Go West this summer and get ahead.

#Classroom: The future of higher education

“I encourage you to tweet your notes,” said my History of Motion Pictures professor, Dr. Jim Roberts, on the first day of class.

The only word that could have accurately described my reaction to this was flabbergasted. I never expected to see the day when a professor would claim that getting a better grade in his class correlated to students’ twitter engagement.

And believe me, the irony of a professor teaching the “history” of something while simultaneously tweeting isn’t lost on me.

URGE Abortion

Roberts uses a WordPress blog in lieu of Desire2Learn. His blog is where you can see the syllabus, daily schedule, assignments and any other updates (which you can subscribe to via email). And Last, but not least (and my personal favorite): Instead of writing papers, we have a “Storify” project.

For those of you unaware of Storify, it’s a social media platform designed to “make sense of what people post on social media.” Users are able to pull content from any area of the web to create their own narrative. Unlike a mundane essay, this is a project that I’m excited to start working on.

Other teachers could learn a thing or two from Roberts’ willingness to embrace education in the 21st century.

I realize that there’s potential for this system to be a debilitating distraction against learning, but let’s be honest… We’re going to surf our Facebook and Twitter regardless of professor approval.

In my humble opinion, the antiquated lecture-style class is dead. Students don’t want to hear a teacher go on for an hour and fifteen minutes anymore. The reason is because most of today’s society experiences a form of attention deficit disorder known as “I can multitask” syndrome.

Wake Forest University

Since I’ve only been in this class for a week, I can’t quite say whether or not Roberts’ system will work, or if it is the best option. However, I do applaud his innovation to the future of education.

Administrators, teachers, and students need not wait on new gizmos or gadgets, or ask, “What’s next?” anymore. The future is here; we should start by utilizing the tools we already have.

2 Comments

  1. Mr. Schick what an interesting article and your comment;

    “In my humble opinion, the antiquated lecture-style class is dead. Students don’t want to hear a teacher go on for an hour and fifteen minutes anymore. The reason is because most of today’s society experiences a form of attention deficit disorder known as “I can multitask” syndrome.”

    I found very bold. I am personally from the old school of be alert in class, listening to your instructor’s every word and watching their every move. This class-study training has made me a straight A+ student here at GSU. And I can firmly say, it has made some of the greatest minds from America’s academic institutions that this world has ever seen. So I do not agree it is completely dead.

    Plus, all these gadgets, computers, power-points, emails, blogs, twitters and so forth, all have one major component in common – – – they need a lot of electrical energy to be in service. In the near future this energy is going to become very expensive, if it is not already there. So, this form of teaching will eventually end up in the hands of the elite. Just like now 95% of the resources and income is in the hands of only one percent of America’s population.

    I recommend the new-age students of today to come on back down to earth. Stop multi-tasking and live completely in the moment and become an A+ student. And last but not least, most instructors love students like me. Namaste!

  2. Thank you for your comments. I love dissenters! 🙂

    And I think you make a good point. However, to clarify “the antiquated-lecture style class,” I mean… The teacher talks, the students cram, no interaction, just tests.

    It’s true that some of the greatest minds have come from this style of learning, but why not evolve our education with technology? There have also been some other great minds – For example: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Zuckerberg; who either dropped out of college or never went. And, not coincidentally, I chose those examples because they are people who excelled in the technology field.

    As technology advances… Gadgets become more prevalent, they become cheaper, and more available for everyone.

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