In the realm of education, technology has become an integral part of the academic sphere. However, it is essential to strike a balance, as excessive reliance on technology can hinder learning. Brian Hopkins, the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Academic Technology at the University of Mississippi, emphasizes the need for students to be mindful of the potential distractions posed technology.
While technology can be immensely useful, Hopkins advises students to turn off their phones and limit their use during studying or when engaged in sustained work. Distractions can deter focus and hinder productivity. Additionally, students should be cautious when using new apps or software and consult their instructors regarding their policies. Certain technological tools might be perceived as academic dishonesty, potentially leading to severe consequences.
To combat plagiarism and dishonesty, the university employs technology tools within the Blackboard service that are designed to detect such activities. Hopkins reassures students that these tools have been regularly updated and can identify documents generated language models like GPT.
Despite the possible pitfalls, technology still offers valuable resources for students on their return to campus. Hopkins recommends three digital tools. Firstly, he suggests downloading the Microsoft Authenticator app, as access to Blackboard requires it. Secondly, the Rave Guardian app provides campus safety-related information and notifications, keeping students informed about emergencies and potential threats.
Lastly, Hopkins highlights that all university students have free access to Microsoft Office products. By following the instructions on the Help Desk website, students can not only use the online versions of Word, Excel, and other Microsoft Office tools but also download and install them on their devices.
In conclusion, technology plays a significant role in education, but it is essential to strike a balance. By recognizing the potential distractions and consulting instructors about the use of certain tools, students can harness the benefits of technology without compromising their academic integrity.
– GPT: Generative Pre-trained Transformer model, a language model used to generate human-like text.
– Breanna Nolan in the Grove on Aug. 19, 2023. Photo Emily Hollowell (Image source)
– Deputy Chief Information Officer for Academic Technology at the University of Mississippi Brian Hopkins (Interview source)