Student Response, Smith College


My name is Meredith Agen and I am an economics major at Smith College. In my many economics classes I have learned basic theory of out a textbook. This textbook style learning seems very one-dimensional. I feel that I would greatly benefit from a class that incorporated both textbook theory and real life situations. For example, if I were taught the theory of inflation by reading a chapter in a book I would simply memorize that chapter in order to do well on the upcoming test. However, if I was given a textbook and also shown, through the help of a multimedia presentation, how inflation effected real societies I would understand, and not simply memorize. Textbooks and lectures only go so far, to truly understand a subject a person must see that subject in all lights and at all angles.

Technology allows students to see the same basic information in many different styles. By presenting information in more than one form, a person is able to manipulate all the gathered information and understand the subject. The student would be able to analyze problems, not by simply remembering an author's words, but by using their own explanation of a subject that was created by many authors and real life situations. I feel that technology has the power to produce a more educated student who has the ability to create his or her own theories, without technology a student's free thinking ability is limited. The more sources of information, the more likely a student will understand and not memorize.

Technology has also enhanced the student-professor relationship at Smith College. E-mailing a professor is highly common. This allows a student to connect with a professor anytime, not just during their office hours. Most professors have class information and helpful links for the class, online. I find the student professor relationship very strong at Smith College, however, relationships with librarians and information technologists are very weak. Hopefully, these relationships will strengthen in time.