Category For Educators

Implementing Technology in College Classrooms

When Dr. Kaston Anderson-Carpenter steps in front of his psychology class at Michigan State University, he sees 175 students interacting with laptops, tablets and smartphones in a carefully constructed academic environment. His courses are filled with Gen Z students; a digital generation of non-traditional students who rely on technology to do research, access their textbooks, complete their homework and communicate with their peers and professors.

Dr. Anderson-Carpenter’s classroom is not unusual for professors teaching in the 21st century. Students are no longer thriving in traditional classrooms which expect them to passively absorb information through lectures. Instead, studies show that teaching trends are moving toward app-based learning, microlearning and mobile learning where students can take ownership of their education and consume information in a familiar way. A study from Barnes and Noble College shows that Gen Z students expect digital learning tools to be utilized on-demand with low barriers to access, to create interactive learning environments.  Since this new generation of college students expect classrooms to use digital learning tools, it’s important for professors to consider ways of implementing technology that will not only intrigue students but bring value to their education.

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Time Management Tips for Professors

Finding and managing time as a professor is overwhelming. For many professors, clocking a 60-hour week is the norm and finding where to cut back can be tricky. Facilitating classes, mentoring students, conducting research and professional development activities are just the beginning; and when midterms or finals come around, any established routine doesn’t last. Suddenly, on top of a packed calendar, there’s a constant stream of student emails asking for clarifications and extended deadlines, colleagues seeking advice and required staff meetings; all while trying to make sure grades for hundreds of students are accurate and submitted on time.

One way to ease some of the stress and anxiety that comes with being a professor is to focus on time management. By setting goals, making an actionable plan and implementing technology, professors can relieve stress and facilitate a more streamlined, impactful course for the next generation of doctors, scientists, scholars and citizens to enter the workforce. But first, it’s important for professors to understand how they are spending their time and where they can afford to cut back.

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Achieving Learning Objectives with Packback

Packback Questions is a tool used by professors to facilitate online discussions. With the help of AI, Packback allows professors to scale individual coaching, moderation and grading in any sized classroom.

Watch the video below to see how Dr. Kaston Anderson-Carpenter of Michigan State University, Dr. Matt Goren of the University of Georgia and Dr. Stacey Combes from the University of California, Davis use Packback to promote critical thinking and application in their courses.

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Student-Driven Discussions with Packback

We are stuck in a fast-answer epidemic. Students have practiced finding the quickest solution, instead of learning how to internalize information and participating in thought-provoking discussions. At Packback, we believe that when students are given an opportunity to be curious and ask the big questions, they’ll be equipped with skills to become future innovators. Packback encourages students to explore classroom materials in a new and interesting way, which makes students more willing to engage and apply their learnings.

What Is Packback?

Packback Questions is a tool used to supplement a professor’s teaching style and help achieve learning objectives such as increased engagement and critical thinking. Packback facilitates online discussion and uses Artificial Intelligence to help professors provide individual coaching, moderate and grade discussions and motivate students throughout the term.

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Teaching Critical Thinking through Electronic Discussion Platforms

Electronic discussion can stimulate and develop critical thinking skills in students, and we’re not the only ones who believe it.

A scholarly article by Steven Greenlaw and Stephen DeLoach called Teaching Critical Thinking with Electronic Discussion spoke on the subject more than ten years ago, and as technology has continued to advance, electronic discussion is finding an even bigger space in student thinking and curiosity.
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