How Technology Has Changed the College Experience in the Last Decade

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  • Technology seems to be increasing exponentially. Even just a decade ago, technology was exciting, but not anywhere near what it is today. College life has certainly been affected by these advancements. Some of those changes are good for education while others are good for socializing. Here are a few Examples of how technology has changed the college experience in the past few years.

    Information on the go 

    Smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and laptops all make it easy for students to learn or connect anywhere they have an internet connection. The boon to the college experience is that the online learning arena has grown to become more mainstream. Online teaching is more appealing for students who work at a slower pace or who learn differently. Hybrid classes teach the subject both in person and online, offer a lot of flexibility. A hybrid class allows students the face-to-face time with the teacher and an online format for discussions and team projects. 

    Technology that supports learning and fun

    Social groups such as Facebook allow students to find study groups, tutors, and even join clubs that support their field of study. Technology builds comradery, and that is powerful. Technology also allows teachers produce lectures that are accessible in video or audio format.  Video or audio lectures allow the classroom to become a center of discussion. Students become more engaged in the learning process and not just scribes who struggle to write what the professor is saying. The classroom becomes a place of higher learning, and that is a boon to the college experience. 

    Social Media and Apps: Powerful tools

    Sites like Facebook help friends and family keep in touch over greater distances. Building a strong support system helps students succeed. The negative side of social media is the role it plays as a distraction. That little beep or chirp that announces a new Facebook message is distracting to students and faculty.  On the same level as social media are Apps. Apps make the online world an easier place to get things done. Apps for word processors, video editors, and even the standard dictionary are powerful tools for students 

    The Age of Information 

    Information, like social media, is also a double-edged sword. Technology opens up a lot of doors and allows students access information on a global basis. Technology has made researching subjects easier, and sites like wiki have allowed students to find alternative sources of information. Sometimes too much information is a bad thing. If students use easier and less reliable sources of information than their ability to learn the subject decreases. Education by Google is not the same as learning from a professor who is teaching the class. 

    Communication and Education

    Technology has opened up a lot of new ways for people to communicate. The great use of email is one example. Thanks to smart devices, such as smartphones, people can stay in contact regardless of distance or place. Texting, Twitter, Facebook, and email are all important ways for students to reach out and find support, answers, and friendship. The focus of college is not just about learning. College is also about being able to grow into an adult and learn to fly. This infographic by Campusbooks.com shows how you can use technology to your advantage.

    Over the last ten years, technology has changed to make the college experience different. Is it a better experience today than it was ten years ago? The answer is subjective. College still comes down to the adage you get out of college what you put into it. Technology allows you more opportunities today than students had a decade past, but you still need discipline to succeed.  On the other hand, the cost of online education may drop, and that would open up a lot of doors to students everywhere.

    Ten years ago the internet was barely functional. Facebook was not even a thought until 2004 and the first iPhone was not sold until 2007. In just a short amount of time, technology has grown exponentially and colleges are making strides to incorporate technology into the learning environment.

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