UNIVERSITY PARK — Technology is taking over the classroom at rapid speed, but electronics are seen by some as an obstacle to creative and interactive learning.
Teachers are utilizing computers, projectors and videos to help them present their material to the class. However, many teachers and students have differing views of whether or not technology is the beneficial route to learning.
Tim Robinson teaches first-year seminar classes at Pennsylvania State University and believes that technology is essential to the learning process.
“”Students in my classes need to know how to use Web searches, how to make their own Web pages and know how to make PowerPoint presentations,”” Robinson said.
Robinson feels that it is worth spending the hours creating a presentation with Microsoft PowerPoint with a huge class because once the presentation is saved, it can be re-used another year.
As a teacher, Robinson feels that some things can’t be explained in stick figures. He believes that seeing the material visually helps almost everyone.
A professor of meteorology, Alistair Fraser’s views are different than Robinson as he thinks that professors don’t use technology in the proper way.
“”Technology has the potential to be helpful to students, but some professors don’t use it that way,”” Fraser said.
Although he was instrumental in supplying projectors in the Walker Building classrooms and uses computers as visual interactive models to show students, for example, how clouds grow, he feels that not all technology is designed for the classroom.
“”The PowerPoint was not made for students or faculty, it was made for the business community,”” Fraser said.
On the other hand, Rachel Scheer (junior-geography) said that technology is essential in her Geography 121 (Mapping) class. “”Without technology, I don’t think that I would learn half as much. The class is very hands on, and it makes learning easier,”” Scheer said.
Scheer’s professor for the class puts all of the lectures on the Web, which makes listening easier in the classroom, she said. Because the professor takes attendance, Scheer said that she doesn’t feel that the attendance rate suffers at all.