A Partnership of
Life Science Organizations

Login/Register
Please Log In
E-mail Address

Password

Remember Me

Forget your password?
Reset it here.

Don't have an account?
Register here!

You must log in in order to submit a teaching resource, save or e-mail your searches and resources, review a teaching resource, or participate in community discussions.

Follow Us

Community Forums - LifeSciTRC Scholars and Fellows - Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

A discussion forum for participants of the LifeSciTRC Scholars and Fellows Programs. If you would like to contribute to the forums or to change your subscription, please log in to the left.

What is the best thing about using electronic resources in the classroom and why? What is the worst thing about using electronic in your classroom and why? Share your experiences below.

This thread was posted on March 21, 2014 at 5:00 PM ET by Miranda Byse.
  |   68 Replies   |   Last on 5/22/2017 at 12:03 AM ET
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO: Animations of molecular mechanisms (e.g. drug action) are much easier to visualize than my explanations.    The students can put the mechanisms in action.

CON: More than 50 % of the time I have some technical difficulty (e.g. if I try and use a Youtube video it won’t stream or they can’t hear the sound or…)    Our lecture space on campus is very tight with campus growth and most of the rooms aren’t smart rooms yet.

 

This was posted on March 22, 2014 at 10:37 PM ET by Kristine Willett.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I completely agree explaining complex and often times difficult to understand concepts for students can benefit from a good video/animation.  Visual students make more sense out of material when they "see" the concept in action.

One limitation to electronic resources is definitely the reliability and avilability of the technology.  

This was posted on June 26, 2014 at 9:58 PM ET by Jessica Ibarra.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I've had the same problem with youtube, and so a few years ago I found there are online websites where you can convert a youtube video to a downloadable file and play the video file  (without internet at this point).  It takes a few minutes prep time, but saves a huge headache in connectivity issues for trying to play a video in class.  If you just google "converting youtube videos"  several links will come up to use.

This was posted on June 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:  Interactive models.  Science relies on models to explain and explore phenomena. There are many models (particularly simulations) that provide a richer level of explanation than a model in the book or a 3D plastic model. Allowing students to interact with these, manipulate, and ask questions, can build their understandings.

Con:  Breadth. (A bit of a paradox, as this is also a pro).  There is so much technology and so many resources. Sometimes, technology can be distracting, if I/students don't keep our eyes on the goal when selecting resources, researching, etc..

 

This was posted on March 23, 2014 at 8:53 AM ET by Jenny Sarna.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I agree with your PRO statement.  Well-done animations/models serve a good role in increasing student's understanding.  On the flip side, how do you begin to filter all the resources available for quality, reliablity, etc.  You will see that the LifeSciTRC eResources are things you can count on.

This was posted on June 26, 2014 at 10:01 PM ET by Jessica Ibarra.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: Current content-As more research is done, new advances are made and information in texts (sometimes 10+ years old) are not as complete.

Con: Accessibillity- students search skills using google or other search engines are not well developed.  I work constantly with students on these skills as well and am pleased to see their skills improve dramatically over the semester.

This was posted on March 23, 2014 at 5:21 PM ET by Jeff DeJongh.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Current discoveries are quicker to find online than info found in outdated textbooks. I can see how a disadvantage for students is learing how to screen resources for relability.  

This was posted on June 26, 2014 at 10:03 PM ET by Jessica Ibarra.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro - Engaging: Students enjoy different ways to learn.  I feel by changing up lectures, instead of
always talking, students feel engaged and it furthers their learning. 

Con - Expense: There are apps available that would be extremely beneficial for my students to learn A&P.  However, there is an expense attached to them that we cannot afford. 

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM ET by Andrea Kosinski.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro - Engaging: Students enjoy different ways to learn.  I feel by changing up lectures, instead of
always talking, students feel engaged and it furthers their learning. 

Con - Expense: There are apps available that would be extremely beneficial for my students to learn A&P.  However, there is an expense attached to them that we cannot afford. 

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 9:00 AM ET by Andrea Kosinski.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO:  Stimulate more questions being asked by students about a topic.  

Students realize what they don’t know when they need to apply it while working on a task using electronic resources, and they ask more questions to understand what they are learning.

CON:  Difficult to find or select good quality electronic resources.  

Because there are so many available, it takes a lot of time to sort through them all to find those that are appropriate for my students (level of difficulty, content matches the book/notes, etc.). There are also many resources that are inaccurate (e.g. student-made videos on YouTube) that I warn my students about – I post a list of good ones on my course management system and students know those have been evaluated by me for quality.

