Professors stuck in the Stone Age: coping with classroom technology

By on January 17, 2012

By Kassie Roberts–

As the new semester begins, many students look forward to new classes. A new semester brings a fresh start and another chance to get the most from tuition costs.

Unfortunately, the least obvious deterrent to class time is the most important part: Professors. Specifically, professors in so-called “smart” classrooms don’t know how to use the equipment and hinder the classroom experience.

Electronic media has entered the classroom as an integral teaching device. Many professors use powerpoints to get notes to students in class, to watch videos or review the syllabus. While technology in the classroom is a fantastic way to relay information, it is a hindrance when the professor doesn’t even know how to plug a laptop into the projector. Students are losing class time when forced to wait on professors and their struggle with technology.

This is not only a waste of time but also a waste of money. Whether students are paying out of their own pocket, parents are chipping in or a students earned scholarships, money is lost when instruction time is lost. To solve this problem, professors who intend to use the “smart” aspect of their classroom should be required to know how to competently use the technology involved. A good deal of time would be saved if a professor simply knew how to plug a laptop into the projector and display it. Numerous times, classes have been delayed because a professor hit a wrong button and had to wait for iTech Express to come and fix the problem.

With Blackboard and student issues, these workers have enough to deal with without having to do simple tasks in order for class to start. If professors were required to learn the basic functions, so much class time would be saved. When a class only lasts for little more than an hour, every minute is precious. To fix this problem of lost class time, professors should be educated on the university’s new technology.

opinion@louisvillecardinal.com
Cartoon illustration: Michael Layman/The Louisville Cardinal

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