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Emerging Classroom Technology: Opportunities And Pitfalls

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.184.1 - 1.184.5



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David G. Meyer

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3232

Emerging Classroom Technology: Opportunities and Pitfalls

David G. Meyer School of Electrical & Computer Engineering/Purdue University


Based on the premise that currently available technology can and should be better utilized to enhance the classroom experience — and ultimately to help students learn, this paper outlines a series of opportunities and pitfalls associated with deploying technology both inside and outside the classroom. Issues addressed include teaching in the visual arena, adapting course material to different learning styles, consolidating lecture presentation materials onto a single medium, using wireless LANs in the classroom, and using technology- based instructional delivery in place of traditional lectures for presentation of selected topics.


The primary motivating objective for deploying technology-based instructional delivery systems is to help students learn. Use of such educational tools allows instructors to: (a) teach in the visual arena; (b) adapt presentation of course material to a variety of different learning styles; (c) make lecture presentation material as well as supplementary course material (both audio & visual) interactively accessible to students outside of class, in a hierarchical, cross-indexed fashion; (d) modularize course material in a logical fashion; and (e) facili- tate non-linear presentation of course material, both in terms of module length and "density" (i.e., number of modules covered in a given period of time). Another motivating objective for utilizing technology-based instructional delivery systems is to make more efficient and effective use of instructional staff. Not only can students’ access to instructional resources be enhanced, but also the potential exists for freeing up professors’ time for more one-on-one interaction with students.

A common criticism is that we, as engineering professors, seldom use our "own" tools (e.g., high perfor- mance graphics workstations and projection display devices) in teaching our students. The on-going challenge, then, is to make better, more effective use of emerging and currently available technology, both inside and out- side the classroom. "More" use, however, is not necessarily "better" — inappropriate use of instructional tech- nology can potentially be worse than "no" use of technology (i.e., can actually detract from the learning experi- ence). The focus that must be maintained in utilizing technology is quality of education. The importance of human interaction as an integral part of the educational process must also be kept in perspective.

To help summarize some of the current issues associated with use of instructional technology, this paper outlines a series of opportunities along with possible pitfalls, and concludes with a summary of some of the challenges ahead.

Meyer, D. G. (1996, June), Emerging Classroom Technology: Opportunities And Pitfalls Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6017

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