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6 Ways Technology Will Change Education in the Future

Just recently, a group of academics, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs gathered at New York University’s Stern School of Business to discuss educational technologies and their effects on the future of higher education. A critical question was posed about the future of higher education as technology continues to play a crucial role in the accessibility and distribution of education: How will higher education and/or the notion of “college” change as platforms, such as MOOCs, become common for others to use as alternatives to the traditional classroom and campus environment?

Stepping in to learn more about what was discussed during the meeting, Issie Lapowsky, a writer for Inc.com, explains how, even though many posed opposing viewpoints on the topic of technology and higher education, all came to a consensus on the simple fact that higher education will have to be restructured and that the “status quo is not an option”, as stated by NYU’s President John Sexton.

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Can Gaming Become Higher Education’s Future?

We’ve heard of gaming being integrated in primary school, but what about higher education? According to studies conducted by Gallup, the levels of student engagement fades the longer they stay in school. Engagement levels drop from 76% in elementary school to 44% in high school.

EdTech revealed in a recent article that levels of engagement has the potential to increase if colleges and universities integrate games into the classroom. Games are developed to create emotions of joy, pride, creativity, and curiosity just to name a few. It makes sense to want to integrate gaming in higher education- school is designed to be competitive just like a game. But if students fail they don’t have positive emotional resilience like gamers do, EdTech claims.

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Future of Education Concerned with Instructors’ Technology Literacy

In The Chronicle of Higher Education’s report on Campus Computing Project’s annual senior technology administrator survey, the biggest concern (a whopping 80% from those who responded) was the capability of instructors to use emerging technology within the next few years.

It is very likely that students have witnessed this before: an instructor has pledged to make a grand presentation in the class, yet cannot seem to load PowerPoint. On countless occasions, more time is spent troubleshooting instructor’s technological flop than time spent teaching and learning.

With technology rapidly unfolding and the integration of classroom online learning resources such as Canvas, instructors need to have enough knowledge in technology in order to have an effective learning environment. Just as owning a camera does not make one a photographer, having a tablet does not make one a better instructor. Now more than ever, instructors need to catch up in this cat and mouse game before students begin to teach their teachers.

Transitioning out of PowerPoint

Ever had that feeling as an instructor where teaching a class felt like you’re striving to thread student discussion, yet it still leads to nowhere? Here’s a solution: ditch PowerPoint. Elimination of PowerPoint presentations with the replacement of a web presentation will enhance better conversations in the classroom according to a blog post regarding the Teaching Professor Technology Conference. Instructors will trade their method of teaching from design and present to present and discuss using the web solely as an aid rather than a tool to rely on. Web presentations allow more ‘collaboration and updating’ and  while PowerPoint usually lists data and references, a web presentation has the ability to go directly to the web source, making students more interested in going into further research.

It’s definitely a different trade off especially if instructors have relied on images and charts to present information throughout their teaching career. So is it worth the risk? That’s up to the instructor to find out.

Or maybe you’re tired of PowerPoint in general, but still like the aspect of design in your presentations. Here are a few PowerPoint alternatives:

  • Prezi

  • Google Presentation (via Google Drive)

  • Reveal: This is for those of you who speak HTML, and want to get creative

  • Slides: The same as Reveal, just no coding experience necessary

Students’ Thoughts on Their Technology in the Classroom

In today’s classrooms, technology is a vital tool in making teaching and learning much more interactive, engaging, and empowering. Students use their mobile devices and computers to access the Internet, electronic resources, and other educational software/applications, resulting in an independent, student-driven learning environment.

For instructors and educators who are curious as to their effectiveness in using technology in their classrooms, the Educause Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR) recently released their latest version of its annual report, ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013, which describes and illustrates how students feel about the use of technology in their classrooms.

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