Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Technology in education and beyond

Most freshmen are now settled in. Classes are well underway. Students are on the network and their virtual networks are established or re-established. These are really special times. With relative ease you can stay connected to old friends and family, and the same time explore new networks and social groups. This has never been so easy. You can be hours away from home and yet just as connected as you were in your home town. This has to be a great comfort to students and parents.

These are interesting times on college campuses. Students are arriving with a great deal of personal technology. They are seeing classroom technology in their classes which is equal to or grater than they saw in high school. University have adopted course management systems to supplement their courses and are quite comfortable using or other collaborative web sites to tap into social media to make a point. Most faculty have really started to dig into academic resources on the web and are even creating their own digital content. Classes are being recording on iTunes ( University or captured on tools like Tegrity ( There is less concern among faculty about recording class content and a more direct concern on student success outcomes. The academic landscape is changing. It is becoming more open and less tied to a classroom or class time. Virtual learning is new and less threatening than it was a few years ago. I think that this is just the start. Students will see an increase in the availability of digital resources. They will see digital collaboration become commonplace. Sharing the learning experience globally will and is becoming the norm. These tools and skills are already in the business arena and quikly being adopted.

Students need to start looking for chances to expand their frame of reference. Challenge yourself to take advantage of all that is out there to research a topic; to challenge your perspective on the world; and to push yourself to your creative limits. Faculty, library staff and others on campus are there to help you dig through the good and the not so good.

In the next several years you will see the creation or digital content become a major emphasis in learning and also a major need for employers. The "hard skills" related to being able to create, create, and deliver a digital message will be make you attractive to potential employers. This is a unique time when the young can advance quickly by being able to apply digital skills that are not a part of the skills set of the older generation. Graduates have the chance to advance quickly and take advantage of a new set of communication skills. Advantage, the millennial graduates.

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