American universities have always been leaders when it comes to college education. People from around the world come to study at American universities because of the prestige, challenge, and opportunities available. As the modern world continues to embrace technology, American universities have been quick to respond and adopt these technologies wherever they exist. However, as with all things, the trick is to adopt technology in a way that promotes students to become creators and not simply users of technology.
Technology in the Classroom
Modern universities are getting more comfortable with using technology in the classroom. In the last 10 years, classrooms have gone from being virtually computer-less, to every student bringing their own laptop or tablet. It used to be that if you opened up a computer in the middle of class, it was seen as inappropriate at best, and rude at worst and perhaps in certain professor’s eyes it still is. But now many colleges give incoming students computers to use, or require the purchase of a tablet or laptop as a condition of enrollment.
Research-based Education in the Classroom
Students now have the ability to keep up with professors like never before. In the past, a student that misunderstood a professor may have to interrupt the class to ask for additional clarification. Now, students can research a question online while the professor continues, and when the professor comes to a pause, ask more in-depth and researched questions. This allows students to benefit from the advanced knowledge of their professors, and go beyond the basics in a way previously not possible.
Using Tools for Statistics and Logging
Computers have made it much easier for students to compute complex equations and keep up by creating models of mathematical and scientific problems. For example, students enrolled for a Masters of accounting are able to use their tablet or laptop to quickly check their work or look up a particular law or procedure. Since information is widely available at a click of the button, professors are placing a greater emphasis on teaching students to be thinkers rather than simple storehouses of knowledge.
The American universities have realized that as information becomes more readily available, it’s increasingly important for students to learn how to solve problems. Learning facts and figures is no longer the primary purpose of an education. Instead, students are expected to form their own opinions and debate intelligently. This is done through the use of modern technology to assist the student with facts and figures. In exchange for this expanded information, students can understand the deeper meaning of concepts and apply increasingly abstract methods of thinking.