Why Should We Build Classes Around Mobile Technology?

[In this Campus Technology article the use of mobile devices becomes the key for higher education students to become digital journalists. Ronald Yaros, a communications professor at the University of Maryland, describes how mobile technology is the key to engagement, student learning, and student success.]

Using an app he created, in classes he has configured around mobile technology, Ronald Yaros is preparing his students for a future that will revolve around their technological skills. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s information producers and consumers,” said Yaros, who is an associate professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. “In the past five years, we have seen tectonic changes in how younger people adopt, adapt, and utilize mobile technology for virtually every aspect of their lives. For the next five years, I’m interested in how evolving technology will continue to change the ways in which users interact with information.”

According to Yaros, without a systemic change in how we engage students in and outside of class, technology can be — and often is — viewed as getting in the way of learning.  “While we know that any device can distract from learning, we don’t know how to change the ways a device can be used for sustained engagement and more effective learning. That’s why we need a mindset shift to adapt a tool’s use to class meetings, assignments and activities that require technology.”

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