A bit of opinion from an online student/IT pro

The BCC Center for Teaching and Learning posted this today, and being an online student as well as an IT professional, I had to check it out.  It’s a presentation regarding the use of technology in learning.  I was especially interested in the graph re: the change in technology ownership by students from 2005 to 2007.  I have ideas about this, and I thought that the comment section wasn’t the place to share them.  So here goes.

Technology-augmented learning comes down to this – college doesn’t force me to learn.  I want to learn.  And I do it because I want to (or even because I need to), not because I have to.  “Needing to” and “having to” aren’t the same thing.

Technology (for me) is a comfortable and reliable way to access a vast body of information.  But skimmers will skim, loafers will loaf, and learners will learn.  And educators will continue to consider the best ways to give information to learners.  A podcast of your class lecture doesn’t mean much if you skipped the last six classes.  In the same way, you can’t depend on your instructor to include all the pertinent information in a powerpoint for you.  That’s not education.

Hats off to a great presentation.  I like the way it presents a balance between the current technology explosion and the need to ensure quality learning under the newer mode of information exchange.

Just as a note, if you are a self-motivated learner but can’t attend traditional school (for me, it’s because I live in a small town, but it could be for any reason), check out Western Governors University.  They rely much on the student to work on their courses and allow the student to use their creativity in learning enough to make the grade.  Like any school, loafers and skimmers can get through, but I like the way WGU does it.  It’s more like real life (i.e. you have a goal to meet, here’s a few resources to get you started on the way to meeting it.).

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