Two Adams Center Student Fellows – Connor Mullins and Nate Wade – led a discussion in How To Effectively Use Technology in the Classroom on April 3. In the discussion, faculty were asked to discuss with their groups about the way they see students use technology within the classroom. Wade and Mullins discussed how ACU uses a number of different mission statements in their course syllabi but lacks a technology mission statement. Currently at ACU, technology use is on a class by class basis. If a college or departmental technology mission statement was created, students would have a clear expectation of the classroom culture as soon as they walk in the door.

Technology is used in a multitude of ways at ACU. Through applications like Canvas, PowerPoint, Google Drive, Microsoft Office, Lockdown Browser and interactive games, students are used to the digital era being applied in the classroom. As student fellows, we believe that technology has the potential to distract students from their full potential within the classroom. As faculty, respect is incredibly important within the classroom setting. If students are using technology, do your best to respectfully redirect their attention toward learning. Also, meet with students outside of class to further develop your relationship with them and enhance their learning. As a Christian university, we must ask ourselves – who do we want students to become?

Note-taking by hand is far more effective than by the laptop. Research shows that students who take notes by hand are far more likely to comprehend the material they learn in class. However, we also understand that some classes move so quickly that you are unable to take notes by hand. Encourage students to critically think about what’s most effective for their learning and create a classroom environment around their needs.

ChatGPT has been a hot topic for the last six months. As technology continues to develop, we must understand how to effectively train our students with the latest and greatest technology with a Christian perspective. There are numerous pros and cons to ChatGPT. The pros being that it gives you a starting point, is efficient and speeds up the process, and gives you a process for projects. Some of the cons are that we don’t know where information is coming from, weakens critical thinking skills and takes away the human element of work, cheating yourself. We then discussed what faculty see as pros and cons and how to structure courses around this new technology.

Finally, we discussed how adding a college technology mission statement allows students to know what to expect when entering your classroom. Classroom hospitality is a key to student success and by clearly outlining the expectations for what is and is not expected for technology allows students to deepen their knowledge of their respective courses.