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How Technology Enhances Teaching

How technology enhances teaching

When I was a student, the technology in teaching was limited: announcements were placed “ad valvas” on a cork board in the main hall, and most teachers still used overhead projectors for the drawings.

And, while I think the core of teaching is still the same, there are many ways in which I think technology has improved teaching.

Here are some of my favorite improvements:

  • Communication. Certainly, it is much more efficient to be able to place all communications for students in the online learning environment, rather than sticking notes on a cork board. Sending emails is also easier than prowling around a professor’s office, waiting until he/she/they is in, to ask a question. The flipside is information overload and overflowing inboxes.
  • Recording. Zoom and MS Teams have made it so easy to record our lectures. When a student gets sick, it is now easier to catch up with the recordings. The flipside is that students are losing the art of taking proper notes by hand.
  • Compiling information. In the past, we would have piles of copies from stuff the professors would pass on to us. Now, everything can be neatly compiled into the learning management software. The flipside is that students perhaps don’t go in and download the necessary information.
  • Developing additional tools. It is so easy to make a voice recording, a quiz, and another online tool for the contents of our lectures. The flipside is that we may be overloading our students with quizzes and tools.
  • Connecting to other professionals. Students can now watch Youtube recordings of other professors, read discussions between academics on Twitter, and find out more about a certain topic covered in class with a few search terms. The flipside is that all these options can dilute the main contents of the course.
  • Finding references. Remember how we had to go to the library to find a journal and then copy each page of the article? It was painstakingly slow. We now can address each interesting journal paper for our course with a simple search and by automatically activating our university licenses. The flipside is again that we get information overload.

What do you think are the largest advances technology has brought to teaching?

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