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 2:34 PM ET by Kelly Sjerven.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:

Accuracy

Sometimes the perfect 2-minute video clip is worth an hour of explanations. That 2-minute clip can be repeated as needed, and watched outside of class, which is hard to do with an hour’s lecture.

Con:

Quality

The quality is very uneven. Even from the same resource (provider), you may have one really great animation, video or diagram while the next may be terrible.

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM ET by Carol Britson.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I use Crash Course and BozemanBiology videos all the time for review and preview too.  the students love them and it addresses the needs of auditory learners too.

This was posted on May 20, 2016 at 10:39 AM ET by jane schuster.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: Prepares students for the future- These are the skills that will be required of them in the future, whether that is college or the workplace. They need to be able to find, evaluate, and analyze information.  Not training our students in these skills is setting them up for potential failure.

Con: Reliability- There are so many cool looking videos, apps, stories, and activites that are not always scientifically accurate. It is sometimes hard to know which ones to trust. This can be time consuming to fact check everything I come across.  

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 5:57 PM ET by Aubrey Mikos.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I have experienced this same con. It can be exhausting to comb over resources for accuracy, and also that it meets to content level you need. Though I have found errors and outdated information still in current textbooks, so it exists there as well. Also, I often find great resources that are either too simple or complex for the topic at hand, but not at the level I need it to be at.

This was posted on June 29, 2014 at 11:57 AM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO

Students get to pace their own learning

 

Con: Students are not at the same point at the same time, and some students don’t have internet at home to finish up activity

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 6:57 PM ET by Meghan Wilson.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Also: A pro:

Watching a video, or playing a part (of a ribosome or a transcription factor) can be really helpful for student understanding

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 7:05 PM ET by Meghan Wilson.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: Repeatability- Resource can often be posted on online course companions for student study tools 

Con: Student access-While digital resources may be excellent study tools, not all students have access to internet at home

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 8:52 PM ET by Diana Cryderman.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

To address this issue, I would survey the students are the beginning of the course on who has access at home (all should be able to use the school's computer lab). For those who do not have it at home, either make it clear they must use the computer lab and make time for this-   or print off or create a paper version of the online assignment for them.

This was posted on June 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Video with great graphics are a pro because the express key information in an engagning manner but can be a con in the classroom as the students are in a dark room and tend to fall asleep.

This was posted on March 24, 2014 at 11:36 PM ET by Lara Madison.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: I called it "appropriateness:"

Most of my students are visual   learners, so many of the videos and interactive tutorials for example, would be   very appropriate for them.  Many are   also intimately familiar with electronic resources for other pursuits.

 

Con:  A lot of you have already mentioned resources and classrooms so I will mention something else: time.  Use of other resources seems to use more time, which
is a concern in an introductory or prerequisite class when a certain number of
topics must be covered.  Our intro course
is already stripped, so to strip it more for other techniques could be
problematic long term.

 

This was posted on March 25, 2014 at 7:44 PM ET by Daniel Williams.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:  Can accomplish ’more’  science

Explanation:  Student can share work in real time using tablet PCs, they can share among groups, they can easily peer review, mostly they can exchange information seaminglessly and, if need be, anonymously

Con:  Identifying resources

Explanation: There seem to be hundreds/thousands of online resources.  It takes a tremendous amount of time to try and select ‘top picks’ and then evaluate them.

 
This was posted on March 25, 2014 at 10:09 PM ET by Terry Derting.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I really agree with your con - teaching the students to filter through the trash or fluff is very hard.  I have found that the greatest help for us is to have a great media center person.  She works with all of the students if we ask her to - takes them through the top search engines and content specific sites.

 

This was posted on May 20, 2016 at 10:42 AM ET by jane schuster.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO: Increased understanding

Aids understanding of the materia being taught. Digital resources can present an idea or theory/information in a different style and therefore can help individuals to understand as different people have different learning styles

CONS: Too detailed/level appropriateness

Additional information included that goes into more depth than you would want to include can confuse the students and lead to that age-old question of 'how much detail do we have to know?' Including a digital resource can sometimes lead to information overload

 

This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:09 AM ET by Jo Howarth.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I would say that a pro for me is similar to what others have said, student engagement. They enjoy digital resources! They always tell me how much they learned when they use them.

The con is that I often assign them as homework and not everybody actually utilizes them. Those that do get a benefit those that don't well they obviously don't get the benefit. 

