Classrooms go high-tech to engage students

Unlike many teachers, Beth Simon hasn’t banned her college students from using their cell phones or the Internet during class. Instead, the computer science professor encourages them to text message responses to her questions and research information on the web while she is lecturing, reports U.S. News & World Report. "They’re going to use it no matter what," said Simon, of the University of California, San Diego. "How do you use this ubiquitous technology that’s out there to change the dynamic of the classroom, to engage the students?" The measure of a technology-enhanced campus used to be the number of computer labs and whether there was wireless access, but fast-paced advancements have destroyed the boundaries of classrooms, said Glenn Platt, professor of interactive media studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Some professors make their lectures available as podcasts, provide live streaming video of classes and maintain discussion boards so students can post questions. They encourage tweeting, blogging and chatting online with other students.

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