Technology is changing the way classrooms run. Students have access to knowledge in their pockets in the form of smartphones or in their backpacks in the form of tablets or laptops. What is the point of learning anything, regurgitating it for the professors’ benefit? There is no point. The point is to use that technology to “regenerate” knowledge, in the words of Dr. Scott D. Miller, president of Bethany College in a HuffingtonPost article from April 2014.
Miller states that “[b]ecause their future employers will expect a high degree of creative problem-solving skills, those students who can refine, reinvent, or redirect ways of using conventional information and knowledge-based skills will garner the most exciting entry-level positions.” What better way for this to occur than to encourage students to learn how to use and create technology that meets those goals?
Students can use technology to quickly analyze data that it would have taken a long time for a professor to have gathered and analyzed years ago. Knowing how to use the technology to make this possible helps students dig deeper, think more critically and innovatively – puts them ahead of the curve. Technology can be applied in so many different ways that students should be given the freedom to use it in ways that are collaborative and useful. On most college campuses, they are given this liberty.
Could it be taken a step further, though? Could departments across campus and campuses across the world work together to provide experiential learning opportunities that utilize technology to increase the amount of collaboration and teamwork used in their projects?
Could coding students in the U.S. share ideas and learn from students in India, China, or Europe? More inter-university and university – K12 partnerships should be created to get students into coding. Maybe Skype or online whiteboard technology could be used to have college students teach primary school kids how to code. Many online training companies like DevelopIntelligence are focused on website coding training programs for all ages.
These ideas are probably already in existence, and the students can take the ideas to the next level given the room to experiment and direct their own learning. Perhaps the ideas could expand to be even more common place so that the wonders of technology can spur the next generations in all parts of the globe to gain “a high degree of creative problem-solving skills.”