February 2012

Have you ever had a conversation with your parents, grandparents or other older relatives about school? I guarantee you have heard at least one of them tell you school is a lot easier now compared to when they students. Their story probably started like this. Am I right?

But do they have a point? Is school really easier now then it was 20-30 years ago?

Ancient Means
Can you imagine going to school and not having a laptop- or even a computer lab? I just can’t do it. So much of what I do today relies on technology. I don’t remember the last time I wrote a paper by hand. However, back when your parents went to school, this was the norm- not the exception. Can you even imagine trying to use a typewriter to write that 20 page anthology? Plus, there were no graphing calculators or high-tech computers to help you with your math homework- just a pencil, paper, and your brain (oh, and a slide rule…)

Advancing, but Falling Behind?

While technology continues to evolve at an amazingly fast rate, does that mean our learning ability does to? I don’t really think so. The truth is, I haven’t used a dictionary since maybe the 4th grade. If I don’t know what a word means – I Google it. Actually, I Google almost everything. More than once a day I find myself with a question and immediately look to Google for the answer. I’m sure that I’m not alone, either.

What about using a calculator for math? Most of the math problems I have done in recent years have been at least assisted by the helpful tool. While this device is incredibly helpful in efficiency, it hinders our learning ability. I feel we don’t take the time to actually learn material anymore. If we have a question or need to find a definition, why learn it when you can Google it? Calculators do the math for you!

Basically, my point is these tools are INCREDIBLY helpful for us to use, and I could not imagine being without them, but maybe our generation should step back and make sure everyone knows the material before taking the short cuts.

 

How often do YOU use Google? Do you think school has gotten easier in the past 20 years thanks to technology?

 

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Have you ever had to do something for school, like check your college email or Blackboard, yet find yourself immediately headed to Facebook/Twitter/etc?! Maybe you’ve come home from a long day of work and you have to get an important paper or assignment done in a short amount of time, so you rush to the computer- only to be stalled again by a long list of blogs and social networking sites! Fun websites should be banned from my computer, because I am guilty of this. I’ve compiled some ways to gain self control against facebook, and also get my priorities straightened out.

Use Facebook/Twitter Statuses to get Your friends to yell “@” you!

Write a status that says something like “If you see me on Facebook, send me a message to scrutinize me” because if you don’t get offline, there’s a chance you may fail.  And friends yelling “@” you on facebook is kind of scary.

What NEEDS to get Done?

Like legitimately? Seriously, if I’m on Facebook/Twitter and my biological clock sort of nudges me in the spleen (or wherever your biological clock is supposed to be…) and says “so, how long have you been on here?” I realize that it might be time to remember why I went online in the first place.  This site, Remember the Milk, is awesome- you can make a customized priority list that can be emailed to you, reminde you with pop ups, and if you a fancy smart phone, there’s surely “an app for that.”

Put a REAL clock (not your phone) Right up in yo’ space

I try to use my little battery-operated alarm clock because it makes me aware of how long I’m spending on different internet destinations.  If I look at that clock and suddenly I realize I’ve been on facebook for a half an hour when I have five papers due, I’m likely to exit out of the ol’ f’book and get down to business. The visual effect sometimes works best for people.

Keep these in mind when you see you’ve been on facebook for two hours looking at random people’s pictures.  Doing that (and I’m guilty of it) is not only a waste of time, but pretty pathetic too. =)

Do you waste time online too much? Do you have strategies for avoiding It?

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My Best Professors at BSU

by ashleytwigg on February 28, 2012

As a Senior, I consider myself a seasoned veteran when it comes to professors.  I did my best while in college to take all sorts of courses and challenge myself with new things. Sometimes, this wasn’t my best decision (like challenging myself this semester with a brutal 300 level Poetry course). Other times though, I have taken new courses and been pleasantly surprised not just by the content, but by the professors who taught them. Here are three professors that I would deem as some of the best BSU has to offer.

Jonathan White- Sociology:

I am one of those people who tried to get all my “required” courses done as soon as I could. This left me needing a bunch of credits and not knowing at all what to take. I signed up to Intro to Sociology as simply a “filler” course, one I thought I could skate by in.  I had Jonathan White as my professor and I can honestly say his course changed me and affected me more than any other course I took in college.

I truly respect anyone who is passionate about what they are teaching, and he certainly is. He genuinely cares about not only his students but what he is teaching, and I found it very admirable. In the course we learned about a multitude of social issues and he always tried to engage us and get us involved during his lectures. The course itself isn’t filled with busy work or learning “things that don’t matter”.  Everything he assigns is for a purpose and you will take sometthing away from it far beyond a letter grade.  If you have the opportunity to sign up for any course he teaches do so, you won’t regret it.

Bruce Machart- Fiction Writing

Even if you aren’t an English major but have the slightest interest in writing, I recommend taking a writing course with Bruce Machart. As an author himself, he has a vast amount of knowledge on narrative craft and writing in general. I took fiction writing last semester and nearly the entire class took him again this semester for the advanced writing class. We just loved the course and him as a professor that much.

He sets the stage for the course with a perfect mix of humor and seriousness. We all come into the class happy and leave happy and in college you know that is hard to come by. Machart cares about his students and their progress as writers and sparks an interest in the material that lasts much longer than the semester.

Kirsten Whitten-Introduction to Public Relations:

Kirsten Whitten is one of the best professors because she makes sure you are applying what you are learning to REAL LIFE things. I have taken her for a couple courses and in both she had us working with actual companies and organizations.  In her introduction class, we were responsible for creating an entire public relations plan for a woman starting up her own business. We were put in charge of everything from the companies logo to events she should take part in, to her website design.

So many professors have you do things just for the sake of doing them. In Professor Whitten’s class you are doing things that not only will benefit you, but benefit others in the community as well. She has knowledge as a professor but knowledge also from working in the field as well and it was clearly evident in the courses I took with her.

 

Who are YOUR favorite professors at BSU?

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