Remember backpacks? Today you’re more likely to see students using technology in college. And the reason why is much simpler than you might initially think. Innovations in technology are drastically reshaping college campuses. From personal devices like iPads and smartphones to teaching tools like screens and testing materials, technology is changing the way information is synthesized.
Social Media vs Campus Tour
When I started my college experience, my first visit to the school I got into was not in person. Rather, I explored their social media page and learned what I could there before visiting. This experience is not unique unto me, many people report visiting their learning institution’s social media pages before visiting them in person. This is likely due to the sheer immediacy of the internet but also gives a glimpse into the online culture the prospective student could soon be a part of.
Blogging (And Microblogging)
Many colleges are dispensing with their newspapers, or at least scaling back their production. With people becoming more and more environmentally conscious alongside technological advancements, the need for paper printing gets smaller by the day. Always sights of innovation, many colleges have seized on this and have shifted their student discourse to blogs. Keeping things digital is both environmentally friendly and efficient. Mistakes can be corrected and information altered as new insight in gleaned.
Additionally, many schools also encourage microblogging, which is essentially like a blog, but much smaller and more frequent. With microblogs, users are typically only allowed to share a small amount of content in a single post. Twitter could be considered one of the most well-known microblogging platforms.
Twitter is becoming a staple of in-class learning. From Maryville University to the University of Miami, many professors incorporate Twitter-based assignments into their lesson plans, using it as a platform to explore various facets of philosophy, critical theory, information technology, graphic design, and programming. Some professors also use Twitter as a way to communicate with their students outside of class, which is a great way to enrich and inspire students when they are not necessarily consciously thinking about learning.
One could write an entire book on how smartphones alone have reshaped college campuses. Many teachers now incorporate smartphones into their assignments, allow their students to contact them via their smartphones (which admittedly lends some much-needed immediacy when you know you will be missing class), and incorporating the realization of their pervasiveness into their discourse and lesson plans.
Additionally, your college will use your smartphone as a way to send you updates and keep you informed about various happenings around campus. Also, your school has likely modified their website, including the section where you can check your grades, to make them more easily navigable by smartphone.