But not all agree. "I think it has a two-sided face," said Zoila Jurado, a 3rd-semester mechanical engineering major. "It could be beneficial if your intentions are to learn. Then it could be a great teaching tool...If your intentions are to abuse it, then it won't be beneficial. It's important to remember that you can't blame an inanimate object for causing problems - it's how people use it."
Some believe that technology can greatly improve research methods. "I think technology is very convenient especially for research," said Skye Gallagher, a 5th-semester allied health major. "I don't think there is anything wrong with using books in the library, but online can be faster and you can learn a lot in a short amount of time. However, it can be bad because too many people are relying too much on computers to teach everything, rather than doing hands-on learning."

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