Learning in the age of technology

January 7th, 2015

The world of education is changing rapidly, and it's up to colleges and universities to follow this trend. One example of the new advances in the field of knowledge acquisition is the increasing dependence on technology in the classroom. This ranges from having access to libraries on devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets, to enabling a cloud-based learning platform so that professors can grade papers and give back tests digitally.

Collaboration through dental academic software
According to CIO, technology having to do with the cloud and with digital libraries enables students and teachers to work together collaboratively. By utilizing the cloud, students can work simultaneously on the same project and study together from digital, interactive copies of quizzes and homework assignments. Professors can also monitor the progress their students are making by logging into their own version of the software, which offers unfettered access to exactly what students are looking at online, how much time they are spending looking at things and everything else a professor may want to know.

Students can also do work when they are otherwise not well or can't come to class, maintaining the crucial momentum that study requires.

"I've had students continue to participate in the class even when they are not onsite and are at home ill," said Matt Richards, director of e-learning for St. Columba Anglican School in Australia.

The flipped classroom
Information Week continues to emphasize the possibilities inherent in a flipped classroom, which is when the professor assigns lectures as homework and has students complete worksheets in class. The worksheets themselves can be digital, so that students can use their laptops or tablet computers to access the information and then work with professors in the room to collaboratively work on assignments.

This is the opposite of learning passively, in which the student simply absorbs information without thinking about it. When studying like this, the student is actually gaining information and then applying it the next day, allowing him or her to ask questions and get feedback by someone in the room.

Bringing teacher and professor together
The ultimate function of technology isn't to pull people apart but to bring them together. When technology is used effectively, through cloud-based tools and other programs that allow the student to work with the professor, learning can happen much more readily because the barriers between learner and teacher are reduced. People can have a shared responsibility to learn the material in this way.

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