Education takes advantage of digital advances

By Caitlyn Huebner
September 17, 2015

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Professors in colleges are starting to take more advantage of technological advances, but is that really better? Creative Commons

Over the course of the years, colleges have significantly increased the amount of technology used both in the classroom and out. To hear news, events and emergencies, students flock to social media to learn all the latest happenings. Teachers depend on sights like BlackBoard for assignment submissions, tests and quizzes and, for some, lecture notes.

With so much dependence on the internet, have we lost some aspects of college itself?

There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. One could argue that a more technological approach to school- ing is better because of the easy access to school work on a range of devices, reach- ing your professor and access to readings outside of the textbook.

However, one opposed could argue that it is easier having a physical textbook rather than a digital one, handwritten notes are proven to help with memorization and you are unable to highlight on digital copies of papers or books.

I personally find myself favoring the more traditional aspect of schooling. I was taught from a young age to always high- light or underline the key points in any article, story, etc. I was also taught to annotate in the margins in order to connect more with the story and the author’s purpose.

I do, however, recognize the conveniences these technological advancements have made in life. It is so much easier being able to check My Fox Philly or Cabrini’s site for school closings rather than turning on the news and watching the bottom of the screen as the names of schools scroll by, hoping to not have to wait for the next loop to see your school.

It definitely has made a significant difference on organization. Thanks to BlackBoard, all my classes are listed with different categories to sort through topics such as syllabus, lecture notes, additional readings, quizzes/tests and assignments.

Lastly, I would have to admit that digital textbooks would have saved a ton of space on my bookshelf!

With all the pros to a more digital form of school, I still find myself preferring the traditional print over everything becoming digital. I love the convenience of putting a Sticky Note on a page with a great quote or possible test question and being able to turn right to where I need to be. I love being able to completely mark up a page with highlighter and annotations to elaborate on a point, or to add something related the professor may have said.

I have also found that when I do not have a physical assignment in front of me, I tend to completely forget it ever existed. I took an online class last spring thinking it would give me a little more time to work or go out because I would not be in class. There would be weekly reading assignments due as well as a midterm and final project.

We met in class twice, once during the first week and once to present our final projects. We were told all the assignments in person, but every week I would find myself cramming in the required assignment.

I guess the proverb ‘out of sight, out of mind’ really is true after all.

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Caitlyn Huebner

Part-time adventure seeker and full-time creative soul. I have been fortunate enough to travel to distant worlds through my imagination and bring them to life through writing. Web editor for Loquitur and Editor in Chief of The Cue

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