Classroom Technology Critical
Ever since I entered college four years ago technology has played a vital role in the educational process at Elizabethtown College. Before my arrival at college technology was used to a great extent. Technology in college today includes the usage of PowerPoint, Excel, Internet, videos which can be downloaded from the Internet, etc.
There are different types of technology used in the classroom that can enhance the learning process. Although it’s a very common tool for professors to use PowerPoint it is also one of the most useful. Most teachers at Elizabethtown College take advantage of its use. PowerPoint provides the opportunity for teachers to display the topic they’re about to lecture on. Most classrooms have some form of PowerPoint stored on their computer, whether it being the standard 2003 or the updated 2007 version. Both versions can practically be used on any of the college’s Windows or Macintosh computers.
PowerPoint does have its disadvantages though, if used incorrectly. The only way it may hinder learning is if too many words are displayed per slide. PowerPoint was designed and meant to be a visual guide to engage the viewer. In many instances, the case happens to be the use of unnecessary words. Whole sentences should not be written out on a PowerPoint slide, only bullet and key points. It is hoped that the student can learn from a PowerPoint presentation- not be overwhelmed by it. This is the only form of technology, in my opinion, which has the possibility of hindering the student, or viewer.
The Macintosh computers, or put more simply Macs, are used in the Communications Department and the Music Department, among others, and are located on the second floor of Steinman. Most of the Communication classes require the use of Macintosh Computers. These computers contain a number of different programs which can be used for various projects. Some of the included programs are Illustrator, Photoshop, I-Movie, and Adobe. Most of these programs are crucial for class and homework use.
Communications 125: Media Design and Production focuses on digital and 35-millimeter pictures. There is also a final project that needs to be completed called the I-Movie. The I-Movie is composed of pictures, which the student puts together, along with background music to complete the project. Communication 135: Public Design and Graphics requires the use of Photoshop and Illustrator to design specific logos, brochures, business cards, and newsletters for the class.
Classes such as Communication 125 and 135 are designed to help the student make use of new technology. In these cases different types of technology can be helpful in the learning process.
Some technology however is a little bit older. Although it is not as frequently used the slide projector is still active in many classes. Although PowerPoint can very well show an assortment of pictures the slide projector still comes in handy. I believe it to be very useful in going through a number of pictures in a brief period of time. If the professor’s goal is to try and keep the lecture simple slide projectors are a good way of doing it, specifically in art history classes. Slide projectors also work on a much different level than computers. Computers are much more technical and require more care. For simple tasks slides could end up being a lot more helpful.
Most forms of technology seem useful for the classroom. In some cases technology could hinder learning. On occasion, teachers may spend a good portion of the period trying to figure out what is wrong with the technology. In any case, technology is constantly advancing and redefining itself. There will always be negative and positive aspects to the use of it in education.