The Virtual Classroom

Learning with Technology

Gone are the days when our primary resource was the blackboard. Join the digital revolution. #CloudNotChalk #ICTEDU

Learning today is a far cry from the picture twenty years ago. Lecturers consisted of hand written notes on a blackboard, whiteboard or overheads. Students looked forward frantically transcribing the lecturer in illegible handwriting – perfect study material for adding to exam stress two days before the exam. With the addition of online notes, students can now better decipher these notes by combining their own with the lecturers, to produce a higher level of learning.

Communication between students and teachers was also far more formal in the past. The way in which teachers engage with students project work has also changed. Assignments no longer need to be physically delivered to teacher’s pigeonholes. Student’s located dozens of kilometres from the college can upload their assignments remotely 24/7. Teachers can see exactly when assignments were uploaded. They will know if it was submitted before or after the deadline. Students can include much more information surrounding their projects with their submission, plus a multitude of online resources to back up their work. This gives teachers a much clearer picture of the student’s thought process and work method.

The delivery of information is not the only thing that has changed about education. Digital technology has completely altered the student/teacher relationship. Students can now access teachers as never before, thanks to email and social media, which has its pros and cons. It enables teachers to answer queries and give feedback on the current state of assignments, but it can also blur the lines of appropriate student teacher interaction. As a consequence, teachers need to be much more aware of protocol when engaging with students, particularly during out of school hours, and so appropriate codes of conduct should be put in place to ensure the rules of engagement are clear.

The call for presenters for this year’s ICT in Education conference is now open at bit.ly/icteducall.

For more on how ICT can help to improve the way you teach, or to join the digital revolution, come along to this year’s ICTEDU (ICT in Education) on Saturday the 23rd of April in Limerick Institute of Technology, Thurles. For more information see http://lit.ie/ictedu.

Written by Kevin Dwane, Digital Animation Student in Limerick Institute of Technology, Clonmel, helping to promote #ICTEDU during syndicated online conversations, along with his team Laura Pigott, Sean Jordan and Marta Casalini.

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