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Today, universities can embrace new technologies to help students learn more efficiently. Due to the availability and affordability of tablets and laptops, professors can enrich the classroom experience by offering content in nontraditional ways. With the help of the Internet, universities can recruit students through social media networks and even hold classes online. These new trends work together to build a university experience that cannot be replicated by a chalkboard and outdated projector slides.
Thanks to the growth of the e-book industry, students can now find electronic versions of some textbooks. Although paper textbooks haven’t disappeared, digital textbooks offer a number of clear advantages over traditional textbooks. Digital textbooks can easily be updated to include an important content change. For example, the author of a political science textbook can update the digital version of his book to reflect a recent election in Europe. Finally, many e-book textbook titles are cheaper than traditional textbooks, helping students to save money on one of their biggest expenses.
In the classroom, both teachers and students can take advantage of new tools to improve the learning experience. Teachers can use digital projectors to display vivid graphs, photographs and videos. Teachers can also connect these projectors directly to a tablet or computer to alter the content during the classroom discussion. With some preparation before class, teachers can also offer extra digital content through the students’ tablets and laptops. For example, during an art history class, the teacher could direct the students to use their electronic devices to look at a 3D model of a famous cathedral.
Students can use their electronic devices to take better notes during class. Some note-taking apps and programs are designed to maximize efficiency while the student listens to the professor. Students can even record the lecture to replay at a later date. Students who learn how to create their own digital content during class will have plenty of useful material to study before a test.
In addition to traditional classes, many universities have added online classes for their students. Universities administer these classes through collaborative tools that allow students to interact directly with each other and their instructors. Students can use these tools to read class materials, watch videos and take tests.
Although traditional classes will not vanish from campuses soon, online classes do offer some excellent benefits, such as allowing students to take control of their learning. Although online classes still have homework and test deadlines, students can take extra time to focus on the concepts they personally struggle to master. In a traditional classroom setting, students only have one chance to observe the instructor. In most online classes, however, students can read or listen to the material repeatedly as needed.
Today’s youth are already accustomed to using the Internet to research any topic. Universities are beginning to take advantage of this trend through online recruitment. For example, some universities allow students to apply directly through Facebook. Tech-savvy universities also use Facebook and other social media networks to learn more about prospective students before accepting a particular student.