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Tech Bytes - Technology Integrated Learning

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, May 24th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Technology Integrated


If you go to a school or college today, you’re not going to hear the hard-pressed clicks of a manual typewriter anymore. Odds are you’re not going to hear the faint scratch of a pencil on paper for very much longer either as many schools and universities are utilizing technology-based learning.

Through my first year experience at Winona State University, I have witnessed the change. We’ve all had those moments where we’ve tuned out when someone, like a professor for example, is talking. It just so happens that I had one of these moments in a biology class. During the time that my mind was wandering, I noticed the constant keystrokes as students were taking notes.

But who knows if clicking of keyboards will be sustained for much longer? Laptop and desktop computers are falling to smaller, more mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. In a report by USA Today, 30 percent of college students at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. already own a tablet device, and that number is expected to jump 40 to 50 percent in the next academic year. Similar figures will expand with other education institutions as well.

This figure is completely believable as even our local high schools and universities are putting a device in each student’s hands. Winona State will give each new fulltime incoming freshman an Ipad mini in addition to a new laptop this fall. Other current students will be given either an Ipad mini or Android-based tablet in addition to keeping their computers as the current rotation program continues.

Modern devices aren’t just for college students though. Many local school districts are having their students utilize technology. Students in the Kingsland and Dover-Eyota school districts have had access to updated technology, as well as in Lanesboro where each ninth through twelfth grade student has a netbook. Additionally, Chatfield is updating its technology plan for many students over the summer.

As the digital age takes over, it is still important for us to know how to actually write. I, myself, am an old-fashioned note taker with a pen and a notepad. However, it is important for us to keep up with the new era changes. As technology grows smaller and more advanced, this is one instance where the expression “bigger is better” does not apply.

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