Digital Tools Improving the Science Department

By

Traci Brooks

New technological enhancements have helped the science department at the University of Oregon expand their research, which has helped expand their knowledge. Social media has also played a role in enhancing their communication, allowing it to be more accessible.

Students agreed that the rise of digital media has helped enhance their studies. It has changed the way the programs are formatted, but have made the courses more enjoyable. The new tools have been formatted so they can be taken outside of the classroom in order for students to collect their data.

Shelby Giancaspro, a biology and environmental studies major explains how digital technology has been beneficial and necessary for her research studies.

“Well, definitely in our lab classes digital technology enhances the amount of research we’re able to complete and the findings we’re able to discover.” Said Shelby Giancaspro.

Students agreed that the digital tools have affected their departments in many ways, more positive than negative. However, professors are also being affected by the growing enhancements of technology, inside and outside of the classroom.

Professor Peg Boulay, who is also the Co-director of Environmental Leadership Program said, “Digital tools have absolutely changed aspects of my field. It has changed how I work and how I teach. Google Earth is an example. New tools allow you to work more efficiently in the field and provide opportunity for innovative teaching and learning.”

Biology major Jessica Little explained how digital technology has been helpful in her classes and labs. “They hook the microscope up to the TV and then we get to see organisms move around,” Little said. “That’s really helpful to see on the microscopic level.”

Peg Boulay, who is also a professor at the university, said that new advancements have proven beneficial for her students. “Students use technology to communicate with their team,” Boulay said. “For collaboration, digital media tools are fabulous and make everything much more effective.”

New innovations of technology are advancing and changing everyday. Jessica Little explains her fear of what too much technology can do to our society and to student’s studies.

“Technology can get too much. I agree with technology for the purpose of discovering scientific things or enhancing the way of life, but not to run life.” Said Jessica Little.

The digital tools has allowed scientists from all over the world be able to discover their findings and to help share their findings. With their research, they are able to teach their new found information to students almost instantly. At times it can still be overwhelming, “For long term consideration, technology can be frustrating,” Boulay said. “For example, trying to keep access to different programs as things go out of date. Technologies are continually shifting. Archiving and making things accessible over time can be difficult.”

Despite the continuous innovation of new technology, students and faculty agreed that digital technology plays an important role with the field they study in.

Peg Boulay, a professor of Environmental Studies and the Co-director of Environmental Leadership Program.

About tlynbrooks

I am a Junior at the University of Oregon, majoring in Journalism with a minor of Digital Arts. I am a current member of Greek life of Kappa Kappa Gamma. I aspire some day to be a producer for Disney or for Sony Pictures.
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