Professors vs. computers

Classroom technology is wasted when instructors can’t use it.

by Daily Editorial Board

Over the last decade, the University of Minnesota has implemented new technologies into many classrooms across campus. This enhances the learning experience and provides students with the opportunity to become familiar with new technologies that they will likely use in their careers.

In a perfect world, students and faculty alike would be able to take full advantage of what these new technologies have to offer and have an enriched classroom experience that makes efficient use of class time.

But frequently, that is not the case. Most students have experienced instructors fumbling with computers, cords and projectors. They have trouble getting everything to work correctly and waste the time of everyone involved, including the instructor.

While the University offers technology training for students and faculty through the Office of Information Technology, it doesnâÄôt seem to be enough to merely have training available.

While the University could make it clearer what options exist, the responsibility ultimately falls to instructors who want to use these new technologies in the classroom. Instructors who donâÄôt have the skills necessary to make efficient use of technology âÄî from Active Learning classrooms to lecturing from a personal laptop âÄî need to take advantage of the training thatâÄôs available to them at the University Technology Training Center.

Additionally, staff at UTTC should recognize the specific challenges instructors face when dealing with these classrooms and make sure they are addressed during the training session. Otherwise, the full potential of such technologies are wasted, and the benefits for students are lost.