Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The changing face of education

In my religion class last night, a fellow student made an announcement: "Hey, I am passing around a signup sheet for you to put your email if you want to collaborate through google docs about the exam 1 review sheet."

My teacher had no idea what the student had just said. "Is that English?" he asked. "Oh, its technologese."

Twenty years ago, the internet was not the primary resource for research in higher education. Maybe among faculty, but students typically did their research by searching physical bookshelves in libraries.

Today, students search electronic bookshelves that are customized to the particular search they are performing, whether that be search engines or databases.

Email was not the primary form of communication among students and professors. Today, we dont know how we could ever communicate with a professor without email. Office ours are hard for students to attend given today's over-crammed, fast-pace culture. Students are no longer only full-time students. They are full-time students and full-time workers or parents. Maybe even all three.

Study groups were the way to go when preparing for exams. While this is still the predominent form of group exam preparation, a new method is emerging and that is google docs.

Said student in my religion class created a google doc and we can all access it. He typed up all the questions with enough space in between for all of us to type everything we know about each question. This allows for a much more comprehensive smattering of information. If you were having pen difficulties during one topic and missed taking notes, and the student to your left doesnt have the notes because they were asleep, you're not out of luck. go to the google doc and see what everyone else had to say.

I am sure there are many more ways in which higher education has changed over the past few years, especially with the incorporation of new technologies. However, this is all I can and choose to think of right now.

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