Faculty on the use of technology in the classroom

By Jennifer Contreras

Technology is constantly being updated and renovated, and schools, students and professors have had to learn to adapt and keep up with the changes. Although many believe technology tends to make the process quicker and easier in many cases, numerous people have had to learn technology is not always reliable.

While many people, including professors, rely on technology to teach. Surprisingly, there are Cal Poly Pomona professors that prefer the traditional way of teaching for many reasons.

“There are professors her that use technology so much more than I do,” said Professor Floyd Klavetter, who teaches organic chemistry. “The things I teach in organic chemistry a lot of the learning is based on student’s drawings, which are drawn by hand. They can use tablets or they can draw on paper.”

Organic chemistry students, according to Klavetter, don’t learn well if they just read or answer multiple choice questions.

“I only use PowerPoint when I am presenting research,” said Klavetter. “A lot of it is because when we draw a molecules on the board, if students just see it and don’t copy it themselves or get use to paying attention to details such as what atoms are bonded to what atoms, those students do not do well.”

However, there are many students who find many benefits to professors integrating technology in class. Second-year food and nutrition student Nycole Graciano has found having online classes convenient because it helps in the events that a student might have complicated or limited schedule, but that there were drawbacks.

“There always seems to be some type of technical difficulty whether you get locked out of the quiz or your computer freezes, and there is usually a one time limit to take and/or submit these assignments,” said Graciano. “From experience, the turnaround time for getting the quiz reset, if the professor allows, is not prompt and by the time the professor receives your email, it is probably too late to try again.”

Jennifer Switkes, who teaches in the mathematics and statistics department, says that her students use software outside of class.

“I only occasionally have them use computers during class, but my students will go off and have programming projects, or simulation projects, or other projects where they will need to use mathematical software,” said Switkes. “Depending on the class, they sometimes use calculators to help with the computations, but the ideas are bigger than just the computations.”

Switkes said that there is usually more to homework than just inputting the answer.

“I have been teaching mostly upper division courses, and there the work is so involved that it is not just the answer that matters,” said Switkes. “Students need space to write out their thinking, and be able to look at that.”

As the integration of technology differs from professor to professor and even major to major, the fact remains that although technology innovation is rapidly changing, there are still many downsides.

Classroom technology

Monica Lopez / The Poly Post

Classroom technology

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