Technology and Diversity in the Classroom
MBA student Cody Dick is well aware of how technology has permeated all levels of education. “At the elementary level, children are able to use tablets and personal computers to complete homework, and programming classes are now available from a very young age,” he says. “It makes me want to return to kindergarten a bit—I’d love to get the technology-based education that many kids now have access to.”
In fact, one of the reasons Dick chose the Carlson School is due to its high ranking in multiple publications for its technology curriculum.
Dick has noticed that technology has also affected where he gets the most meaning from courses. “In our core classes, the most benefit has come from professors who place less emphasis on rote-memorization and more focus on the synthesis of ideas,” he says. “With Google as the predominant tool of the average technology worker, why waste time learning facts, figures, or computations? If anything, the advent of technology has only increased the need for business leaders to have soft skills—information knowledge is only one small facet of a well-rounded businessperson.”
There have been a few classes that haven’t integrated technology as much as he’d like, but Dick happily has found that the school is very open to suggestion. “I get the most benefit from a course when I am encouraged to use a laptop, given applications that I would see in the workplace, and provided with data and figures that support contentions that the professor presents to us,” he says. “When these aspects haven’t been present, there have been many opportunities to give feedback to give students agency in the structure of the
“Having a technology emphasis allows me to spend time enrolling in classes that will help me learn more about technology management."
Lastly, Dick identifies another aspect of the educational landscape that ultimately leads to greater insights for students—diversity. “I can think of a dozen specific discussions I’ve had with students in my program that have changed the way I’ve thought about a problem or situation, and, more often than not, these discussions were with people materially different than me,” he says. “Diverse learning environments enhance the student experience in a tangible way, and when students select an institution of higher learning, diversity has now become an imperative.”
He says when he talks to fellow business students, one comment he hears frequently is “it’s so cool that we have students from so many different backgrounds. How can we work to improve diversity even more in the coming years?”
“I’ve been very impressed with the admission staff’s ability to assemble a class that has a wide variety of professional backgrounds and represents many distinct cultures, races, and beliefs,” Dick says.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of the Carlson Alumni Magazine. Click here to view the full magazine.