Manchester Community College was recently recognized for its efforts to incorporate technology into the classroom.
The recognition comes from the Center for Digital Education, which placed MCC 9th on its list of the country’s best “Digital Community Colleges.” Ed Ely, the president of Chapter 14 at MCC, said the increased use of technology is a transition, but an essential one.
“This is the way that things are going to be taught in the future,” he said.
Many students, and faculty, prefer the in person aspect of education, but all classes have some kind of technology involved. For example, all courses must now use Blackboard — an online tool that allows faculty and students to interact. Faculty who didn’t embrace technology changes at first are now changing their tune
“They’re finding it’s easier to try to get information off to students in a more timely fashion, and there’s less printing of paper,” Ely said. “You can see there’s a trend to entrench electronic technology in education.”
As with any change there are bugs to work out, but Ely said it’s part of the process.
“These are the kinds of things we need to find out so we can resolve them,” he said. “Any time you start something new, you’re going to see different kinds of problems.”
One key challenge the college faces is that not all students have access to the needed technology and a good internet connection.
“These are factors that may or may not contribute to student work outcomes,” he said. “So, we’ve been flexible when they’ve had power outages or computer or internet problems.”