Students adopt new technology before university

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Michaela Proctor
Matthew Stradley shows Nicholas Bragg the new Apple technology at the BYU Bookstore. (Michaela Proctor)

People in the BYU community think students will stay more technologically advanced than the BYU campus as new technology is released in the upcoming year.

2016 saw the introduction of popular apps like Pokémon GO, virtual reality and new updates of various phones, tablets and computers.

Although these new developments are incorporated into student life, Cougar Tech sales associate Matthew Stradley said he has seen a disconnect between when more expensive technologies are available and when students acquire it.

“We haven’t really sold too many (virtual reality headsets) because I think they are still too expensive,” Stradley said. “As the price goes down, people will actually start doing it,”

Technology fads are briefly incorporated into student life outside of school, but Jake Peterson, a student who works at the multimedia help desk in the library, said there is a significant lag time between when technology is introduced and when it is integrated into classrooms.

Sam Jackson, another student who works at the multimedia help desk, said it takes time for any new technology to become available, even in the library’s multimedia lab.

“It’s always kind of slow for those technologies to actually be integrated into education,” Jackson said. “Our education systems are basically run exactly how they were 50 years ago, but it’s been cool to see more and more professors welcoming technology in the classroom.”

BYU computer sciences professor Jacob Crandall said he understands why there is a lag time for technology at BYU.

BYU wants to make sure that the technology would be robust, and then it takes time to implement it,” Crandall said. “I wouldn’t expect anything brand new to be out this year that would impact students this year.”

While it may seem like a challenge for professors to keep up with these constant updates and changes, Crandall said what is most important is finding ways to teach students how to keep learning after graduation. Whatever technology students may learn about now could be completely different in five years.

“Education is the best way for us to learn how to adapt to any kind of change,” Crandall said. “Rather than focusing on learning facts or processes that we can regurgitate on tests (to get good grades), we need to learn how to think for ourselves. A good education should do this.”

Crandall said although technologies are rapidly changing from year to year in his field, his main concern for BYU students are the core principles they take away from their experience here.

“Technology doesn’t change our ethics at all,” Crandall said. “The foundations of our ethics remain the same. Maybe there are new things that arise, new dilemmas, but the core principles are the same.”

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