Technology and Education
Leah Cates, Hayley Chicoine, Rachel Smith, Monica Williams
Traditional Educational Experience is Outdated
College has become obscenely expensive; in 2014, the average college student graduated with $33,000 of debt (Jones).
- The traditional lecture format makes education "one size fits all" and fails to promote self-direction (Ehrmann).
Lecture halls also make zoning out, tweeting, etc. too simple and tempting for students (Jones).
Rote memorization and rereading often fail to promote critical thinking and real-world application (Orgill).
- Oftentimes, college professors possess no formal teaching training and lack motivation beyond their personal gain through university research (Wood).
Technology can facilitate a much needed educational revolution
- MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses) offer a free Ivy League-level education to anyone with a computer and WiFi (Jones).
- Minerva's total four-year cost, including room and board, is just $28,000 (Jones).
- Online education often allows students a more significant voice in both the pacing of their education and in course selection, as they can hand-pick from a virtually endless array of online courses (Britt).
- Some schools have restructured their classrooms to accommodate individualized laptop work and group technology projects, removing the old fashioned rows of desks. These schools have noticed students' increased comfort, focus and personal responsibility for schoolwork (Pierce 12).
Knewton’s software partners with Pearson, MacMillan, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, three major textbook publishers, customizing its presentation of material at each moment in order to individualize the educational approach necessary for each student. (Kamenetz).
- Minerva's Active Learning Forum technology platform features a non-stop, efficient onslaught of pop quizzes, cold calls, debates, break-out groups and relays intended to both force complete student engrossment and promote critical thinking (Jones).
- MOOCS attract intrinsically motivated and effective professors, not pedagogically inexperienced researchers (Jones).
- Minerva's lack of research institutions ensure that professors' sole motivation is the impartation of knowledge (Jones).
technology cannot exist alone
Lack of face-to-face interaction and the prospect of never meeting a professor can make some students feel as though their education is impersonal (El Mansour).
Without extra curricular activities, faculty offices, research labs, community spaces for students, etc., Minerva might be neglecting the aspects which make for a well-rounded college experience (Wood).
"Edutainment" (eye-catching novelties such educational video games which blur the distinction between schoolwork and play) shouldn’t completely replace the written word; images appeal to emotions, while printed word promotes reflection and rational thought (Trotter).
Studies show that hands on activities interactive discussions often prove the best means of meaningful knowledge retention. (Trotter).
Face-to-face instruction and interaction promotes realistic socialization (Orgill).
Computers cannot yet handle open-ended questions, a vital aspect of the instructional process (Trotter).
Using pop culture movies to impart wisdom and knowledge often proves ineffective and even detrimental, as such films often subtly promote viewpoints and don't reflect reality (Trotter).
Databases flood students with info, causing them to spend more time tapping databases than thinking about what data mean. Books, on the other hand, feature logically ordered information (Trotter).
Overuse of technology promotes naive underlying messages that high technology solves humanity's problems (Trotter).
Overuse of technology prepares students for “bureaucratized, computer-driven” organizations without teaching them the deeper level thinking skills mandated by a democratic society (Trotter).
coalescence of Technology & Real World Elements promotes effective education
”Most educators actually call for a balanced approach that includes integrating electronic media more effectively into the curriculum and training teachers to evaluate electronic products” (Trotter).
Perhaps the most effective means by which to promote critical thought includes arming students with thought provoking textbooks and literature; hands-on activities; and interactive discussion and then allowing them to use these traditions to responsibly and intelligently utilize technology (Trotter).
- Cathedral High School and Park Tudor School (Indianapolis, Indiana) have found success employing Project Based Learning (PBL), in which students learn through a myriad of technological strategies and then complete experiential learning, which often includes giving back to the community (Young 106).
Flipped classrooms, in which students glean information from watching online videos and home and completing the assignment in class the next day, allow for more individualized learning, one-on-one mentoring, and hands-on project time (Ehrmann).
- Adaptive learning systems automatically customize curriculum to a student's individual knowledge level using specialized software. Algorithms constantly track and assess student performance to provide feedback to the teacher, creating a more intimate relationship between pupil and instructor ("Adaptive").
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