Kari Kulovaara 18.9.2017
I am teaching multiple courses at the University, and they are all somehow based on the use of different technologies. These technologies are helpful for both the students and teachers, too. By far the most important technology is email. Email is my primary tool for communicating with students and colleagues. It is also the most practical tool that I use in university because – as you all well know – it storages send mails and attachments. If I had to use old-fashioned paper notes, for example, the chaos would be imminent.
Most courses that I teach include an electronic book examination or written essays. Essays are agreed with students by email and when essays are done, they are also delivered to me by email. Electronic book examinations are held in a special internet platform Exam, where teachers create a special area where an examination for a specific course can be held. Exam is a practical tool that gives me a pleasure of not needing to read hand-written essay answers.
I also teach at the Jyväskylä Open University, and there technology is much more in use. The reason for this is that in JYAY, student mass is spread over a wider area. In the courses that I teach the lectures are recorded on video and distributed via “Moniviestin” (a web page through which videos can be played). In addition, when students are ready to deliver their written assignments and learning diaries, they simply save their doc- and pdf-files in a postbox at Koppa (another internet platform).
Overall, technology makes my job easier – at least when it works. Still, I am not completely sure that the so-called digitalization is free from all troubles. The department of social sciences and philosophy, for instance, is determined to set all basic courses on internet where students can watch the lectures whenever they want. Of course, I can see the benefits, but sometimes I wonder if the core essence of being at the university loses something vital as a result of that. Being a student is at least in my book living shared moments with other students, walking in the campus area and seeing different kind of lecture halls and so on. If everyone and everything is online, where exactly is everything?