I would like to use more during class time but class time is often so full already that it's challenging to find time. It's also challenging with our technology limitations, there aren't enough computers for each student to have their own, so often one student will take over and the others will sit back and watch.

This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 11:12 AM ET by Lynn Diener.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Biggest pro:  to bring in outside sources in the form of podcasts or documentaries or even short film clips, to illustrate the "real world" connection of topics covered in class.

Biggest con:   Watching a video clip can't really substitute for handling a molecular model for example, or actually performing a dissection.   "Hands on" still sticks better.

This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM ET by Christina Wilson-Bowers.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:  Video clips and documentaries can bring in current, cutting edge, and personal perspectives which can help students connect course material to concepts studied.

con:  Digital sources are not "hands on".  Digital dissection not the same as handling actual organism.

This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 1:15 PM ET by Christina Wilson-Bowers.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: Content Enhancement (By adding media and current research to course content, teachers can help students apply scientific concepts and mechanims into everyday experiences.)

Con: Software/Access Cost (Some of the awesome textbook software is very expensive for teachers and students.  Also, some electronics resources like journals are accessible only with a subscription fee)

 
This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 7:45 PM ET by Adrienne Bratcher.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

CON:

Not all students have access to technology, and therefore may not be able to use ERs

Explanation:

We assume all students have access to a computer or smart device and internet access

PRO:

ERs take learning outside the classroom (animations, videos, simultations, web links, etc.)

Explanation:

Electronic resources allow students the opportunity to keep learning outside of class time.

 

 

This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM ET by Jessica Ibarra.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I think the best thing about electronic resources is using them to give students immediate feedback or to get immediate feedback about what students are thinking, like through google doc's or online surveys.  The worst thing about electronic resources is the multitasking capabilities...I mean students can't simply just sign in to google doc's and do the work, first they have to check their twitter, instagram, or other things before, during, or after tasks - and I'm probably just as guilty when I start using electronics. 

This was posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:37 PM ET by Dan Bartsch.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The biggest pro for the use of electronic resources is it allows the student to assume a greater role in the learning process. With digital access, the students are provided with the opportunity of learning at their own pace.  At the same time, they could further enhance their knowledge by accessing materials that might be above their current grade level. This is especially relevant to advanced students who would otherwise be held back by their peers. On the other hand, the biggest con against reliance upon electronic resources is the greater susceptibility and failure to discern invalid information. Evaluating the degree of reliability of the available information requires a certain level of sophistication for electronic media users. Such level of expertise, unfortunately, is lacking in a significant portion of the student population.

This was posted on May 20, 2016 at 12:51 AM ET by James Sy.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pros

Power point presentations and animated videos saves time and help in visualizing and understanding the concept more quickly and effectively

Cons

Sometimes the students get distracted while using computers for lab work and we need to keep a check and balance all the time in the lab.

This was posted on March 27, 2014 at 12:49 AM ET by Muhammad Adnan Kanpurwala.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO= ACCESS= Digital resources can help students who are frequently absent, forgot materials at school or need extra practice with a particular concept.

CON=ACCESS=We have increased our bandwidth at school which helps but excessive filters make some websites ok one day and not the next.

This was posted on March 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM ET by camille jensen.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:   1) Complex topics could be made simpler to understand via digital resources

2) Students understand better when they visualize

Con: Sometimes, I wonder whether  the thinking process of students is hindered  when we try to make things simpler using technology.

 

This was posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:06 PM ET by Reem Abraham.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I think this is a good point. Sometimes the learning process is hindered. This is where proper lesson planning and topic understanding comes into play. Some topics are best learned through hands-on activities where students are physically engaged with the topic. Of course electronic resources can supplement this as well.

This was posted on June 29, 2014 at 11:53 AM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: I have access to so many resources on the internet although little time to develop them appropriately. I really do find National Science Foundation, National Public Television and BBC World News to have some great video clips but I can't find the time to browse through them.

Con: So many posts are gossip, opinion and largely out of place that they just don't belong in the discussion.

This was posted on March 28, 2014 at 5:28 PM ET by Jerry Cronin.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The best thing about using electronic resources in the classroom is not having to rely on a textbook or just the hand-ons information. Students can visualize processes through animation or use their personal response system to let you know if your main concept is coming across correctly.

The worse part about using electronic resources in the classroom is that sometimes students don't realize what they should be learning. They get wrapped up with looking at a cool animation or accessing something on the web but stop thinking about what is the main point and how can I use this recource to build on.

