High Tech Campus

As discussed in High Tech Higher Ed, students are demanding technology in the classroom. Though why should the buck stop there? Technology is looking to take over the entire campus.

Some colleges are starting to pick up on this trend. Ten years ago, Forbes considered tech savvy campus to have campus wide data networks, wireless options available to students, remote access to e-mail, online course options, online registration options, and online administrative functions.

In 2016, these are required functions for all higher education institutions, though students aImage result for high techre still demanding more.  They are wanting to connect with their peers before arriving on campus for the first time. They want instant wireless access across campus so they are able to stay connected while on the go. They are demanding more technologically savvy advances both in and outside of the classroom.

The possibilities are truly endless. Google Hangouts can be created for educators to provide feedback on proposed new lecture topics, team captains can tweet the team about upcoming practice times, and students can write group assignments with Google Docs.

Many students also become involved in extracurricular, clubs, or assistantships while earning their degree. Paccone (2016) discusses the advantages of having students blog inside the classroom. Paccone encourages one of the best reasons for having students create a blog is the instant access to their peers writing and ability to engage in online conversations with one another. It is time institutions take the strengths of online communities, and bring them into all aspects of higher education.

One area of higher education where connected campuses come into play, is the field of Residence Life. Resident Assistants are typically only connected to one another during the first week of the academic year during their summer training sessions. After which, they go their separate ways missing out on collaboration efforts throughout the year.

While efforts are made early on to make connections by liking Facebook pages or following each other on Twitter, these relationships are lost throughout the madness the academic year brings.

Directors should take the opportunity to create a mandatory blog for all Resident Assistants to join during their training week. Resident Assistants will be required to post their upcoming programs on this website for Directors to track their community building performance. Since Resident Assistants will already be required to utilize the blog, an open forum can also be created, linking Resident Assistants across campus to one another.

As the year goes on, students can post their programming, bulletin board, and community involvement ideas, gathering feedback from their peers. By sharing their thoughts, they are also more likely to get other communities involved in their programs, increasing attendance, and spreading their message even further than their hallway of 50 residents, insuring Resident Assistants and their communities will be connected with events throughout campus all year long.

What other groups on campus could benefit from a shared blog? Are you currently practicing blogging in your extracurricular community? If so, what feedback are you receiving from your students regarding being instantly connected to one another?



Meyers Fliegler, C. (2013, November). Park this way: Colleges find high-tech solutions. University Business.

Noer, M., & Ewalt, D. (2006, January 20). America’s Most Connected Campuses. Forbes.

Paccone, P. (2016, May 28). Three Great Ways for Teachers to Get Their Students to Blog. Retrieved August 12, 2016, fromhttp://www.edutopia.org/discussion/three-great-ways-teachers-get-their-students-blog

Rhey, E. (2006, December 20). Top 20 Wired Colleges. PC Mag.

Swartz, R. (2015, July 20). Five Questions to Ask When Integrating Educational Technology – Online Education Blog of Touro College. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu/five-questions-ask-integrating-education-technology/


High Tech Higher Ed

Each year, new students enter the exciting world of higher education and bring along with them an updated list of demands. What are they demanding for the next four years? More technology in the classroom.

The need for technology in the classroom is driven by two forces – the increased cost of higher education, and the new generation of millennials.

Due to the increasing costs of higher education, institutions are required to change in favor of student convenience, with the traditional model of college being left behind for a more technological and flexible approach to learning (Van Der Werf & Sabatier, 2009). The increased costs require students to work while earning their degree, shrinking the window of availability for being on campus. With the majority of courses being offered in the “traditional” approach of in-person lecture style courses during working hours, students are forced to choose between earning a living wage or their degree to further their career prospects.

New millennials see their education futures built almost entirely around technology. Even students who welcome the traditional approach to higher education will still demand increased levels of convenience than the traditional student we have seen up until this point in higher education (Blackboard, 2013). Students will increasingly expect access to classes from cell phones, opting to monitor classes, participate in discussions, lectures, study groups, papers, and communicate with professors all online (Van Der Werf & Sabatier, 2009).

Though the majority of students can recall professors excluding cell phones, tablets, and laptops from the lecture hall. Technology in the classroom should not be viewed as an area needing to be banned, but a strength to educators and students alike. Students who learn from multiple modes of technology outperform other students who rely on individual forms, or remove technology form their educational environment (Cisco, 2008). Students are now able to provide digital presentations, have online textbooks, engage with others in the classroom via social media, and more.

Not only are there multiple ways for students to implement technology into their learning, educators should take this opportunity to explore all of the possibilities that are out there as well.  Educators are able to communicate with students via social media platforms, reaching their medium and increasing the likelihood students will respond. Additionally, educators can encourage the use of sites such as Google Hangout, where students can meet virtually for book clubs, expand presentation audiences, invite in guest speakers, go on virtual fieldtrips, work on projects together and more. The opportunity is out there, educators only need to provide the methods of technology to the student, and the possibilities are truly endless.



