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Thread: Technology and education

  1. #31
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    Simple question: Will the Internet render classrooms obsolete, at the college level?

    Robots replace factory workers, mp3 files replaced cassette tapes, and soon traditional classroom-style learning will go the way of the dodo bird, according to me. I arrive at this conclusion from my perspective as a businessman.

    Traditional classrooms will continue to exist for students of high school age or younger, I believe, because part of the role of public education is to babysit.

    However, for adult students, the benefits of the Internet are numerous and growing. First, consider cost. As the Internet advances and more people gain access, the prospect of college-educating every willing adult becomes increasingly practical and therefore likely. Second, the Internet offers an unprecedented access to informational variety, meaning each person's education can be tailored to their individual interests and requirements.

    Finally, it has been my perception that our best and brightest spend entirely too many of their useful hours in school, and not enough time in the real world applying what they have learned. As education evolves to rely more on technology, students can spend more time actually working, either internships or full time positions, and can participate in their studies during non-business hours.


    What do you think?
    Technology will not replace the classroom completely at the college level. There are certain skills that can only be learned hands on. Labratory skills and others of that vein are very much hands on as well as research. Most lectures and that sort of class where its mainly book work is in a lot of colleges already supplanting classrooms. I see part of what you see already coming to fruition.
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  2. #32
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by Tigger View Post
    I'm just not quite ready to give up on the idea that there is a value to the ability to interact with a live human being in the same room; to gauge the reactions of your fellow students immediately in your own view; and to be involved in a personal discourse with someone you can see rather than someone on the other side of the world.
    But technology is beginning to address these things. Just look at Skype, that didn't exist only a few years ago, now you can essentially video conference for pennies. I'm sure 5 years from now we will be far ahead of where we are today.

    Also, I'm a big believer in human interaction as well - but the purpose would be to get students in to the workforce earlier. For example, I see no reason for anyone to be a full-time MBA student a few years from now. The new model ought to be to get a job, and take the MBA online on the side.

    That way the person could A.) pay for their MBA and not go in to debt and B.) actually apply what they are learning.

  3. #33
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    But technology is beginning to address these things. Just look at Skype, that didn't exist only a few years ago, now you can essentially video conference for pennies. I'm sure 5 years from now we will be far ahead of where we are today.

    Also, I'm a big believer in human interaction as well - but the purpose would be to get students in to the workforce earlier. For example, I see no reason for anyone to be a full-time MBA student a few years from now. The new model ought to be to get a job, and take the MBA online on the side.

    That way the person could A.) pay for their MBA and not go in to debt and B.) actually apply what they are learning.
    Many MBAs are done on line by folk who work. But an MBA isn't really the purest of academic pursuit (and rather simple to obtain). That doesn't mean that you could get a PhD in physics through online classes alone.

    The point of University isn't to get one into the workforce ASAP, but rather to provide the most challenging of academic structures, to provide a well rounded education, and to encourage critical thinking.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Technology and education

    There are courses that the internet cannot compete with the brick and mortar one. For instance courses with hands on practice exams such as dentists and other medical professionals, construction, etc.

    BTW, why do you call it "brick and mortar?" Is it not a mortar a cannon that throws shells?
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by DDD View Post
    There are courses that the internet cannot compete with the brick and mortar one. For instance courses with hands on practice exams such as dentists and other medical professionals, construction, etc.

    BTW, why do you call it "brick and mortar?" Is it not a mortar a cannon that throws shells?
    Mortar is also:

    1.
    a mixture of lime or cement or a combination of both with sand and water, used as a bonding agent between bricks, stones, etc.
    2.
    any of various materials or compounds for bonding together bricks, stones, etc.: Bitumen was used as a mortar.
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    Traditional colleges will never go away for a few reasons. A) There is way too much money invested in them already for them to go away. I do believe some smaller colleges will go away. However, the larger state and private colleges are "too big to fail". States have put far too much tax payer money into the schools. Boosters have donated far too much money to the schools. Neither will allow their investment to fade away. B) Do we really see teacher unions letting this happen? C) Never underestimate the power of college sports, especially football. If college sports go away, so would baseball, basketball, every Olympic sport, etc, etc. This will NEVER happen. Football alone is a multi-million if not billion dollar enterprise. D) Some degrees, especially in the medical field and engineering, need hands on work to be done. They need equipment that simply cannot be provided to each student individually. This all leads to a traditional college set up being necessary.
    I agree that the universities you know today will not "fail" or go away. Rather, they will adapt to the new technology and use it to their own benefit.

