The picture above is the Rolls-Royce Energy Inc, Mt. Vernon, OH operations, Internship class of 2014. They kept their notes and did their work primarily on their electronic devices. Those working for me received a brief overview of our computer systems and network, and within two weeks were more adept at navigating the same than I was after six months. Also, I have been studying in college continually for four years. The common note pad isn’t a yellow-colored lined one in a portfolio, but a multi-colored case over electronic circuits with some sort of entry device. A keypad is common and sometimes a wand may be seen a-la the old fashioned pen/pencil. So, if you are teaching, facilitating, or instructing get used to the clickity-click of keys and taps of the magnetic pen and even embrace it. The millennial student in any atmosphere has a new tool that is more versatile than we ever had in my day. Take that “no electronic devices” out of your syllabus and replace it with “electronic devices encouraged”. How often do we presenters come up with questions in the course of teaching that we haven’t an answer to? Often enough that these new students can bring up dozens in under a minute with their reference device in hand. What a way to spice up learning! Now we get to demonstrate en-mass how to select reliable sources and discuss a broader range of ideas. Want to give them the notes? How many software tools out there let us ‘throw’ a page or document to a screen? The popular use is to share pictures. Why not share the lesson outline in the same manner? How about copying the classroom notes from the Smart Board? Send them with the flick of a wand or a wave of the hand.
Let’s remember one thing though. One of my professors at a ‘major’ university was unable to ‘chalk talk’ his lesson when technology failed. Keep up those old-fashioned teaching skills. ‘Story-telling’ is what we do. And story-telling is the oldest form of teaching method, from the camp fire and cave wall drawings to the modern classroom and distance learning technology.