Thursday, August 25, 2011

Technology Helps Students 'Own' Their Learning Experiences

In his article “Technology’s Essential Role” on EdTechMag.com, Andy Lausch starts by saying, “Students like to own their learning experience.” Lausch, VP of CDW-G Higher Education, goes on to address how technology is essential in engaging students in their education and supporting their need for collaboration and digital learning.

“Students report that they are more engaged when they use new and innovative technologies,” Lausch writes. He continues, “Institutions need to recognize that this generation is accustomed to accessing information digitally and that they may be more likely to keep up with classwork and earn degrees if they can interact digitally on campus.”

Lausch’s argument for better integrating technology in students’ learning methods is supported by the comments many IT instructors share with TestOut after using LabSim in their class.

For example, Mark Price, IT teacher in the State of New York’s Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Educational Services (CABOCES), has incorporated the LabSim training curriculum in his courses and reports that the technology has changed the mindset of his students. According to Price, the high school dropout rate in New York is over 30%, but LabSim has engaged his students in learning IT and keeps them fully involved.

“With LabSim, the mindset of the class is engagement. They're ready to learn anything you put in front of them,” Price said. “LabSim takes the ownership of learning and puts it back on students' shoulders.”

One example of how LabSim has engaged Price’s students is seen in comparing the LabSim content with a textbook. Price explained, “Students wouldn't read our textbook, and it became a problem in class. LabSim is like a game, so they play it. It helps them engage.”

Have you had experiences where technology integration has made a difference in engaging students in your classroom? Please leave a comment.

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