Advanced Technology

Advanced Technology

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Because the U.S.A. occupies the forefront of new technology worldwide, in this country you will benefit from the most recent innovations and research as you work on completing your university degree in the U.S.A.

Of course, using computers and other forms of technology has been commonplace on university campuses in the U.S.A. for many years. A computer is no longer a source of mystery, but rather a trusted tool that helps students in virtually all aspects of student life.

Your introduction to U.S. Technology

As a prospective student, you will use and come in contact with a wide variety of modern technologies even before you arrive on campus, beginning with your Internet search for programs of interest to you. As you may already know, the application and admission process uses a variety of online forms and documents. After admission, you will use university databases to open an email account, to provide the university with information required of all students and to complete necessary tasks to begin your studies - all before leaving home.

You will most likely be able to pay your university fees and tuition online, to say nothing about finding an apartment and a possibly a roommate.

When it is time to register for classes, you not only can register online, but you can find out which classes are open or closed, or large or small. You may also be able to research instructor evaluations and student comments from previous semesters before signing up.

Advanced technology is increasingly evident in many aspects of U.S. university life, helping to make learning fun, exciting and richly rewarding.

Are you looking for your textbooks? Students today commonly shop around using a variety of tools on the web, often comparing prices with university bookstores.

Enhanced Learning

In class you will notice many students taking notes on wireless laptops.

Most of your professors will use either a website or an online course instruction system for class. Assignments, syllabi, and course updates all appear online. Tests, quizzes and other assessments may have an online component.

In addition, many professors will use presentation software as a routine part of class. Video technology, webcams and video teleconferencing, have opened new doors for instructors. It is probable that you will teleconference with students and professionals from around the world as a routine part of your coursework. In fact, the classroom for many courses is now virtual. Probably before you graduate, you will have taken a portion of your courses completely online through your university's distance learning program. You may even be able to take a distance course from one university while attending another university. Your classmates may be from all over the world.


If your goals change, you can change educational tracks if you wish. You may also "stack" degrees, for example, earn multiple certificates. This will give you a critical edge in today's tight job market.


There are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, and a huge number of programs available - each with unique strengths.


American programs offer practical experience in the form of projects or internships (job experience) for college credit.

Technology in Student Life

Out of class, your uses of technology will not diminish. You will spend countless hours using a computer in order to finish your assignments. Course support for students in the form of notes, reviews, blogs, chats, online journal articles, discussion boards and frequently asked questions appear online and are heavily used by students.

For example, students at the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) of the University of Arizona have been using the Internet and online library resources to gather and synthesize multiple types of information for their CESL classes. CESL students also access a number of websites to get a wide variety of supplemental support in the language acquisition process, especially in the area of pronunciation, grammar and writing.

The area of research and information science has been evolving technologically for years now. Your library research for your projects will be online using your university's library web interface. Scholarly journals and certain texts have become more and more available online in full-text form, thereby facilitating research projects. Web-based search engines and search tools that libraries now make it possible for students to find a wealth of information on all topics in multiple languages. Do you need a translation? That too is becoming more and more common with increasing linguistic accuracy.

In short, university education has gone far beyond the uses of technology that were common a mere five or ten years ago. In this rapidly changing area, it is always best to realize that technology will continue to evolve, and the best thing for students to do is to be aware that there will always be new tools on the horizon to make your life easier.

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By Alfred D. Stover
Assistant Director of Outreach and Professional Programs, Center for English as a Second Language, The University of Arizona.

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