The era of the big lecture hall, with a hundred students taking notes while a professor talks in front of a white board or PowerPoint presentation, is nearly over at William Jewell College.
By MARÁ ROSE WILLIAMS
The Kansas City Star
Technology is trumping tradition.
This fall, the college is giving every student, faculty member and employee an Apple iPad Air to keep. Everyone will use the same hardware and software, provost Anne Dema said, meaning that all of William Jewell College will be accessible from anywhere to every member of the campus community on a 10-inch touch screen.
This notion of having mobility changes education, Dema said.
Students at the college in Liberty can get face time with classmates and their professor without being in the classroom, at least not the traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom.
Got a problem with financial aid? Talk screen face to screen face with someone in the bursars office as you work out your problem.
At home doing research late at night? Connect with classmates, maybe even the professor, and have a face-to-face discussion. Then share the conversation online with everyone else in the class.
I dont know whats going to happen to the classroom, Dema said.
Technology in the classroom isnt new, of course. But what Jewell is doing now is more like technology is the classroom.
The college has not simply built a building full of technology, Jewell spokeswoman Mandy Levings said, it has fully integrated a new way of doing education.
Jewell may have gone further than any other campus in the Kansas City area in embracing technology, but the other colleges and universities are in the game, too.
Many of their professors put lectures and blackboard work online for students to review outside of class and to save class time for deeper discussions. Thats the flipped classroom concept that has gained popularity in elementary and secondary classrooms. Now its inching onto college campuses.
I think a lot of professors are looking at different teaching formats, said Kansas State University professor Jana Fallin. I cant be wedded to just one format.
But I dont think we will ever get away from the lecture format completely, at least not the large state colleges. I dont see K-State giving everyone an iPad.