LAREDO, TX (LCC) - Days of when instructors wrote lessons on a blackboard and students used paper and pencil to solve math problems are becoming a thing of the past at Laredo Community College.
That’s because LCC is keeping up with the times by increasing the use of technology to help students succeed.
Technology is helping LCC change the way students learn. In its mathematics classes, students are utilizing new technological devices and software to get a better grasp of their math skills.
Math instructors like Graciela Rodriguez and Humberto Leal have integrated the use of Smart Boards into their classrooms, and both embraced the convenience this device provides.
However, Smart Notebook also allows Rodriguez and her colleagues to build lessons and plan presentations. They can upload and share lessons with instructors at other institutions, and they can integrate a wide variety of tools into their daily lessons.
Smart Notebook affords instructors a certain amount of independence, allowing them to spend more time working directly with students, who spend less time writing notes and more time learning in the moment.
Laurel appreciates this shift in focus as it has direct benefits for both the instructor and the student.
Additionally, Smart Notebook allows instructors to work directly on the screen, adding notes where needed or solving problems that can later be saved.
They also can record audio from their lessons for students who have different learning needs or who may have missed class and need to catch up.
The Smart Board also cuts the amount of time the instructor needs to spend lesson planning.
While not every LCC instructor uses the Smart Boards in their classes, there is an increased access to the technology for those who do, something the Mathematics Department Chair, Dr. Armando Perez, feels is important.
In addition to the Smart Boards, LCC students who enroll in a math class at LCC are introduced to MyMathLab, an online interactive website by Pearson Education.
MyMathLab provides students with an interactive interface for doing homework, tracking their course grade, or watching online tutorial videos.
Gone are the days when students had to puzzle through their homework questions alone. Students who may get stumped on certain questions can redo the problem or click on a link to get help solving the problem.
MyMathLab also can give instructors the opportunity to create customized study plans for students who might need a little extra boost mastering a certain area.
Laurel echoed Rodriguez’s comments, referring to the increased use of technology as a paradigm shift in the way instructors teach.
The Mathematics Department has recently returned to its offices in Laird Hall at the Fort McIntosh Campus after the building was significantly renovated as part of the second phase of LCC’s Facilities Master Plan.
As part of the renovation, all of the math classrooms are now equipped with a Smart Board, and students enrolled in math classes now have access to nine computer labs in Laird Hall. Students who do not have Internet access at home can use one of many computer labs available at both the Fort McIntosh and South campuses.
For more information, contact the LCC Mathematics Department at 721-5441.