Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This can't all be true, but if it is...

The title of this movie is "A Vision of Students Today." These are obviously college students, but if this is how they feel, I can't imagine what a movie made by our students would look like when they are in college - if they will even set foot on an actual campus. If you don't have time to watch the movie, just read the transcript and if you want, get involved in the conversation.

I have to wonder if the kindergartners of today will ever walk on a college campus. Will my 2 and a half year old daughter ever have to schlep to a 7 am class in her pajamas in a torrential downpour? (I could do with her missing the experience of a frat party.)

There are obvious pros and cons to virtual colleges. In a recent NYT article entitled, "Classroom of the Future is Virtually Anywhere," Joseph Berger interviewed college professors and got some very interesting opinions. The first are about the cons of virtual colleges and univeristies:

Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers wonders what will happen, should campuses go exuberantly online, to the intangibles — the late-night bull sessions, the serendipitous strolls with professors, the chance to feel one’s oats in student government? And what will one more switch to electronic conversation do to our need for intimate human connections, he asks?

Andrew Delbanco, the Columbia humanities professor, said flatly that it would be impossible to put his seminar on war and culture online because “the energy and spontaneity of discussion among people sitting together in a small room cannot be replicated by electronic exchanges."

Dr Duck, who teaches an online course at Penn State notes in her slippers at her dinig room table has different viewpoint:
Dr. Duck, a respected instructor who taught conventionally for nine years and online for five, said she “wouldn’t go back to the classroom if they doubled my salary.” Her work, she thinks, is on the frontier of education in a global economy.

She also points out that online postings are more reasoned and detailed than off-the-cuff classroom observations. Students learn as much from one another’s postings, informed by the real business world, as they do from instructors, they say. And Kevin Krull, a technology executive, pointed out that introverts reluctant to speak up in class can strut their stuff.

In her dining room, her children sometimes pause beside her as she teaches, and she does not shoo them away.

“It’s good for them to see this in action,” she said. “It’s going to be their world.”

Do you think your children or students will have a traditional college/university experience?

How can we prepare them if they won't?

What will they be missing out on if they don't?

1 comment:

Kristine Martin said...

This was very interesting Erica. I remember being in classrooms that large!! All your content is very interesting. I have so much to learn about out there. I will quickly as Hannah becomes older. I am looking forward to it and excited. Sometimes scared. I like the voicethread example. It is just crazy what can be done and is being done in todays world. Keep up the good work!!