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From blackboard to whiteboard: Technology alters the learning environment

Imagine a world without Google, without smartphones, without a computer. A world permeated with books, encyclopedias and typewriters. A world that didn’t have endless information a touch away. 

This was what school used to look like. Now, technology has made learning different. Some wonder if that is a good or bad thing. 

“It’s completely changed,” says Dusty Bender, chair of humanities and arts division. “Without technology, [learning] was more focused. I joke to my students, I’d rather go back to the rock and chisel because in the classroom there is such a great lack of attention and focus.”

In Bender’s perspective, he says education has suffered because students can’t see how to tie things all together in a big picture. 

“They don’t know how to really dig out the stuff, and that’s the skill we learned umpteen years ago,” says Bender. “Tech has its good and bad, [but] it’s isolated us more: we text more than we talk. I guess if I had the ideal world, I would take the benefits, but bring back that face-to-face contact that we need to have as well.”

Virgil Porter, assistant professor of Bible, says he believes technology has made society and students both lazy. 

“We don’t take notes as much as we used to. [Technology] leaves us wanting things delivered to us rather than searching for things,” says Porter. “We have all this technology, but we don’t talk to people. People don’t want to be disturbed and live in their own world [where] it’s less offensive [and] they won’t get hurt.”

Photo illustration by Haley Lingenfelter