How to Use Technology in Higher Education Lectures

Published: November 15th, 2023

Technology is an integral part of education, from supporting remote learners. Embracing technology has become more than just an option for lecturers and tutors; it’s a necessity.

As a dedicated lecturer, you will have witnessed firsthand the impact technology has had on how students learn, collaborate, and engage with course material. In this blog, we explore how you can leverage technology to elevate your lectures and create enriching learning experiences.

Whether you’re a seasoned educator looking to refresh your teaching methods or a newcomer eager to embrace the digital age, this blog is for you. Using these tools, you can improve how you utilise tech, like interactive displays, to increase engagement and benefit the attainment of your students. 

Why is technology useful in higher education institutions?

Technology plays a pivotal role in improving student’s learning outcomes and experiences, and enhancing lecturers’ lives in these four ways: 

1. Enhanced accessibility

Technology breaks down geographical and physical barriers. Online courses and digital resources can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, allowing students in remote areas or those with mobility issues to pursue higher education. With our ActivPanel 9, for example, you can share recorded lessons with remote and absent students through any platform. Our interactive displays can be adjusted too, to ensure wheelchair users can use the boards comfortably.

Furthermore, technology offers features like text-to-speech, screen readers, and adjustable fonts, making content more accessible to individuals with disabilities and ensuring that education is inclusive and accommodating to a diverse range of learners.

2. Personalised learning

Using data and algorithms to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, adaptive learning learning platforms tailor educational experiences to individual needs and preferences.

This approach allows students to progress at their own pace, focus on areas where they need improvement, and explore advanced topics when ready; ultimately enhancing comprehension and retention while accommodating diverse learning styles.

3. Interactive engagement

Technology in higher education fosters student engagement by turning a passive learning process into an active, participatory experience. For example, using interactive whiteboards in a higher education setting allows you to create dynamic presentations, draw diagrams, and engage with digital content in real time.

This hands-on approach encourages students to engage, as they can interact directly with the content, solve problems collaboratively, and actively participate in discussions. The visual and tactile elements of interactive displays make complex concepts more accessible and memorable, promoting a deeper understanding of the material and elevating overall student engagement during lectures.

4. Flexible learning

Online courses and digital technologies offer flexibility through easy access to educational materials and resources. These tools enable students to study and engage with course content at their own pace and according to their individual schedules.

This flexibility accommodates the diverse needs of students, whether they are working professionals seeking to advance their careers, parents balancing family responsibilities, or individuals with varying learning preferences. It empowers learners to take control of their education and adapt it to their unique circumstances, making higher education more accessible and accommodating.

How to use technology in higher education lectures

In the age of smartphones, AI-driven apps, and virtual reality, students will come to your lectures with a digital fluency that opens doors to unprecedented possibilities. This presents a unique opportunity for you to tap into their tech-savvy world and transform traditional lectures into dynamic, interactive, and immersive experiences.

1. Presentations

Presentations are invaluable technology tools in higher education lectures. By combining text, visuals, and multimedia, presentations make complex subjects more accessible, catering to diverse learning styles. They promote active participation, enabling lecturers to interact directly with both the content and students.

Beyond simple slideshows, presentations can improve the student learning experience in many ways:

  • Visual aids: As a lecturer, you can incorporate images, diagrams, and charts to illustrate key concepts and make abstract ideas more tangible. Visual aids enhance understanding, capture students’ attention, and maintain their interest.
  • Video clips: Embed relevant video clips or animations to provide real-world context or demonstrate complex processes. Videos can bring a new dimension to the lecture and spark discussions among students.
  • Links to resources: Insert hyperlinks to additional readings, research papers, or online resources that students can explore for deeper insights. This encourages independent research and critical thinking.
  • Student-led presentations: Assign students to research and present on a specific topic related to the course. This encourages active learning and allows students to take ownership of their education and share their expertise with classmates.

2. Quizzes

Quizzes serve as versatile tools for assessing, reinforcing, and deepening understanding throughout the educational journey. By incorporating the following quizzes or quiz apps into lectures, you’ll promote active engagement, provide valuable feedback, and encourage students to take a more hands-on role in their learning.

