School classrooms across Mississippi are changing, mostly in the way they're being taught, thanks to the role of technology.
"It makes it a little more convenient and it makes it a little more fun to learn," said Jackson State University freshman Charance Wright.
That mindset is at the center of the CyberLearning Summit with discussions on the best ways to use technology and where it's most effective. It's all in an effort to make sure students like Wright are plugged in to education.
"We're living in a new era where technology is relevant. It is needed," said Wright.
From iPads and computers to web based classrooms and research, JSU English professor Noel Didla says without it the state's future leaders will be left in the past.
"Technology is that platform that helps them to become more innovative," said Didla.
Last fall, JUST bought more than 1,100 iPads for JSU freshmen and launched the largest such initiative at a public university. University leaders say that initiative has already proven to increase student achievement. Interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Robert Blaine says that type of investment is what gives students a competitive edge.
"What we've realized is that our students are different nowadays. They've grown up differently. They've grown up as digital natives. What we're trying to achieve is a learning community where we're using 21st century tools to teach 21st century learners," said Blaine.
Blaine says technology has really taken off in the state's K-12 system, even more so than the university level. By implementing changes like digital textbooks, Blaine says technology is continuing to change classroom makeup for the better.
"It becomes a collaborative learning space and that's really what the 21st century is about," said Blaine.
The CyberLearning Summit continues Friday at the Mississippi e-Center at JSU. To register, visit the summit's website.
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