Downside of Technology in the Classroom

I teach undergraduate and graduate students in multiple environments: on-site, online and/or in a hybrid format. As such, I use a variety of digital support methodologies for teaching and learning such as whiteboards. I was shocked when I noticed  during on-site courses, students would use their cell phones to actually photograph and store work that I was putting on the whiteboard or PowerPoint presentations on the screen. I noticed this after students began to complain that I was not showing as many visuals as other professors.

This was a curious complaint to me. Then I discovered that when my back was turned, the cell phones were turned on the visual display. Students were taking digital snapshots of the visuals. Then, during exams, I discovered that many students had their phones in their laps.

When I caught this, I discovered that not only was my board and screen visuals on their phones, but also snapshots of key pages in the textbook. Digitally savvy students not only have devised a solution to storing information, but they also have discovered rather quickly how to cheat on exams when a professor is not watching what’s in their laps. I later discovered that my lectures were being recorded on the same seemingly benign technology.

How are students using technology in your classrooms?


Submitted by Michael Popejoy

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