I never considered how fundamental technology in the classroom is to the current student. Technology is used so fluidly that it is often surpassed until our computer crashes or deletes that assignment you spent several hours working on!
Search Engine vs. Textbook
As a student, I gather about 65% of my research, questions, and further inquiries from a search engine rather than a textbook or contacting a professor. Technology is a present figure in the room and an essential asset to professors. It offers efficiency and gives students a new approach to learning the material. There are several ways that I would incorporate technology into a course.
Initially, I considered the development of the student and how they could gain a better understanding of the information I was providing. Then I considered how technology would help build innovation and growth for the overall field of psychology.
In this blog post, I will share two examples of the first perspective, then share examples of the other. I will conclude with the limitations of technology and the importance of being mindful of the harm technology can also bring.
Student Development in the Classroom
Concerning the student’s development, I find that by recording lectures, students who cannot be present or miss a key concept can have an opportunity to review the lecture. Students who struggle with keeping up in class or require a longer processing speed to grasp concepts fully should have an opportunity to learn not only in the class but also outside of the classroom.
Developmentally, this generation requires a different form of support than past generations. I want students to have access to the lectures in the future. Another developmental consideration is the difference in students’ ability to write vs. speak. I find value in being able to eloquently voice perspectives and thoughts in a manner that is clear.
Just as I would have students write reflections, I would also have them share a reflection through voice recording. Some students may prefer this style of overwriting. Overall, there is an essential benefit to learning to communicate appropriately and effectively.
Communication is fundamental, and students will be able to practice various ways to communicate their points of view.
I considered virtual reality, microphones that record interactions and behaviors, video conferencing, and global learning in psychology and student research. Before I explain further, I would like to mention that these technological advancements would be explicitly used in the classroom as a teaching tool.
Virtual Reality in the Classroom
When considering virtual reality as technological advancement in education, I place precedence on the therapeutic space. Allowing students to practice with simulated clients or patients would help them gain confidence in their ability to counsel. Often, I hear that students are uncomfortable taking the first step in practicing, and the anxiety of “knowing” what to say deters them from being their genuine selves in the room. If they were given assimilations and practice rounds before working with an actual classmate or peer, this could increase a student’s confidence, preparedness, and experience in counseling.
Virtual reality could also enhance how students make sense of historical figures who shaped the perspective of a given field. For instance, Freud’s ideology of psychology, his interpretation of behavior, and how the self emerged are substantial. However, if he could speak in the present day and students could engage in his process, that would ultimately change how our current generation views psychology.
Recording in the Classroom
Next, recording behaviors and interactions through a form of technology (microphone) could offer real-time intellectual connections. Students would be able to become more aware of how they interact with other people in their lives and then get an opportunity to observe themselves. This way of using technology would work well for multiculturalism, cognitive thinking paths, and overall wellness courses. In the realm, considerations for consent and safety are essential. Still, with a research context, it truly does make way for learning about the self and the interactions humans face daily.
Video Conferencing in the Classroom
Video conferencing is something that I would also incorporate to help my students understand the importance of building a connection (networking) within our field of psychology. I had a professor Skype a colleague from Arizona while we were in Pennsylvania, and she discussed the licensure process within her state. Seeing how practitioners in our field rely on one another for support and guidance was helpful.
Technology is helpful because it has reduced the difficulty of connecting with people who are not exactly in the same space as us. Guest speaking could be done remotely and increase the number of outside sources who could influence our students. In connection to video conferencing, global learning is another consideration. Many organizations conduct vast training and exploration in areas outside the United States.
Global Learning in the Classroom
Global learning could open a way for students to gain immediate feedback and experience understanding how other cultures experience life — like a virtual field trip. Students often cannot afford study abroad programs, which could make way for a more straightforward way of learning about other cultures.
Limitations of Technology in the Classroom
Technology is a fascinating addition to our current educational system, and studies have been conducted to explain its benefits. However, technology can also be destructive and used as a way to undermine the principles of education as well as psychological advancement. For example, students who continuously miss class can utilize the recorded lectures. This concern is something I would need to consider when offering this service because student engagement is undoubtedly necessary when facilitating a classroom.
With any technology, it is essential to leave space for technological glitches, crashes, and, importantly, power outages.
Non-Technological Resources in the Classroom
Teaching does not cease because technology does not work. For every technological service I provide to students, I must have a non-technological version to suffice and continue the lecture. At one point (not too long ago), we did not have the technology we currently hold, and learning was just as substantial.
With Intention, Sarafina
Interested in learning more about healthy home structures while distance learning? Check out the PBS SoCal article I wrote here