Technology, a supplement to the classroom not a replacement

I know that a lot of people talk about with the rise of digital technology in the classrooms that there isn’t the same need for the traditional classroom, with teacher and students in the same room. Online classes are getting more and more popular, and they cost universities a hell of lot less money. I am here of course to throw in my two cents that the level of education is just not the same. Personal, in-class discussions are what have made my educational experience so rewarding and fulfilling. Perhaps in lower-level classes there may be more of an economic need, as class sizes continue to rise, along with our tuition bills, but in the higher-level classes I would definitely argue that the personal connection is infinitely more valuable. Where are my statistics you say? I don’t have them. I’m not an expert in the “field.” Just an expert student. Take that as enough for now.

However, I do believe that some digital technologies have the potential to be a great supplement to almost any classroom, even the most traditional ones. One example of this is my Composition Theory class. The class is a small graduate class of about 6-7 people, and it is so great because of the intimacy and the discussions that we can have every Tuesdays/ Thursdays at 12:30. But we have had the opportunity to Skype two authors that we have been reading, and another connected to the field. Now it also helps to have a professor that is established and knows all of these great people. However, if it weren’t for the technology we wouldn’t get the chance to bring in these kinds of people into our discussions, and be able to ask questions, when otherwise works are left up to the reader’s interpretations.

Skype isn’t the only technology that teachers are using to enhance the classroom experience, but it is important to note that their is still the classroom experience.