With technology infiltrating schools, we can see that students are becoming more interested and engaged in their field of study with the help of apps, computers, and social media designed for the classroom.
According to a recent study by CompTIA—which surveyed 500 K-12 and college instructors across the country, this trend is accelerating. The report, IT Opportunities in the Education Market, revealed that 78% of K-12 teachers and administrators believe technology has positively impacted the classroom and the productivity of students. Roughly 65% of educators surveyed also believe that students are more productive today than they were three years ago due to the increased reliance on technology in the classroom. (Lytle)
At the University of Wisconsin School of Business, professors utilize specific applications during their lectures to track student engagement. For example, Professor Laurie Brachman uses an app called Tophat in her Introduction to Marketing class. This application allows students to answer a series of interactive questions throughout the lecture. The app then grades the student’s answers and these grades are used by Brachman to determine participation points at the end of the semester.
“I really enjoy using Tophat during class,” says sophomore Kylee Lubis. “Answering questions during the lecture keeps me focused and more engaged,while also allowing me the freedom to use my phone during class,” she commented.
Social media also plays a large role in the classroom because many professors encourage their students to use these platforms to voice opinions, share their work, or even use it as a learning tool.
At Penn State University, student, KC Murray reflects on her social media usage for class credit saying, “Using Twitter in class was one of the best learning tools my professor, Sam Richards, implemented. Seeing that kids are on social media all the time, it spread his message not only to his students, but to everyone his students are connected to.” She goes on to say, “It made me more involved in the class because I was using something [social media] I use for entertainment and pleasure in order to learn. I think it was a great way for my professor to present his material and get his students yearning to learn and be more involved.”
User-generated technology is slowly taking over the way we work, relax, and even pursue school work. With the help of this 21st century technology, more students can get involved in their classes without the fear of a professor snatching their phone and turning it into the principal.