by Francisco Ordóñez
Before technology was introduced into the classroom communication between instructors and students was done face-to-face. If a student missed class one day, he or she would get the notes or materials from a classmate. There was no other way to find out what was going on. However, technology as a communication tool has revolutionized and created new ways for instructors and students to communicate.
One of the first communication technologies that was introduced in the classroom was the radio in 1923 in penmanship, accounting, history and arithmetic lessons according to The Center For Digital Education. This was a sort of distant communication, but still students had to be in the classrooms to get the message. This was a new way to deliver a lesson or have a guest speaker without actually having that person be physically present in the classroom. This probably had a great impact on students sitting in such classrooms.
Furthermore, the big change in communication in the classroom came when the Internet was fully available in almost all schools in the U.S. in 2002 (A Time Traveler’s Journey Through Education Technology). The Internet opened the portal to whole new ways of communication between faculty and students. Both groups started opening emails, and social medias sites started to grow, get popular and spread all over the world. Now we are not just talking about a particular class communication, but communication way beyond the classrooms walls, beyond towns or cities or even countries.
Another essential communication Another essential communication channel that came into play was the Learning Management Systems (LMS). Besides providing accessible content to students and faculty on a 24/7, LMSs also provide an open and ongoing communication channel. Faculty members are able to send class
messages, homework, provide feedback and more at
any time from anywhere. On the other side, students
are able to reply to those messages almost immediately in real time and from anywhere as well. Now anybody is reachable from almost anywhere and any time.
Technology has facilitated student’s communication with other students by 58%; with their instructors by 59%; and it keeps them aware of what is going on at their campuses by 67% according to an Undergraduate Students and Technology report. More than half of the students who participated in the report expressed that they would like their instructors to contact them face-to-face or using LMS. About 45% of them mentioned that they would like to be contacted by email while 43% were interested in using text messages in this regard (A Time Traveler’s Journey Through Education Technology). Instructors and students can communicate using social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and others as well all from the education point of view.
Without any doubts, technology made its way into classrooms to improve and enhance communications between faculty members and students. It invented new accurate methods of communications and availability of those methods was extended to a 24/7, which was not imaginable before. In a nutshell, technology improved communications in the classroom by 100%.
Bachelors Degree Online, www.edudemic.com/2012/11/students-us-technology/.
Center for Digital Education, http://www.centerdigitaled.com/news/A-Time-Travelers-Journey-Through-Education-Technology.html.