Online Learning Update

October 30, 2011

On Campus Learning Competing with Online Distractions: Students using Facebook in your class? Better try a bit harder

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:05 am

By Mathew Ingram, GigaOM

Just like it has with media, the web is disrupting education.  Harvard Crimson Editor Hemi Gandh argues that Facebook is just part of this much larger paradigm shift in the way that knowledge is transmitted in our digital society, and that Harvard and other universities have to respond to this and adapt if they want to remain relevant. Professors “need to realize that they are in constant competition for students’ time and attention,” the Crimson editorial writer says, and have to start thinking of themselves as “service providers who must constantly innovate to serve students better” by appealing to their students’ curiosity and their desire to learn outside of the traditional curriculum.In some cases, adapting to a digital world can actually improve what happens in the classroom, as my GigaOM colleague Ryan Kim noted in a post about using social tools at school. He argued that using the web and social tools in particular can make it easier to appeal to some students who might not otherwise get involved in a classroom discussion (due to shyness or various other personal or cultural factors). Have any university professors thought about trying to do that, I wonder, or are they just assuming that most of their students are online because they are intellectually lazy?

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