Teaching needs to adapt to the newest addition in society, that being the Internet. It is no secret that we are all constantly on our phones, or laptops and any other form of an Apple product. The key is reinforcing these new ways of living in the classroom. Society revolves around the teaching styles of “factory and the assembly line” (7). This is not the world we live in now. Teaching styles should reflect what students need for their future. Change the assembly concept to an interactive internet. By just merely putting a lecture-based class online does not do the work it needs to succeed. Put the class online, but also adapt it so that people can actually learn rather than just remember. When thinking of the Hierarchy of Higher Education it all gets passed down to the teacher, what they can and cannot do. What if this was the other way around? We let teachers pick a curriculum they love and thrive to teach, not just teaching it to click another box on “degree works”. Let’s go even further, what if we don’t make people use websites through the school like Blackboard, but let teachers pick what would work best. This creates a space where teachers are more excited and more willing to also learn and adapt to the current world by using new technology.
Right now many students are getting pushed into the STEM fields because that’s where we need people. And classes in the humanities are seen as obsolete and a waste of time. The real question is how do we prepare people for after college? “They want to do a better job addressing major world problems than their elders” (13). I don’t believe students earn to learn maths equations, but that they want to know how those equations fit into society. Instead of teaching to the test, we should offer challenges that are real-life ones to students. Being successful after college is also learning how to function as a human being after it. That is where humanities classes come in. For example, this English class is doing a lot of work to progress in society. Using the knowledge in this class (ENG 429) teaches us how to be better humans outside of the classroom; just like Gender Studies, history, Economic classes, etc…
This generation is the first generation to be brought up with the internet, some may say it puts us back in time because we have lost so many social skills. I don’t believe that is the case. We have become more passionate and curious, the world at our fingertips… How could you not be? A random question comes up in a conversation with you and your friend, take 10 seconds to find the answer on google. What a concept! This should be pushed into the classroom rather than shunned. We want change, we starving for it. These 19th-century lecture-style classes aren’t doing the same work they used to be. Since technology is so accessible so is knowledge. Why can’t we infiltrate that into the classroom? With the world changing every day more and more, I think that teachers should be changing their lesson plans and syllabi yearly to keep up with the times. Students adapt to all of the different teaching styles our Professors have semesterly, why don’t teachers adapt to the students as well? In a world where we need to be digitally literate, why are some still struggling (including me)? Using collaboration I think that we fight back against technophobia and find a middle ground where the technology of modern-day and classrooms can interact seamlessly. I will leave you with this, What are some ways that your professors have integrated technology into the classroom, how did it change your experience? Do you have any other ideas for teaching students how to be digitally literate and ready for the world after college?
Davidson, Cathy N. The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux. Basic Books, 2017.