Digital Learning Day: How Technology in the Classroom Helps Students
Published on February 6, 2014 by Bob Trewartha
February 5th is Digital Learning Day. Broadview University has become a leader in digital technology in the classroom and instructors are utilizing these new technologies to make the classroom experience more interesting, effective and dynamic. One of Broadview University’s leaders in this area is Brent Clark, who teaches general education courses at the Broadview University-Orem campus. I had a chance to sit down with him and ask him a few questions.
How do you use digital technology in the classroom?
There’s the obvious way, eBooks, Slide Shark, etc., but one of the unique ways I’ve incorporated digital learning into the classroom is by using the iPad’s airdrop feature.
This allows students to share notes, pictures, web sites, basically anything on their iPad, with other students in the classroom. By doing this, there is more interaction between students, a better sharing of knowledge, and it makes the students not just learners but teachers.
Another way I’m using digital technology in the classroom is by utilizing the Apple TV. The Apple TV and its ability to mirror what is on an individual’s iPad changes the mode of teaching from pure lecture to the sharing of ideas.
Why does the use of digital technology enhance the classroom experience?
It changes the way we teach. By inviting this technology into the classroom, the student is able to find the latest and greatest information on a specific topic and share, agree with or contradict what is being taught right at that moment. As fast as things are changing and how quickly information is updated, the technology we have today is allowing the student to stay current on trends, ideas, updates and innovations.
What can you do with the use of digital technology that you may not have been able to do in a traditional classroom?
Share information at the touch of the screen. Not just what is in the textbook, which is normally out of date by the time it reaches the classroom, but the latest research, current events, etc.
The apps that are available currently have been and are being designed to maximize efficiency. The modern student doesn’t like to wait for anything. The iPad allows for instant access to information. With apps like nearpod and Slide Shark, students are able to add their notes to instructors’ slide shows. Notability and Evernote allow the student to record lectures as they take notes, take and add photos or other attachments, and then go back for easy access during study times.
Time management is huge in our day and age. Most students spread themselves rather thin and with the number of time management/calendar apps available, they are more likely to stay on top of homework, work, and life in general.
Any advice for students, as they encounter the digital classroom?
Don’t fear the introduction of digital technology, embrace it. The sooner you’re willing to learn what your iPad can do, the sooner you will be learning on a higher level.
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