Technology wave reaches the classroom

Technology use in the classroom is a relatively new concept. According to Reference.com, it was only in August of 1991 that the World Wide Web came to be, while learning in a classroom has been on record since the early nineteenth century. 

As the advancement of technology continued, so did technology in the classroom. Classroom teaching methods evolved to looking up research online, watching videos in class and professors being able to take live in-class polls.

By taking advantage of this, Sonoma State faculty is taking a huge stride towards enhancing the learning of students.

“I particularly like being able to get a real-time feel for where the class is at. The apps let me really get a look at the [student response time] to a problem or the types of questions they are having,” said Jennifer Whiles Lillig, Sonoma State chemistry professor.

“This lets me address those problems in real-time and root out misconceptions before they get too rooted. As a side bonus, it also saves paper,” said Lillig.

“I like using technology in the class for taking notes because using paper can get sloppy and show all of your mistakes,” said sophomore Molly Strout, a liberal studies major.

The advacing technology can bring efficiency and organization to students that used to struggle with notetaking.

“Using a laptop to keep everything organized is very helpful, especially for studying. Since we are developing more technology wise, incorporating them do benefit students who actually take their education seriously,” Strout said.

Many faculty members like to use sites such as Moodle, some even have their own sites they like to use; but as technology keeps advancing the faculty are exposed to different ways to use technology. 

Socrative is a widely popular app used among Sonoma State professors. The app allows professors to do live polls or quizzes within the classroom from a free app students can download on their phones or other devices.

“Using technology in the classroom is marvelous,” said fourth year history major Cindy Gonzalez. 

“Being able to use technology in the classroom has helped me become more prepared for my career and has kept me in the loop of the evolution of technology,” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez expressed support for the growing use of technology, and agreed that Sonoma State can serve a wider group of students with more capable technology.

Lillig attributes her decision to immerse technology into her classes to help from the University.

“It’s been a while - I’ve always tried to have at least a base Moodle page. I think I really got creative after participating in a Faculty Learning Program where I learned more about the learning process and concrete ways I could make technology work for me,” Lillig said. 

Sonoma State faculty attend programs, such as the Sonoma State University Online and Blended Teaching Institute, where faculty learn tips and tricks to help promote student success through the use of technology in the classroom. Like any new endeavor, technology in the classroom has its setbacks, but the possibilities it holds are endless. A key step forward in this technique is being able to let students showcase their full potential in more ways than just with a pen and paper.

“Some students excel in online postings because they are not as intimidated as they might be when writing a paper,” Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp, Sonoma State history professor said. “It’s great to use different teaching pedagogies to more thoroughly assess a student’s learning outcome.”

“Technology in the classroom is worth the investment due to giving students the skills to advance their future careers. Since technology is here to stay, we might as well advance with it,” Gonzalez said.