Academic journal article College Student Journal

Use of Technology in College and University English Classrooms

Academic journal article College Student Journal

Use of Technology in College and University English Classrooms

Article excerpt

Many forms of technology are available to college and university instructors. Technology has become an important part of today's world and an important part of instruction in various classrooms. Many may see technology as reasonable to use in a science, mathematics, or art class. In this paper, different types of technology used in college and university English classes are discussed as well as the students' and instructors' views on the success or perceived success demonstrated by use of technology.

Introduction

Various forms of technology are used throughout institutions of learning. Student success in institutions of higher learning is more often than not dependent upon usage of technology, which can take many forms. A pen and piece of paper are each forms of technology. However, the scope of this study will be limited to newer, more advanced forms including electronic technology. Tablets, computers, and accompanying programs and websites on the internet will be the main focus. Within the setting of higher learning, and indeed most educational settings, some subjects and courses lend themselves more easily to the usage of technology applications. Science, mathematics, and the arts all traditionally use many forms of technology. English studies may include various areas, including but not limited to: grammar, rhetoric and composition, and literature. In these courses, one might reasonably expect that a large portion of instructional technology used will be of more traditional, older forms. These older forms of technology usually take the form of books, writing paper, and writing utensils.

This study will focus on the usage of technology in English courses within institutions of higher learning. There must be a discussion concerning what the literature suggests regarding the effectiveness of using technology in English courses within the higher learning setting. Another concern is the availability of various technologies to English instructors. Third is the question of how and to what extent English instructors use the technology that is available to them and to students.

Benefits of Learners' Information Literacy

The growing importance of the successful usage of technological tools by students within the college setting has also been illuminated through recent research. As Anderson and Horn (2012) point out, computer literacy has been accepted by educators and experts as an integral part of one's education. So, despite the hesitancy that some learners and educators may have concerning using a variety of newer technological tools for learning within the classroom as well as outside of it, the fact remains that being literate in the usage of these tools will be expected of those obtaining a college and university degree. The researchers focused their study upon the perceived educational gains that students received from the usage of technological tools. Rather than focus on why administrators or employers feel that these tools are integral to students' education, the researchers chose to conduct a student-focused study. As such, the data collected in this study was from self-reported data from student surveys. These researchers utilized the Community College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CCSEQ) as their data collection instrument. They report that, due to the correlative relationship between students' reported educational gains during the study and the expectations that schools have of students to be computer and information-technology literate, "Information literacy appears to be a key aspect for educational success for modern-day students" (p. 59). Anderson and Horn (2012) conducted their study with community college students seeking to later transfer to four-year universities.

There seems to be a general consensus among educators and innovators of technology that using technological tools, while perhaps a hindrance to some instructors' traditional ideology of teaching, benefits the students. …

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