Monday, June 13, 2005

QuickTake: Students--Staying Ahead of the Curve

I had to write a quick followup to my previous post when I noticed that the University Business piece linked in that post and this one includes a take on student responses to technology in the classroom. Bart Collins, director of Digital Content for Teaching and Learning Technologies at Purdue, is featured:

Students, in Collins' experience, already get it. "In some ways," he says, "they're already past it." Desktops with webcams are already old hat. Student lifestyles are different from what they were a generation ago. They discount the idea that a person needs to be physically present in order to experience fully what is happening at another location. Flexibility is more important to them; how and when they communicate is up in the air. "I walk around lecturing, watching kids send instant messages while I'm talking," says Collins. "It may annoy me, but I have to acknowledge that a classroom is a place to have other relationships, too."

Flexibility! That's one characteristic of distance learning that appeals to faculty, too.


Blogger Jerald Meadows said...

Yes, faculty may want the flexiblity. But the cost of teacher interaction is lost with distant learning. Staring at a screen is only good for a few minutes or so. IMing a professor that may have another class at that time may not work.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Y Nicholson said...

I agree with the other comment that the faculty may want the flexibility. But learning in a classroom setting were the student can interact with the proffesor is better, if any questions arise they can be answered immediatly instead of having to wait for an e-mail's response.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Dr. Tammy said...

I've experienced both environments extensiviely. I personally prefer the online environment, when I interact with my professor anywhere from 5 to 7 days per week...anytime of the day.

I do believe it is "easier" to sit my butt in a chair for a hour or two each week and contribute to the discussion when the mood hits me. Of course, that environment provides mostly one-way communication from the professor.

Call me "old-fashioned" in the "new workplace"...I like to have those socratic dialogues with my professors everyday in the learning experience (class). I don't have to wait for a Tuesday or a Thursday to fight for attention or an answer to a question.

But again...that's just me...and about 60,000 other Online University students in the United States...

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Mary Anne H. said...

While both faculty and students may enjoy the flexibility. I myself prefer, in all situations, good old-fashioned human interaction. Just as much can be lost in translation, so can much be lost when body language, eye contact, and voice inflection are left out.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Stephanie J said...

I also think that faculty should be flexible. Some classes could easily value and save time with distant learning and some classes could be hurt by it. I guess it just depends on what your taking and what kind of person you are. Do you benifit from human interaction or could you do better with just the internet?

12:12 PM  
Blogger rosario said...

I agree with Jerald's comment. There is a lack of interaction in distant learning. I strongly believe meaningful learning is provided with face-to-face lectures.

10:39 PM  
Blogger Christian Guajardo said...

Who doesn't ask for some flexibility in their schedule?? Distance learning, in-class teaching, internet-oriented classes are all flexible ways of providing educational courses. Now, depending on your learning skills and how well one adapts to the presentation of the material is entirely up to the student and faculty.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Turner (Coolwhip) said...

This tool is excellent for those without oppertunity to be present. The military and medical field use these tools as well as similar to teach soilders and medics on the other side of the globe.

7:09 PM  
Blogger marissa said...

Distance learning is great for school because I think; it better prepares students for the real world where companies rely more and more on technology use. However, I agree that being physically present does have its advantages.

4:42 PM  

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