Education Technology

Comment: Technology is reshaping university learning

Posted in Blog on 1 September 2016

We’ve made the shift to digital for shopping, banking, reading and watching TV shows or movies. Most of our communication is digital, on smartphones or tablets. It’s hardly surprising that today’s digital generation is embracing technology in the university environment as well.

For critics who worry that digital tools lead to shortcuts and enable lazier students, I argue the opposite happens. The students are given greater responsibility and ownership of the material and empowered to reach for success through an array of means.

Students today want to be actively involved in their learning. They want to see and try new concepts, not just hear about them from the “sage on the stage” at the front of the lecture hall. This doesn’t mean professors are being swept aside by digital technology.

On the contrary, faculty members are simply embracing digital tools to introduce new pedagogical activities that enhance our students’ learning experience. Since joining Concordia’s teaching team, my own role as an educator has evolved from that of a transmitter of knowledge to that of a facilitator of learning.

Innovations run from technology-enhanced learning, where the instructor uses digital tools to promote learning in and out of the classroom, to fully online classes where learning and assessments are entirely online. Between these two extremes is blended learning, where some recorded lectures and activities carried out online or in the community are replacing traditional classroom lectures.

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