Students want increased technology in classes

Karo Chakhlasyan
Staff Writer

Technology and education would go hand-in-hand, if education could keep up.

University of La Verne faculty have tried with some success to integrate technology to enrich the learning experience, but the problem lies in older generations not having an understanding of how technology fits in today’s culture, at least according to some students and faculty.

“It’s a new literacy that’s taken hold and it involves not just passing along information, orally or writing stuff down, or even mass media propagation of it,” professor of technology John Bartlet said. “Now it’s a matter of context and contextualizing information, aggregating stuff out of new stuff.”

Various software and websites allow for a collaboration between students and professors, sometimes voiding human interaction.

Blackboard, a website that allows teachers to connect with students online, has become a tool for professors to assign and collect assignments.

Unfortunately, the website sometimes works against the goal of making communication between faculty and students easier.

“I hate blackboard,” senior liberal studies major Genevieve Almendarez said. “It’s a pain in the butt to have to log in and sometimes it doesn’t work and if you don’t understand an assignment it’s hard to get a hold of the teacher or somebody else.”

Almendarez and senior international business major Ashley Sullivan both like how blackboard provides students a way to see their updated grades, but both agreed there are a lot of technical problems.

“They have to end up calling for assistance because the teachers aren’t able to update the information correctly,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she would like to see Facebook groups or pages being used as a digital place for classmates to meet.

However, Bartlet does not believe Facebook will be the medium for education.

“I think we’re trying really hard to go well, ‘What are the kids trying to do now,’’’ Bartelt said. “So we do these, ‘Well, they’re on Facebook so let’s Facebook-ise education.’

“It’s so ‘creepy tree house.’ There’s so much more out there that’s richer,” Bartelt said.

When asked if it would be a good idea if there were courses where lectures were posted online and human interaction was optional, students did not think it would be an effective way to learn.

“No, if I did not have to show up to class I would not pay attention until the test,” Sullivan said.

“I think the teachers should post lectures online and they should also give the lecture in class so that way when it comes time to write the notes, you have them online.”

Almendarez came to ULV because of the smaller class sizes and the level of interaction with the professors.

As technology progresses our ability to communicate and educate, new ideas will become easier.

“It’s almost like we got all the little hanging fruit and now what’s left is stuff that we’re doing as a group,” Bartlet said.

“The only person who’s smarter than every single person in the room is everybody together in the room, and we’re starting to tap into that as were going forward into technology.”

Karo Chakhlasyan can be reached at karo.chakhlasyan@laverne.edu.

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