In the year 2020, it is expected 40 percent or more (Van Der Werf & Sabatier, 2009) students will elect to take courses on-line, more than double the current rate. One challenge educators face is how they can connect students with the professor and the curriculum without meeting face to face on a daily basis, as in the traditional approach. Are institutions prepared for this drastic increase? If not, what needs to be done to bridge the on-line learning gap? What methods of technology will educators need to implement to meet the demands of these students?



B. (2013). The Changing Landscape of Higher Education. Blackboard. Retrieved from http://www.blackboard.com/cmspages/getfile.aspx?guid=862b51ef-86e5-4514-9e97-34bdfe520ff8

Baker, F. (2012). Media Literacy in the K–12 Classrooms. International Society for Technology in Education.

Cisco (2008). “Multimodal Learning Through Media:What the Research Says.” Retrieved from http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/solutions/industries/docs/education/Multimodal-Learning-Through-Media.pdf

Pathe, S. (2014, September 29). Why Are Fewer People Going to College.PBS Newshour. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/why-are-fewer-people-going-to-college/

Scheibe, C., & Rogow, F. (2012). The Teacher’s Guide to Media Literacy : Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World. Corwin: Thousand Oaks, CA.

Students Demanding More Technology in Education. (2012). ICEF Monitor. Retrieved from http://monitor.icef.com/2012/10/students-demanding-more-technology-in-education/

Technology in college – Google Search. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2016, from https://www.google.com/search?q=technology in college

Van Der Werf, M., & Sabatier, G. (2009). The College of 2020: Students.Chronicle Research Services, 1-58.

Teaching Digital Media and Literacy

In 2016, it is rare to see someone who is disengaged in some form of media. With the growing popularity of cell phones, tablets, and social media, a world of information is available instantaneously.  As technology improves and becomes more accessible, the responsibility to teach digital and media literacy skills raises a few eyebrows.

Media conveys messages through visuals, language, and sound, and are then mass-produced for a target audience, and mediated by some form of technology (Scheibe & Rogow, 2012). This definition includes media books, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of non-technological media. While the initial responsibility to teach safety measures regarding digital and media literacy falls on the parents, the majority of the responsibility to educate students in this field falls on the educators.

The goal of the educator to teach media literacy, is to provide the necessary tools to the student to navigate their own experiences with media and think for themselves (Scheibe & Rogow, 2012). Allowing students to have an open mind and critical thinking skills in the messy world of digital media literacy is a difficult task for any educator. With instant access to what is happening around the world, students are not only given a minute by minute update, but the opportunity to view the opinion of others and voice their own personal thoughts.

For example, with the upcoming election, mixed media messages are coming from either presidential nominee regarding current national and global events. While thousands of individuals jump on-line to “like” or “retweet” these messages, it is key to remember all media messages are constructed (Scheibe & Rogow, 2012). Scheibe and Rogow (2012), express this fundamental concept is valuable to keep in mind, as it is not only the message itself that is valuable, but the team behind the message.

As seen in the links bTwitterImage.jpgelow, there is a team behind both Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns, who aid in constructing these messages on their Twitter feeds, not only to get a “like” or a “retweet” but to gain voters and supporters. Each message they send out to their millions of followers, is for a purpose. Due to this purpose, educators must teach their students critical thinking skills, including an awareness of interrelated critical questions, ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times, and the desire to actively use critical questions (Scheibe & Rogow, 2012).

Unfortunately, media literacy education, is a difficult area for students to understand, as they not only learn about media, but how to critique media messages. People want to believe those they trust in are good, and their word is true. It is the key challenge for educators, to not only have their students read into the surface of the media being thrown at them, but to take a critical approach, and understand the deeper meaning behind the message. Students need to consider who the target audience is, what the purpose of the message may be, and the impact it could have on the future. It is key for the educator to convey to the student they are able to use their individual skills, beliefs, and experiences to construct their own meanings from media messages.

In order to do so, educators must develop a skill set within their students, allowing the necessary knowledge to decode digital and media messages. This skill set includes distinguishing fact from opinion, analyzing points of view and identifying biases, drawing inferences, and making and defending conclusions using document based evidence. Educators also need to ensure students have a wide variety of media methods to decode, including contemporary and historic, high and low tech, mainstream and alternative, commercial and independent, professionally and user generated, and representative of different media genres. To best aid the student, educators must insure they leave behind their personal judgements, to allow the students to determine what is right on their own.

What tips should educators be provided, to ensure they will not pass their judgements or biases onto their students when decoding digital and media literacy? For additional helpful tips, click on the links below:







Baker, F. (2012). Media Literacy in the K–12 Classrooms. International Society for Technology in Education

Google Images. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2016, from https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/images/digitalmedia_400px.jpg

Scheibe, C., & Rogow, F. (2012). Critical thinking in a multimedia world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.