I have been in the teaching industry for almost 15 years. I am an IT Professor teaching about the latest trends in Information Technology, and how technology affects our society.
We are now in what we called “Information Age”, powered by technology and fueled with information. And whether we like or not, we can not stop this rapid technological change. Just imagine life without cellphones, internet, television, and radio, no ATM machines, no Facebook, and other digital gadgets. Yes, these are now the technologies that speeds up transactions, brings comfort in our office and home, gives mobility and enhances communication.
I am teaching IT subjects particularly on latest trends, technological applications for information processing, IT research for knowledge processing and discovery learning.
I have observed based on my personal experience that students learning styles and study habits are now changing with the use of these technologies. “I am not saying that this will be true to all, this is just an observation, and maybe it also happens on some other schools”.
When i am giving lectures, i encourage my students to listen carefully and try to ask questions if the topics seems unclear to them, present slides, and have some items written on the board. Some students may copy it, but some may take a picture of your slide and items written on the board using their mobile phone, you may not noticed, some might record your discussions or even take a video secretly without knowing it.
In giving research, Google is their best friend, some may just copy, paste, and print, without even formulating their ideas to construct their own knowledge based on what they have researched.
I was also surprised when i gave a programming exercise, and checked their output, i never expected that almost the students in the class has the same output, same variables and constructs, they just differ in color. And i found out that one of their classmate send the solution through email and let them copied. What a fast solution!
I can still remember during my Elementary and High School days where there is no internet and computers. We really rely on books and burned candles to study hard. But now a days, it’s just one click.
What i am trying to point out in here is that, obviously we can not get rid of technology, it is already there. But it gives a significant challenge on how to deal with the student’s learning style which is passive. We taught them how to use technology but yet, they used it in the wrong way. If we allow them to practice it, they would likely used it also as they will become professionals someday.
The essence of ethics is most likely to be pointed out, motivating students to learn more, study hard, and not just rely on technology as a direct source of information, but rather use technology to create new knowledge, discover new ideas, and process information.
I am sharing this personal experience, to encourage students to change their learning styles, use technology in a proper way, and also challenge teachers on how to deal with these issues. We might be surprised one day that we will saw our video on YouTube uploaded by our students, be a trending topic on Twitter and Facebook.