November 14, 2017
Millennials are, allegedly, ruining certain things in America right now.
Homeownership, department stores, diamonds, the traditional 9-to-5 work week – the list drags on.
But what millennials aren’t ruining is enhancing their education through the addition of technological resources.
Technology enhances a student’s classroom experience by providing access to information, online tools and communication that can aid in a student’s way of learning.
Instructors, lecturers and professors who refuse to adapt to technological advancements in their classrooms are only hindering their students’ advancement of the knowledge they present.
I’ve had a few classes where my professors refuse to use Blackboard, refuse to allow students to use laptops or tablets to take notes, or even refuse to allow basic technological components to be used in class.
Sometimes, it’s a mindset of distraction – some believe that technology can distract students from learning and paying attention. If you spend your two-hour lecture on your phone and get nothing out of the class you pay for, then I understand that.
But other times, it’s a dislike of technology, and a desire to go back to a time when computers, phones and tablets at least had a limited existence.
Outside of class, the majority of students use technology to enhance learning. In 2011, 98 percent of undergraduate students used the internet, according to a 2011 Pew Research Center study. At that, 96 percent of the same students owned a cell phone, while 88 percent owned a laptop.
Yes, technology is fun, and most of us may have our nose in our phones the majority of the time. But being involved in the digital world has benefits that some professors may not see.
According to Concordia University, technological literacy, the ability to choose and properly use technology, contributes to skills like problem solving, communication and information synthesizing.
In 2017, students are accessing technology in various ways to enhance their learning. Technological literacy helps build skills like decision making and understanding digital citizenship.
Through understanding technology, students have the ability to make more informed decisions on a variety of aspects in their lives like their health, safety and even long-term goals, like buying a home, choosing a graduate school or researching a company for a prospective job.
Technology also helps students be more informed citizens due to better access to a wealth of information. With more practice on social media, software programs and more, students will have a deeper understanding of internet ethics, like fair use, freedom of speech and how to interact with others.
Alongside these skills, communication can be enhanced when not everyone has a flexible schedule to meet face to face. Technology offers creative ways to communicate and understand group dynamics.
Groups can use Google programs, like Docs, Slides, Sheets and more, to communicate if they cannot conveniently meet for their upcoming projects. The Blackboard app makes checking grades, submitting assignments and completing discussion boards convenient.
As an English major with an emphasis in professional and technical writing, I am required to take at least two technological literacy classes.
It is arguable that someone in my emphasis cannot succeed without having a basic understanding of technology and how it functions. Even if you aren’t looking to pursue a career in PTW, 96 percent of jobs will use communications technologies, according to Concordia University.
It’s safe to say that technology is a necessary component of one’s career and their potential job opportunities.
Students need to be able to access technological resources in class to become better learned and citizens.
The global information superhighway will only serve to allow us to advance more quickly into our development as people.