© Geraldine Brophy
David Brodbeck answers questions at the end of his talk titled 'The blog ate my homework' Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 as part of Grenfell Campus reunion 2012 activities.
CORNER BROOK — The face of education is changing.
It is starting to look more like the face of a tablet, telephone or laptop in many classrooms throughout the world.
In David Brodbeck's lectures, social media and other advanced technology has been an evolving educational tool since 2006. It began with podcasting lectures and grew into the use of Facebook for study groups and in-class comments through Twitter.
"I am sort of an early adopter of technology, usually to my pocketbook's detriment," the university psychology professor said Wednesday following a session at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. "I use all this stuff because, frankly, my students already do, so why the hell shouldn't I.
"It helps me interact with them and it is becoming natural for them."
As opposed to a distraction in class, Brodbeck said it stops them from using their phones for texting in class. If it doesn't, he said it only takes kicking one person out to get a point across.
It is also a way for instructors to connect with today's generation of students. However, Brodbeck isn't proclaiming to have had any great insight when he began doing this.
"This wasn't done in a calculating way," said the professor Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. "It was me combining stuff I already like — I like toys and I like my job, if I could play with my toys at work it is even better."
Not only is things like podcasting an asset in the classroom, he said, it also allows anybody to watch and learn from his lectures from the comfort of their own home.
Meanwhile, one of the former Grenfell professor's students, Amanda Dalley, took in his session as part of Grenfell Campus reunion 2012 activities that are underway.
The speech language pathologist now living in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, said social media and technology incorporated into the classroom setting is the way of the future. She said it is following the way the world is changing socially.
"For professors to incorporate that in, they are going to get that interest and relatability to their students," she said.
"They are also not going to lose track of where things are going. It is good for the students, in keeping them interested and related, but it is good for the profs in that they are staying on top of where things are going with the media and socially."
Brodbeck is not the only instructor wanting to implement social media and other platforms into the education system. Natasha Squires, a communications instructor at the College of the North Atlantic, said she still prefers the "chalk and talk" lectures, but has been trying to evolve into the new teaching methods.
She said some students, especially the younger generation, are looking for more use of technology in the classroom.
"It gives you a lot to think about, she said. "I've never been on Twitter, never saw the purpose of it, so I thought that was interesting."