Staff Editorial: technology provides means for classroom enhancement

Biola is behind the times when it comes to technology use in the classroom.

Chimes Staff and Chimes Staff

Students practically litter the campus with iPads, Androids and MacBook Pros. Yet, for having a student body with so much love of technology, our university seems to be floundering in the same area. Many classrooms on campus have no Internet, some professors still don’t post grades on Blackboard and electronic textbooks are neither suggested nor welcomed — despite their tremendous advantages in portability, affordability and utility. At times, there appears to be more than just a lack of affection for technology; rather, it seems downright despised. Some professors seem convinced that students only use laptops to distract themselves with Facebook during their lectures, not appreciating how invaluable note-taking apps like Evernote are to the scatterbrained student.

Technology is a growing part of our world. The use of it in school prepares students for careers where technology skills are becoming more and more crucial. Software like Adobe InDesign makes digital artistic ventures possible. Projectors save our professors from writing on the board for three hours — and saves students from trying to read their handwriting. The gorgeous technology haven that is the Production Center allows our film program to thrive. We laud the speedy upgrade of the broadband infrastructure Biola Information Technology has rolled out these recent months and years. Apps distributed by the Library and Bon Appétit have the ability to save students’ valuable time that could be better spent actually studying. We enjoy the benefits of technology through much of this campus, so why is the word still sometimes uttered with contempt?

Downsides of increased technology use

Well, the techno age has some serious pitfalls in the academic world. We ought to consider the ramifications before implementing new systems. Technology has its place in the classroom, but it should not take over. It might not be such a bad thing that professors on campus are tentative when incorporating technology into the classroom.

Technology sometimes replaces personal relationships with the impersonal. Learning should be an interactive experience between human beings, and technology should not interfere with that. So even though some of our professors may not be technology-savvy, let us be thankful that they choose to invest their time and lives in us. And technology can be a distraction. If we’re being completely honest, some students do ignore lectures in favor of Internet entertainment.

However, we’d like to suggest that the answer to this frustration and these dangers isn’t to ban technology from campus. We don’t have to let technology control us; we can determine what enhances the learning experience and what hinders it. Rather than dismissing the benefits of technology in lights of its abuses, we should approach each new opportunity for advancement with discerning judgment. There's money-saving, time-saving, knowledge-enhancing technology out there … let's go carefully, intentionally and mindfully get it.

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