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Friday, October 03, 2014

Rutgers faculty explain technology on campus

"Awake, but not wanting to get up, you lie there and check Scarletmail on your phone for any important messages. You have none, so you get ready for class and leave your room." continues RU Daily Targum.

The Digital Classroom Services at Tillet Hall include a digital classroom podium, a Blu-ray player and a document camera, among other features. 
Photo by Yangeng Lin

Realizing you forgot something in your room, you use your school ID to swipe access back into the building. Worried about being late for class, you check the Rutgers App to find out when the next bus will arrive. 

The day has barely started, but you have already utilized various forms of technology, particularly the technology suited for life at Rutgers. 

As a research institution in the 21st century, Rutgers is deeply entrenched in these types of advancements, relying on them to improve everyday lives as well as enhancing education.

Donald Smith, vice president of the Office of Information Technology, said Rutgers students send and receive 3 billion emails annually and spend 7 million person-hours annually on portal selecting classes, viewing grades, reading emails or using other devices.

Along with faculty, students spend 9 million person-hours on Sakai annually, he said.
He mentioned a Confucius quote: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand,” Smith recited.

“That’s the essence of what active learning and participatory learning has to do,” he said, “We need to get to the point where we could do because that’s the point where we can understand.”

Smith said recording lectures is one way to passively use technology. While recording is better than not going to lecture, it is passive learning. Collaborative real-time interaction with faculty and other students is best.

Smith said one increasingly used strategy is called the “flipped classroom,” where the lecture-homework process is inverted. Instead of lecturing and assigning homework for the students, instructors record a lecture for the students to watch or listen to at home and work through problems during class.

“You come to class to participate in solving the problems,” Smith said. “How did you do this? Why did you do that? Why did it work? Why didn’t it work? So what was a typically more of a passive learning experience becomes active learning.”

Source: RU Daily Targum

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