Utilizing Technology in the Classroom
Ariel Chaffin | University Relations | 6 August 2012
Beginning Fall Semester 2012, BYU–Hawaii students will be expected to have access to a portable computing device for use in class, if required by the professor, and in their study and preparation for class. With technology advancing and more easily accessible, students bringing their own device will bless both faculty and students in two key ways: Having technology in the classroom will promote computer literacy among all students, and it will set a standard expectation for professors of what access all students will have.
“No matter what you do, or what job you have, one of the main reasons why employers are interested in hiring young people is that they are tech savvy,” said Jeffery Caneen, chair of the business management department. “Having their own device allows students to become more comfortable with computers, increase their ability level, and make them more competitive upon graduation. If you are a college graduate and not tech savvy, that’s one less reason for anybody to hire you. That’s true no matter where you go in the world.”
“Just using technology doesn't make something better,” noted Kevin Schlag, BYU–Hawaii’s university technology officer. “However, as students and faculty find ways to implement technology in their learning and teaching, students will be better prepared for their careers. Integrating technology into the classroom will expand the knowledge students can learn in class.”
Having one set expectation for access to devices, faculty will be able to integrate technological components into class, which can also strengthen the engagement and participation of the students. “The method of teaching at the university level has been evolving all along and I think this effort is a way to catch up to what has already been happening, and what will continue to happen,” said Caneen.
The shift toward technology in teaching at BYU–Hawaii has been evident for some time. “We've seen more and more requests for bringing a whole cart of laptops to a classroom, or teaching a class in a lab, so we know many instructors are already using technology in the classroom,” said Schlag. “With the rise of e-textbooks, students will not only be able to follow the professor on presentations, but they will also be able to reference the text as well as the internet.”
The Office of Information Technology has provided a list of suggested specifications for a laptop, netbook or tablet. There’s also a list of frequently asked questions at oit.byuh.edu. For those students who are unable to purchase their own device, laptops will be available to checkout for the day from Media Services in the Joseph F. Smith Library. Another option for purchasing a device is to purchase devices from the university as they are cycled out throughout the year. More information on this option will be available through the Student Bulletin.