Technology in Higher Ed

For this post I’m responding to this NYTimes article.

New technology always seems to offer endless possibilities, but I don’t really think of what higher education was like in the Jetson’s as much as I think about how sweet it would be to have a flying car and avoid traffic in Northern Virginia.

The first thing the article discusses is how Universities don’t typically introduce changes into their own structure of education, but are starting to in order to “attract new customers.” I think that is a really interesting perspective in terms of what drove me to apply to the undergrad universities I applied to. It did not at all entire my mind if they have “Smart” classrooms, which version of LMS are they using, or how social media may be involved in my experience as a student. My highest hopes were that my professors would have a general understanding of Powerpoint, and would upload the slides in .pdf and .pptx formats. But the possibilities really are endless, it’s kind of a shame as we do more research and discover more about the different ways people learn, not much change really happens. The most adventurous professors may introduce a flipped classroom and discussion boards (or maybe weekly blog posts), but that seems to be about it.

The rest of the article describes ways that some universities are funding research for different techniques that do sound really interesting, and hopefully will set some trends. You can read the article yourself, but they discuss college by subscription, AI teachers, and finally a new way to quantify what an individual as learned. I’m not going to go in to each of these, but I really hope that we find a less one-size-fits all model for education, and some of these means will absolutely help.

As a last comment, the article was published in February of this year, and mentions that the “biggest leap forward” has been online classes. I am extremely grateful for the existence of video calling and video conferencing that has absolutely made education during covid less of a burden than it may have been otherwise. It will be really interesting to see how we utilize other technologies as we see fit and as well as changes made out of necessity.

Marcus, Jon. “How Technology Is Changing the Future of Higher Education.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020, http://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/education/learning/education-technology.html.

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