Integrating technology into the classroom is no longer simply a trend in higher education – it is a ubiquitous means of making learning environments more efficient and effective. While traditional instructional strategies still play a major role in reaching students, the fast-paced, tech-savvy nature of the world today means that students need to be prepared to use various technologies in a professional setting. Though certainly almost every professor has experienced a situation where devices such as laptops or smartphones proved to be a distraction, these devices can be purposed to benefit academia. Here are four tech strategies for benefiting college classrooms:
1. Utilize social media
Platforms such as Twitter can be key to creating an environment of authentic learning. According to a 2012 study by researchers at Michigan State University, titled “Twitteracy: Tweeting as a New Literacy Practice,” classrooms in which students and instructors interacted over Twitter resulted in increased student engagement. This forum provides students with a means to communicate outside of class, conduct external research, learn to write succinctly, collaborate and brainstorm. Specifically, social media can be applied in ways that are relevant to the field of study. For example, business students should learn to effectively navigate LinkedIn as it is a commonly utilized professional platform.
“Technology provides positive outcomes for students who need to learn remotely.”
2. Make processes efficient
One of the major benefits of classroom technology is that educators can create an efficient means of collaborating, editing information, providing grades and sharing assignments all in one location. Using learning management systems, educators provide a go-to resource for students to access syllabi, assignments and grades. Considering many students prefer accessing course materials online, a learning management system can serve as a reliable access point and help ensure that students have a means of communicating outside of class. What’s more, as noted by Blackboard, this technology allows students to work remotely and provides positive student outcomes for those who can’t attend brick-and-mortar schools.
3. Provide professional resources
Software, social media and other tech resources used in the classroom can be particularly beneficial to students when they have real-world implications. Higher education is meant to prepare students for the workforce, and using relevant resources provides students with practical situations for their professional lives. For example, business students can learn about various aspects of running an enterprise from business simulation software.
4. Focus on curation
The simple reality is that technology has provided resources for students of all backgrounds to learn independently outside of the classroom. However, while the Internet serves as a learning resource on its own, finding reliable information can be challenging, especially for students who may not yet be familiar with numerous reliable publications. Students therefore rely on educators to act as curators, providing tools that they can utilize in the future. By exposing students to reputable texts, notable publications, thought leaders and other trustworthy content, educators give students resources to reference well into their professional careers.