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F. Hanna, K. Komorowski

Rochester Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
Globalization makes geography less important than technology. Therefore, college graduates are expected not just to have excellent knowledge of their disciplines, but also have great creative ability. The implementation of technology in the teaching and learning process provides effective tools to achieve better understanding, retention of knowledge, and innovation of college graduates. 21st Century technology forces faculties to adopt new approaches in teaching to ensure best capability of their graduates in critical thinking, problem solving, and communications. The faculty should choose the best suitable technologies for his/her course that enhance active learning. The Technology enhanced learning environments (Teaching –Enabled Active Learning –“TEAL”) was first introduced by MIT in 2003 [1]. Faculties are required to have knowledge of technology which goes beyond the ability to deliver their lectures in PowerPoint and the ability to use specific software. To prepare the students to accept the transition from the traditional approach of teaching (i.e. passive learning) to active learning, faculties need to explain to their students how would active learning increase their abilities to apply their knowledge to solve real life problems. It was suggested that learning may well occur through multiple discovery networks that blend research and teaching to address real world problems in environments supported by robust software infrastructures. Dynamic PowerPoint presentation with intentional blanks left by the instructor to have the students fill in, replaced static PowerPoint presentations. A lecture with a period of having the students using clickers to answer a question related to the information provided during the lecture, improves students attendance, knowledge retention, and interaction. The use of iPads, PCs, tablets, and online discussions in colleges learning process, provides excellent simultaneous interaction between faculties and their students. Class rooms equipped with interactive screens, enable the faculty to monitor the work of the students and display it on a large screen to the entire class.
The purpose of this article is to explore the implementation of various technologies to enhance active learning approach in colleges. The questions that guided this investigation include:
• Which technology may support active learning best?
• What is the role of the faculty to encourage the use of technology inside and outside the classroom?
• What is the role of the Educational Institutes to provide, maintain, update, and support technologies in the teaching and learning process?
The method for this investigation is a comprehensive literature review and analysis. The databases used were Compendex, and IEEE Xplore.