As technology evolves and becomes increasingly essential within our society, the college classroom evolves as well. The integration of technology into the classroom has allowed for increasing educational possibilities. However, there are some basic concepts that new college students should know about educational technology (or edtech) to maximize their schooling experience.
It is likely that if you are a new college student, you will encounter some form of edtech in your classes. Many colleges offer a short course on educational technology; if your college does so, enroll in this class during your first term. Additionally, some libraries and academic support centers offer workshops that discuss various technologies that are likely to be applied in the classroom. Here are 3 tips to better utilize your electronic textbooks.
Pay close attention to the types of courses for which you register. Are you registering for an online class? Is it a hybrid course that is a mix of in-person and online sessions? Or is it a class that meets via interactive television? One benefit of online courses is that they are available to a greater number of students. However, if you are not comfortable with taking an online class, sign up for an in-person course. You can also take a preparatory class or workshop to make your online learning experience less stressful.
If you not familiar with the type of educational technology that will be used in a class, check with your instructor to see if he or she can suggest any resources to help you transition. Many learning platforms have built-in tutorials that will show college students exactly how to use them. Similarly, the publishers of electronic textbooks often supply tutorials or websites that explain all of the products’ features.
Some students, especially those who have not encountered edtech before, are nervous about the concept. Familiarize yourself with the idea via a tutorial or a school workshop, and then jump right into it! You may want to let your instructor know that you are new to this form of educational technology. However, there is no better way to learn these programs than by simply using them. If you feel especially unsure, ask a friend, classmate, or a tutor who understands the concept so he or she can assist you the first few times you use it. Here is some great information on digital textbooks that may help you prepare.
Learn the benefits
While there is a learning curve involved with educational technology, it carries many benefits. Technology can provide opportunities that are not otherwise available. It can make studying easier, too. Set aside time to learn the advantages of edtech so you can benefit from it. This is some great information on the future of technology in education.
Systems like Blackboard permit collaboration with classmates and instructors. Electronic textbooks have features that traditional textbooks do not, such as the ability to share margin notes. Hybrid classes provide students with both the virtual and face-to-face class experience. In addition, hybrid classes give students the chance to reflect on and generate discussions later, once they have digested the lecture.
As the classroom advances technologically, college students must adjust to the changes in order to maximize their experience. Prepare yourself the best you can for the technology you are likely to encounter, dive right into the experience, and know the benefits technology can confer.