    Many universities are already pouring resources in to online education. As the internet improves, that trend will only continue.

    The more we use technology, the more students each university is able to take on. For example, take UNC. UNC has a top rated business school. Previously, they have had to be very selective about admissions because there can only be so many students per professor.

    As the internet grows and improves, so does UNC's commitment to online education. This allows UNC to offer the same quality education to a vastly larger pool of students.

    This is beneficial for the public - more people have access to a UNC education.

    Academic snobbery has one foot already in the grave, and it's a dream come true. Soon, everyone will have the benefit of a top-notch education.

    This is also beneficial to UNC and the state of North Carolina, because online degrees bring in additional revenues.

  7. #37
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    Re: Technology and education

    Education is not simply learning facts or obtaining specialized training on a single subject in a vacuum. The internet is simply a medium of information exchange, largely useless without the aid of a search engine, to guide one to any desried topic. The educational system takes that quite a bit further by establishing a lesson plan, including "related" support material and providing a context to tie seemingly unrealted ideas together. One can become trained be a fine carpenter, possessing all of the requisite skills for "wood welding" to build a fine house, and yet be totally useless unless they have a knowedge of local building codes, the ability to read the architectural plans for the desired dwelling, are able to communicate with the customer/material supplier and coordinate their building process with that of the other trades involved. Simply being an expert, or highly skilled/trained, in one narrow aspect of anything, is not what higher education is all about.
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    Checking the notes of the guy next to you for the bit you didn't hear? Flirting with the girl at the end of the row? Going for a drink with your friends to talk about the weird way the lecturer talks and how pointless the course is?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making best use of modern technology to support education but I don't think it can ever or should be attempted to completely replace real world, face-to-face human interaction.
    Is that stuff worth 30 grand a year? Let's be real. If you're over 18, time to act like a grown-up.

  9. #39
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    But technology is beginning to address these things. Just look at Skype, that didn't exist only a few years ago, now you can essentially video conference for pennies. I'm sure 5 years from now we will be far ahead of where we are today.

    Also, I'm a big believer in human interaction as well - but the purpose would be to get students in to the workforce earlier. For example, I see no reason for anyone to be a full-time MBA student a few years from now. The new model ought to be to get a job, and take the MBA online on the side.

    That way the person could A.) pay for their MBA and not go in to debt and B.) actually apply what they are learning.
    For certain classes and degree programs there might be some usefullness, but it's not something that I would be comfortable doing myself. That's for sure.

  10. #40
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    Re: Technology and education

    Quote Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
    You can have a class in real time on the computer now, with students 1000's of miles apart. I think the classroom will become less and less a part of college education until bricks and motar fades away. I suppose some labs will be necessary, but the lecture hall is a dinosaur now.
    Wait, dinosaurs survived for 100 million years!

    But yeah, as tech like this plus [hopefully, eventually] our improving internet bandwidth is going to take a serious chunk out of in-person lecture attendance.

    The lower levels will be later to convert, some maybe never. Not for the reason of “babysitting” but for the thing that in-person instruction still is better at, and what our school curriculum really includes. Socialization skills, particularly group skills. Also any impediment to communication becomes even more critical problem when communication skills haven’t yet matured, so the tech needs to be that much better for younger kids.

    Still already remote education is a thing, even for elementary school children. It will just be some time before the economics of it make sense, because of the very short distances from home typically involved with elementary and even high school students. That is a big part of why university level is going to happen on a faster time scale. Faced with the potential of 100’s or even 1000’s of miles distant institutions/educators, the economics shift a lot faster towards distance learning.

    P.S. I am somewhat looking forward to it, as one of my kids is very likely to be entering college before even being eligible for a driver’s license. The economic/logistical factors there are huge in favor of remote university classes.
    Last edited by Dwight; 01-08-13 at 02:03 PM.

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