Trends in Student Engagement


With the introduction of ever changing technology our roles as educators is changing, we need to develop new ways to keep our students consistently engaged. One of the new trends that Carl Hooker addresses in his article, How technology Trends Have influenced the classroom, is the increase of interactivity. Students are getting used to always being stimulated everywhere they go, their brains are craving more and more interaction. Our Role as educators is to help keep our students engaged and focused. By changing up activities and giving our students mini brain breaks every 15-30 minutes, we can help our students get refocused in the classroom. Since my field of Certified Dental Assisting, is hands on learning as well as theory, I think I can easily introduce clinical materials into the classroom to create fun group activities. These activities can also help students connect the classroom theory to the clinical aspect of the course.

The CDA department at my College has recently incorporated computers into every operatory in the clinic. Dental offices choosing to go paperless and digital is a newer trend in dentistry. As an training facility, it is our responsibility to meet the levels of technology in the changing dental practices. We don’t want to restrict our students by only offer paper, or paperless training, so our role as an instructor is to find a balance between the two.

As Hooker points out, “we have three options when dealing with these changes: avoid it, struggle with it, or embrace it” (Hooker, C. 2014). How we choose to deal with technology as an educator will affect how we engage the digital brain for the many years to come. I feel that being a younger instructor and planning to be in this field for a very long time, I have no choice but to embrace the new trends with technology. Believe it or not but I like to relate technology to the dental field. Being in the dental field we are constantly have to take continuing education. Dentistry is always evolving, there is always a new tool, new material or something bigger and better at every course you attend. It can get very overwhelming especially if you refuse to embrace it. Technology is the same, always growing, always changing. This is one trend that I don’t think is going anywhere.

Ahlefeldt, F. (2013, December 29). Hiking Artist. Digital Slave illustration. Retrieved from

Hooker, C. (2014, March 5). How technology Trends Have influenced the classroom. In Mind/Shift: How we learn. Retrieved from


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