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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Introducing New Feature: Critical Debates

We are passionate about building a platform that inspires students to become curious about course material and encourages an academic debate between classmates. With Packback’s new Critical Debates feature, learners can now reply directly to Responses with a Counter Point or Supporting Point. This new feature makes it possible for the entire class to engage in true deep, critical discussions that better mirror a live debate.

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Help Packback Get To SXSWEDU 2019

Every day, team members at Packback are inspired by our mission to fuel the lifelong curiosity in every student. We believe curiosity and asking questions are the building blocks for students to become successful, both in college and after graduation. In order to share our mission and the importance of curiosity, we submitted a proposal for SXSWEDU Conference and Festival! If accepted, Packback CPO Jessica Tenuta, Dr. Brandon Chicotsky of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Jose Vazquez of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will be partaking in a panel discussion on the importance of asking questions and scaling curiosity-based learning.

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