Kelly Wentz-Hunter

This was posted on March 28, 2014 at 5:40 PM ET by Kelly Wentz-Hunter.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Often I will have a worksheet developed or a Moodle (Blackboard) Forum created where the students need to answer questions or discuss concepts hopefully learned through viewing the electronic resource.

This was posted on April 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM ET by Julie Dais.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I always give my students a "take aways" organizer to guide them through what knowledge they should be gleaning from a particular resource.

This was posted on July 8, 2014 at 11:51 AM ET by Rachel Beattie.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The best thing is that they are the great educational equalizer because the resources are available to everybody. I find NSF and NPT (National Public Television) to have outstanding resources. I just wish I had more time to ferret them out.

The great disadvantage is when you can't get the technology to work or it's taking too long to find the location you need. Out come the cellphones and the facebook when the downtime gets to be too long.

This was posted on April 29, 2014 at 8:44 PM ET by Jerry Cronin.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO: Animated diagrammatic representations can be used to describe  physiological process. Diagrams and animations are easily understandable than explanations (regular theory lectures).

CON: All students may not have access to internet .

All electronic resources may not be scientifically accurate , so it increases the responsibility of the educators to select appropriate electronic resources.

 

This was posted on June 26, 2014 at 2:19 AM ET by Manisha Bade.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Great comments from everyone.

As most of you have indicated, a big CON for electronic resources is the "technical" challenges that they present (internet connectivity, lag time, accessibility, costs, technical training/support, etc.), however there are some great PROs for electronic resources.  Electronic resources can help students take learning outside the class (flipped classroom), clarify core concepts with an animation/image/video, and are valuable resources as not to reinvent the wheel (someone has done the work already).

This was posted on June 26, 2014 at 9:55 PM ET by Jessica Ibarra.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

From Blackboard, the questions for this link:

1. This is a complicated question. I think some students tend to become more passive with digital resources, like going into an autopilot type of mentality. However, other students can remained fully mentally engaged. I have always found students are most engaged with hands-on activities.

2. Used appropriately, I think digital resources improve student achievement. This is where proper lesson planning comes into play by the educator. There is such a wealth of knowledge and effective resources often that are difficult or complicated to do in a non-digital format. Thus, they can be a great benefit.

3. The experience I have always encountered is assigning an online activity and students not completing it due to internet issues, or simply because it's an at home assignment vs. in the classroom with teacher presence encouraging the activity completion.

From this forum, the questions:

The best thing about using electronic resources is being able to access and utilize information and activities that are simply too complicated to access in a non-digital format. For example, not all school libraries house journals we may want to use, but we can most likely access them digitally.

The worst thing about it, from my experience in online teaching, is a subpar understanding of how to use electronic and internet resources. For one assignment, a link had been re-routed on a website so the link I provided did not work- just the information was on a new page there. Almost all students found the broken link and emailed me frustrated. Only a few thought to do a search on this website to try to find the new link (which they did). Another major issue is online etiquette ("netiquette"). We offer a mandatory class in online learning that covers this (for only online students), but it's surprising how many students don't know how to write properly in emails and online forums.

This was posted on June 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The best aspect of using electronic resources is that the information is cutting edge.  The most recent research can be accessed easily.

The worst aspect is that technical difficulties can cause the flow of the class to come to a miserable halt as the problem is attempted to be solved.

This was posted on July 7, 2014 at 11:25 PM ET by Cathia Acton.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO:  Some of the videos and tutorials online can explain a concept in a way that is different from me and sometimes more understandable to the student. 

CON:  Sometimes information is presented with misconceptions or in a way that reinforces misconceptions. Screening of vidoes, tutorials, simulations is a must. 

This was posted on July 8, 2014 at 11:49 AM ET by Rachel Beattie.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:

Cost efficient

Online simulations are basically free and it allows us as teachers to run labs without the cost of buying materials and some simulations are very good and allow students to test various things are and are not so cookie cutter.

Con:

Availability

Depending on the school district, technology is not always readily available or reliable. I know at our school we have 2 computer labs and one 15 computer laptop cart for 1800 students so getting access to online resources can be a challenge and even when you do have them sometimes the website is down or has changed or the internet/ computers are running slow.

This was posted on July 8, 2014 at 9:38 PM ET by Nicole Karges.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I think that the best thing about using electronic resources is the abilty to peek at the most recent and up-to-date information and have meaningful discussions about it in the classroom.  It helps so much more when students see that what I am trying to say is actually out there in the news and it is important.  

