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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Changing face of education

Ok, so I know this doesn't fit the category of Lectionary Thoughts and Sermons. But it is a THOUGHT. I was observing today on how education has changed in the past 20 years. Yes, I am admitting my age. Some of this material is not original as I'm sure lots of people my age and older remark on it. I am closer to thirty than forty, and I graduated from college in the early nineties...That's as close to admitting age as I'm gonna get. I am a professor at a private college.

When I was in college Scantrons were High-tech
Now I give even essay tests in an online format. No paper needed, thank you. Save the trees. I am old fashioned perhaps by making my traditional students bring laptops to class rather than take the test anywhere.

When I was in college, my professors caught plagarizers because they were familiar with the subject matter. For instance, one professor for which I served as Teacher Assistant, instantly recognized a student's paper on sin as the first chapter of a book from his bibliography list--word-for-word.
Now I use Students upload papers, and it checks the paper against every published book and internet source in its exhaustive database, and against every other students' paper.

When I was in college my professors wrote on chalkboards
Now I use powerpoint presentations with a laptop and overhead projector, and my school is behind times. In the public school classrooms in buildings next to ours, they have smartboards. Large touch a large iphone...
I do teach in the classrooms in which I sat as a student. And we still have the same chalkboards--hidden under the projection screen. Occasionally I resort to the old fashion chalkboard for variety's sake....cause students get bored with powerpoints!

When I was in college (dorms), we were happy to have phone-jacks that we plugged our phones into and had phone service that was included in our tuition. Now they have removed the phone jacks cause everyone has a cellphone.

I predict that traditional college classroom education has a limited lifespan. If you can take classes via your iphone and go to class while lying on the beach....are students going to keep "going to college" geographically? Any thoughts???

And welcome to my new regional women minister friends---please leave comments--

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