University students today have so many kinds of technology available at their fingertips that improve their learning experience. Technology not only makes learning easier and more accessible, but it can make the process more fun as well. Students can learn faster because it is easier to locate specific information with much more speed and precision, and by taking advantage of technology, they can share the successes of their studies with colleagues, peers, and their greater field of study with a click of the button.
Mechanisms of Sharing Information and Documents
Libraries will surely never go out of style, but the kinds of technology that connect libraries and sources online make a world of a difference throughout the course of studies. With digitized library catalogs, customized search engines and websites like JSTOR, students have access to thousands and thousands of articles, publications, essays, and books without ever needing to leave their dormitory desk. Scanning documents and sharing them through Dropbox, never mind also sharing audiovisual digital materials in such a way, is important for allowing students to quickly connect with like-minded academics around the world.
Collaborative Learning Modalities
The big joke on most campuses is that university students spend more time on Facebook than actually studying. Although in some cases this may be true, students at university today are learning new learning skills that generations before have not necessarily been exposed to: networking, self-branding, and communication strategies. Though Facebook is an informal way to connect with classmates, friends and family, it helps to train young people today to ask questions of their classmates about assignments, to collaborate on ideas, and to reach out to each other when they need help. Great learning can also be done via LinkedIn, where students with particular research interests can search by their field to find others with similar studies, research projects, and relevant experience. Even the oft-forgotten method of sending emails, which has now become so commonplace in our society, has revolutionized the way students correspond with professors, research partners, and others in the academic sphere. Days of sending letters and making uncomfortable, unnecessary phone calls are a thing of the past.
Connecting With Colleagues
Skype, Google Chat, and iMessages are all new ways of communicating with video and text that can help students connect faster with one another. When it comes to collaborating on particular assignments, students do not even need to be physically together to produce a fantastic joint effort. This has rearranged the entire notion of students feeling separated by departments and universities. Students in different countries can also collaborate like never before, as well as access materials in different languages, because of their ability to instantly translate text with translation generators.
Social networking sites also teach students to market themselves well, which has been a failure of universities in generations prior to the current crop of students. By putting out the proper information about themselves in different venues, students are learning about the implications of sharing (and oversharing), and connecting in ways that have never been so immediately intimate despite not being constantly connected “in real life” with others. The act of learning to brand oneself will be a critical tool for when university students have to leave campus and begin employment after graduation. All this aside, the social networking world online is a very interesting subject for research today, a field that was nonexistent only a few years ago. It will be interesting to follow this research into the future, as students keep engaging with new exciting technologies throughout their studies.
Author info: This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon, a part-time guest-blogger and a full-time private tour organizer. Her main interests are education and health, but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. If you’re interested in Healthcare, feel free to check out this site: healthcaremba.gwu.edu.