Digital learning is not always efficient

Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier staff writer

Over the years, our generation has experienced the growth of technology firsthand through its increasing presence in our classrooms. From chalkboards to smart boards and Kahoots, we are continually introduced to new methods of instruction. Technology creates efficiency in the classroom and provides various ways to present content. At Berry, we are privileged with a multitude of resources. But how much is too much?

Many professors promote the practice of hand-writing lectures and notes for their students to best memorize and understand the content. However, in some instances, this traditional method is at odds with homework assignments. There has been a notable increase in the amount of homework assigned to be completed online. Students are required to practice skills and take quizzes directly on programs such as Vikingweb and Aleks. This way of learning contradicts what is said to be the most effective in the classroom. While incorporating technology as another medium of presenting information, it is important for it to not become the “easy way out.” Professors should assess assignments beforehand and determine which method of completion will best benefit the students. Potentially, a combination of both online and hand-written work could create variation in the work that makes it more memorable; the content becomes routine when it is presented in the same online format each week.

Online homework also disconnects students from regular classroom protocol. Many professors prohibit the use of personal technology in the classroom in fear of distractions, rightfully. Yet the student is then expected to use this same distracting technology to complete the assignment relating to their discussions in class. That is not to say that students should be expected to write research papers by hand, but typing it on your own word document still gives us the opportunity to print it out and make corrections, rather than automatically submitting it. This proves less daunting than the timed trial provided online. I feel more successful when I have completed the work and have had the opportunity to think on it and make necessary changes.

VikingWeb provides students with online content and resources that can be accessed at any given time. The website saves paper for long articles, instructions, and class rosters, and has become a vital resource in Berry classrooms. While it is environmentally friendly, the notebooks students purchase come with the damage already done. Providing the content online and allowing the students to write down their work may benefit the students without causing further damage to trees. Immediate access to Vikingweb is extremely helpful, and paired with other studying techniques, a healthy equilibrium can be reached between technological and physical content.

The potential, resources and convenience technology provides are undeniable. Programs can grade the homework immediately and save the time of printing for an entire class. Unfortunately, fast is not always effective. I feel more connected to my homework when it is sitting in front of me, pencil in my hand.

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