  • Gamified quizzes: Engage students with quizzes and polls using tools like Kahoot!, Poll Everywhere, or Quizlet Live. Students can compete individually or in teams, adding an element of fun and competitiveness.
  • Pre-lecture quizzes: Before the lecture begins, give students a brief quiz on the upcoming topic. This primes them with some foundational knowledge and prepares them for the lecture content.
  • Discussion-stimulating quizzes: Create quizzes that lead to in-class discussions. For example, pose open-ended questions based on the lecture content and have students discuss their answers with classmates. These types of quizzes foster critical thinking, encourage peer interaction, and deepen understanding through discussion.

3. Online learning

By incorporating online learning elements into higher education lectures, you can create a more flexible, engaging, and accessible learning experience that caters to the diverse needs of students in today’s digital age.

These approaches not only enhance lectures but also equip students for the evolving demands of the modern world.

  • Flipped classroom model: Provide pre-recorded video lectures or reading materials for students to review before the in-person class. In class, focus on discussions, problem-solving, and applying the knowledge. This teaching model is one of the more popular higher education technology trends as it promotes deeper understanding and allows for more meaningful in-class interactions.
  • Online discussion boards: Create online discussion forums where students can post questions, share insights, and engage in peer discussions about lecture topics. As well as fostering critical thinking, discussion forums provide a means for engaging shy or quieter students in class conversation.

4. Interactive whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards can transform lectures into dynamic, engaging, and interactive learning experiences. They cater to various learning styles, promote active participation, and help students visualise complex concepts.

  • Interactive group activities: Divide the class into groups and assign them tasks to complete on the whiteboard. For instance, students can collectively brainstorm ideas, solve puzzles, or create mind maps.
  • Recording and playback: Record the lecture, including everything written or drawn on the whiteboard. Students can review the lecture later for revision. This approach provides flexibility for students and aids in exam preparation.
  • Interactive quizzes and polls: Interactive whiteboards are a great way to display quizzes and polls. Students can respond using their smartphones, and results can be displayed instantly for discussion.

Using Promethean interactive whiteboards in lectures

The integration of technology in higher education lectures is a powerful catalyst for positive change in the learning experience. These innovative tools have the potential to transform traditional lectures into dynamic, engaging, and interactive sessions. Try incorporating a few of the above techniques to see the difference for yourself.

Through dynamic visual illustrations, real-time problem-solving, interactive quizzes, and the ability to immerse students in collaborative activities, Promethean’s interactive whiteboards offer many opportunities for you to elevate your teaching. They also cater to diverse learning styles, foster active participation, and enhance comprehension and retention of course material.

As we embrace technology in education, including the versatile interactive whiteboard, we open the door to a more flexible, accessible, and enriched educational journey for both educators and students alike.

FAQs

How is technology changing the future of higher education?

Technology is increasing accessibility through online courses and remote learning and breaking down geographical barriers. Personalised learning technologies tailor education to individual needs, enhancing comprehension and retention.

Emerging tech like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) are transforming classroom experiences, making education more engaging and immersive.

The future of higher education will likely involve a seamless integration of technology, fostering a dynamic and flexible learning environment that adapts to the needs of students and the demands of a rapidly changing world.

How important is technology in higher education?

Technology has become increasingly important in higher education, especially as curriculum development grows ever more intertwined with the wider digitisation of information dissemination. Tech enhances accessibility to educational resources, facilitates personalised learning experiences, and enables innovative teaching methods.

It also prepares students for the digital demands of the working world. However, it’s essential to strike a balance, ensuring that technology complements, rather than replaces, traditional teaching methods to create a well-rounded and effective educational experience.

How can faculty members benefit from educational technologies in lectures?

Educational technologies such as interactive whiteboard displays don’t just benefit students; they can make the entire lecture delivery experience far easier for faculty members, too. 
Having access to a wealth of online resources on an interactive whiteboard helps lecturers offer more engaging, multi-sensory course content that can capture (and, more importantly, hold) the attention of learners from beginning to end. For example, university lecturers can incorporate videos, do real-time web searches to respond to student questions, present slideshows with critical resources, and facilitate collaborative activities using an interactive display.