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The classroom environment has changed over the decades. Now that technology is a major part of everyday life, it is important to incorporate it into the classroom as well. Courses can be offered online, and access to everything from research to communication between teachers and students happens through various types of technology.
Mike McGrann, Executive Director of the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship at Saint Joseph’s University, discusses the importance of technology in education.
What is the most challenging aspect of teaching in the classroom environment?
“The teaching is a joy… the grading is a drag. It is an important part of the college experience, but I do not find it to be fun. There is enormous pressure on our students to get top grades.”
Do you have any advice for people wanting to enter into the teaching profession?
“Be prepared to invest time; it takes many many hours to prepare for each hour of teaching. Good teaching is not just good storytelling, it should be grounded in academic theory and made highly applicable to a student’s life. Be enthusiastic, show you care and be available to students. In ‘the old days,’ students spoke with professors during office hours. Now, we are available 24-7 via email and cell and it is expected in the business world and by students.”
“At the college level, classroom management (discipline) is not a substantial issue, but I know from limited experience of teaching at the junior high and high school levels that management (discipline) is a huge issue.”
Are continuing education courses beneficial for teachers?
“They are extremely important. The impact of technology is huge. We have been teaching the same way since Socrates, but now with technology, the distribution of teaching content can come in multiple forms. The universities that thrive in the future will be those that not only have great content providers, but are also innovative in how they distribute their content. Learning how technology can improve/enhance the learning experience is a huge part of the continuing education role.”
Christina Thompson is a freelance travel writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.