The biggest con I have seen regarding electronic resources is the temptation to wander onto social media, but with schools preventing access to facebook, etc, thsi is getting better.  However it is still a valid concern because a student can send an email or facebook messae to their friends while they are supposed to be looking up an important video/animation or other electronic news item.

This was posted on May 5, 2017 at 6:23 PM ET by Sowmya Anjur.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: 3D images, vritual labs, and video

Con: Technical difficulty at least 75% of the time especially in the mornings before 8 a.m.

This was posted on May 10, 2017 at 1:05 PM ET by Patrice Peterson.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: Students like to use technology in class, so when I can, they are better engaged. 

Con: Sometimes it cost money for me to use electronic resources (e.g. games, online activities). It takes time to look fo resources online. 

This was posted on May 22, 2017 at 12:03 AM ET by Lupe Acevedo.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

1.BEst thing.....saves a lot of time and energy that i wanted to explain some complex mechanisms.

2.Worst thing---its making me slowly  dependant on it .

This was posted on October 13, 2014 at 8:01 PM ET by GLAD MOHESH.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Glad,  I don't think you are the only one becoming dependent on "eye catching" digital animations/movies/resources!  I really think that the students expect to see professional and polished presentations of topics.  I do hope that all the fancy digital reliance does not detract from the fact that the majority of the scientific information in videos and animations comes from black and white, dry, peer reviewed scientific publications!

 

This was posted on October 23, 2014 at 9:39 AM ET by Jennifer Trusty.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Con - Loss of human touch. For example, tactile infromation is important. We have considered doing electronic dissections and there are some advantages to doing so, but students lose tactile information like texture.

Pro - Animations are particularly helpful for visualizing physiological processes.

This was posted on October 17, 2014 at 2:25 PM ET by Karen Groh.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Karen I totally agree. I think tactile learning is really important and sadly really  hard to implement with electronic or online resources.

This was posted on October 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Best thing: Student like it. Students seem more engaged and willing to interact when technology is used (other than power point presentations). I think using different venues to teach a concept helps different learners. For example, explain a concept verbally. For this I like to use explanations that relate to things they know, like how cellular regulation is like a symphony with each cellular component doing its part, but all coming together to make the piece/cell cohesive. Short You tube videos are great too to have a different way of showing a concept and going over it again for repetition. I use this for muscle contraction, for example.

Worst thing: Do you have a wenis? I always stress to my students that just because it’s on the web doesn’t make it true.  I love to tell the story about the wenis. My high school nieces know I teach biology and one time when they were visiting they asked if it were true that the flappy part of the posterior portion of their elbow was called a wenis because they read it on Wikipedia. I also found out from Wikipedia that Gaudi liked peanut butter.

This was posted on October 17, 2014 at 4:05 PM ET by Cynthia Motzny.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I love your story on the con part! That is so true that students must be careful to make sure the website is accurate and authoritative.

This was posted on October 18, 2014 at 2:15 PM ET by Danielle Plomaritas.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I think the best thing about using technology in the classroom is that it allows students to practice usinig technology more! Increased familiarity with web/technology based tools will give students an advantage in the work place, as more and more companies use technology. I think It’s an important skill in today’s times. Being able to use different programs (ex: google drive items, MS office) or tools (ex. search engines, databases) will be helpful as students move on to college or jobs.

 

The worst thing about using technology in my classes is getting access to computers. Computers are a shared resource at my school, so teachers must reserve computers if they want to use them in their class. It can be difficult to make sure my students have access to computers when we need them, especially if I do not plan far enough in advance.

This was posted on October 20, 2014 at 12:11 AM ET by Raks Derival.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I agree Raks with both your pros and cons Raks. When ever my students use a new software or learn how to use a graphing program, I always tell them to add that to there resumes. I try to point out the skills they are learning that will be important in their future careers.

Our University also has community lap tops for our department, but we have to reserve them and they are rather outdated.  Luckily, our lab manager and the tech department are very good about checking hte lap tops and keeping them, up to date and running.

This was posted on October 20, 2014 at 8:31 AM ET by Cynthia Motzny.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The best thing about electronic resources is being able to engage students and provide a more exciting learning experience.

The worst thing is keeping up with technology changes and making sure everyone is trained on using this new technology.

This was posted on October 20, 2014 at 2:34 PM ET by Kathy Carter.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

I agree with you on keeping up with technology.  My office computer gets updated every summer.  I  barely have time to learn the software before it changes.  Many of the online resources I have seen require the most updated software and some of mine is outdated by Christmas.

