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THE ITHACAN

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THE ITHACAN

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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Editorial: Student involvement is necessary in the search for new technologies

Editorial%3A+Student+involvement+is+necessary+in+the+search+for+new+technologies
Bailey MacDonald

Ithaca College is involving students and faculty in their search for a new classroom response system through the college’s Educational Technologies Advisory Committee (ETAC). This active involvement of students is a step in the right direction. Students should be involved in all decisions that affect their learning, especially when it comes to what technology is incorporated into the classroom. 

Faculty, students and staff involved in ETAC are currently piloting iClicker, PollEverywhere and Echo360 Poll, three alternative classroom response systems. These programs aim to provide increased engagement for students. An accessible and useful classroom response system is needed for students to be able to be actively involved with their own learning. Involving students in the selection of a classroom response system will ensure that the program is helpful in practice, not just in theory. 

When it comes to technology, accessibility is of the utmost importance. The interface must be easy for students and faculty to use. By allowing students to try out interfaces and provide their feedback, the college will be more likely to ensure that all students will be able to learn the program quickly and use it efficiently. 

Furthermore, any and all technology must be financially accessible to students. The college’s current classroom response system, Top Hat, requires students to pay $33 for one semester or $53 for one academic year. Not only is this an additional fee on top of tuition, room and board and textbooks, but it is a purchase that students have no agency over. Students should not be expected to pay additional fees for a classroom response system, and at the very least, they should have a say in what is worth any extra expenses. 

The college must continue to involve students in important decisions that range from technology to finances to accessibility. Students should never feel like passive audience members when it comes to their education. It is up to the college to provide opportunities for active student engagement, not just in the classroom, but in all realms of the college community.

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