How Technology Is Changing Colleges

How Technology Is Changing Colleges

There’s no doubt that technology has changed nearly everything about the way we live, communicate, and interact in the past twenty years. But how, specifically, has it changed learning in colleges across the country and beyond? The influence of technology extends much farther than allowing traditional textbooks to be replaced with digital texts or creating a greater distraction for students. When it comes to a traditional college education, technology is still changing things every day. Here are just a few of the ways change occurs every day through technology in college.

The Campus is Everywhere

Since the advent of computers, technology, and the internet in general, the idea of the generic college campus, involving a dorm, a classroom, and a quad, is gone for good. These days, thanks to online course guides, chat forums, and interactive platforms, the classroom exists wherever students need it to be. As a result of this, students are more comfortable with group work than ever before and are encouraged to engage with materials beyond traditional expectations. In the same way, studying doesn’t have to take place just in a library or a dorm room. The learning environment offered by a college can now follow students anywhere they go, whether across the physical campus of Syracuse University or across the country.

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Students Teach the Faculty

Because technology keeps developing at such a breakneck pace, many adults find themselves struggling to keep up. This includes many professors, who often end up needed to be taught the subtleties of new programs and software by their students. Not only does this open up the student-teacher relationship, it creates a more comfortable, collaborative environment where everyone has something to offer.

Course Materials Extend Beyond Books

When educational materials begin to extend to multimedia platforms, the idea of what constitutes a traditional ‘text’ gets expanded. With technology always expanding and creating new ways of learning, older forms of media can become subjects of study themselves. This means that as technology develops, older technologies once considered vulgar, like film, television, and animation, change in public perception and come to be considered as educational on the same level as a textbook. It helps, too, that textbooks themselves now exist mostly in a digital format with interactive and collaborative elements built in for students.

Class Size is No Longer a Concern

While it used to be common that sought-after professors would have to exclude students from their class due to a lack of space, today class size is no longer a problem. With many classes being recorded and broadcast online, the classroom has become open to many more students as well as to adults interested in auditing a specific class. Online degree programs have also grown in popularity through the years, to the point where now many of the most prestigious universities offer online courses and degree options. A student can pursue his or her online software development masters from the comfort of his or her home while juggling a full-time job and any number of other responsibilities.

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