This was posted on October 21, 2014 at 5:38 PM ET by Clay McCastlain.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The best thing about digital resources is when I find an animation that better shows processes than my selection of unmoving slides.  The students get a better understanding that it is a process that flows from beginning to end and the steps we show are just for orientation.

The worst thing about it is when we don't have access.  That could be because we don't have the latest software or we don't have enough bandwidth to use it.

This was posted on October 20, 2014 at 5:46 PM ET by Clay McCastlain.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The biggest advantage for me in using electronic resources is that the students can increase their learning time more effectively outside of class by watching dynamic videos repeatedly.

The biggest disadvantage that I have in using electronic resouces is that students rely too heavily on these artifacts too heavily for their learning rather than dissecting the material themselves.  I want them to learn how to find information on their textbooks/research articles.

This was posted on October 20, 2014 at 8:09 PM ET by Kristin Rosler.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

The biggest advantage is Better quality with power point presentation files than hand-drawing.

The biggest disadvantage is:

Quality and learning process

The presentation slides are given, instead of deducing the information step by step along with the students through hand-drawing with step-by-step explanation.

This was posted on October 21, 2014 at 6:29 AM ET by Danqing Xiao.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

PRO:  Allows the instructor to have access to the most up to
date research/articles being done on the topic.  I’m always including some type of article that I read on the internet into my classes and having students apply this to what we’ve learned.

CON:  The time it takes to search for electronic resources
as an instructor.
  Many hours can be spent scouring the internet and
sources to find a “good” video!

This was posted on October 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM ET by Nicole Palenske.
Re: Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Nicole,

I just want to write to say that I share your pain in the time and effort involved in finding good resources.  It can take days sometimes to find a resources that is 1) at the level you are teaching 2) interesting/engaging and 3) succint.  I spend a lot of time searching new resources and hate it when one of those free digital resources disappears!

 

This was posted on October 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM ET by Jennifer Trusty.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro:

Cost

There are so many free resources out there including software, videos, discussion boards, etc.  These help make my curriculum better for free!

Con:

Students might not appropriately/fully participate with the resource, and I might not know

Sometimes if there are reading passages involved in an online simulation or lab, students skip over them.  It is harder for me to control and make sure they are at least being exposed to the material when I can’t watch all their screens at once.  They might also be checking their email/chatting with friends online/ checking other websites when I am not looking.

This was posted on October 21, 2014 at 11:32 PM ET by Ashley Young.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Pro: Accessibility - Technology can reach any student on their own time.  This helps many different kinds of students and levels the playing field.  

Con: Time - Students can struggle with additional time outside of the classroom, they forget the rule 2 hours out of class for every one in, and they overschedule themselves, which leaves little time for them to do their assignments.  Often students wait until the last minute, especially when using electronic resources.   They underestimate the time it takes to really get something out of them.  

This was posted on October 22, 2014 at 6:13 PM ET by Heather Evans Anderson.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

BIGGEST PRO: Electronic resources such as animations have the potential to clarify  complex processes and make them come to life for students. This is a definite pro since students frequently have trouble visualizing abstract concepts. Animations that show mechanisms can be very helpful, particularly to visual learners. For many of my students, they offer an “a-ha” moment.

BIGGEST CON: It is difficult to customize most electronic resources to your particular level or for your specific application. What you see is what you get! Unlike class activities such as role playing, demonstrations, and think-pair-share, it is more difficult to customize electronic resources for use in a particular class. Even the best electronic resources are providing a simulation or a representation. However, they are not real and they always work! Hands-on activities (wet lab and field experiences, actual dissections, etc) still are preferable for providing opportunities for students to observe real-life variation in responses, chances for students to practice troubleshooting skills, and learning the technical and bench skills to be a working scientist.

This was posted on October 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM ET by cindy surmacz.
Re: Pros and Cons of Electronic Resources

Biggest Pro- on some topics there are many different videos and animations to choose from and they are all free. It takes time to select one but it is worth it. When showing the video I chose I tell the students there are many more here to see and they can choose another to watch.

Biggest Con- I spend a lot of time setting up my lecture and testing the links. Then when I show it to my class at school the link does not work .Very frustrating. It is a bit deflating when you get the class geared up to watch and then there is nothing to see. Probably due to updates on school computers.

This was posted on October 27, 2014 at 1:25 PM ET by Patricia A. Halpin.