I’ve recently been thinking about online education a lot as I’ve heard about its negative influences on college performance. Many teens have difficulty adapting to online learning, viewing it as a setback from traditional schooling. What is your current perspective?
What do you mean by “on-line education”?
Yes, educational experience is multifaceted, and there is no one size fits all type of education. The most important responsibility a college student should have is learning and growing, and an online education does not limit your educational experience. How much educational experience can you get over Skype, a Facebook Group, or Skype conversations with friends and family?
A substantial amount of educational experience can be had through technology and online communication. Technology has a vast potential to impact a student’s education—just look at science and the promise of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Technology can help students in so many different ways, whether through email or Zoom contacts. For example, students can find support online from people who can lecture in their chosen language. Whether online or traditional schooling, having access to resources is an integral and valuable aspect to college students. If our only option is online learning, we should find ways to better access technology through technology, like Skype conversations and email between students. We can improve online educational experiences for both students and faculty through technology.
Where did you go to school where you thought we would have had better online experiences?
Some colleges and universities were willing to offer blended learning options where the college student can use the same basic curriculum—like math or biology—while accessing their coursework over other platforms. Some programs work with technology firms to create computer-based learning programs where students can access educational materials, create projects, and access educational resources through an online website. This means a traditional freshman year would cover a core curriculum, but the student could go back and complete other courses and tools online or on-campus.
What information you’ve received from your studies about the future of education?
This “future of education” has many different benefits and limitations. Traditional college students will probably continue to pursue a traditional college education. Making that choice now is a waste of time, money, and money. A future of education would include a variety of degrees and skills, and a variety of ways of learning. It would also include tech courses and internships. Technology and computer education would be higher degrees—they would have at least a two-year program. I would love to see a future where we take our courses and tools and solve problems using technology from our favorite computer games.
What are the general implications of the evolution of technology on education?
Technology should not interfere with education in the same way traditional schooling and apprenticeships do. We need to prepare our students to use technology that will improve their academic performance, instead of copying the same coursework over and over again. Technology is the new kitchen sink, and it can improve a student’s research, learning, and application of essential skills.