Computers – The End of an Era

kimura80By Bert Kimura
Editor, Ed Tech in Japan

[Note: Bert Kimura posted the following as a comment on 19 June 2009, in response to “‘The College of 2020: Students’ – A Chronicle Report.” We’ve decided to publish Kimura’s comment as an article to facilitate further discussion. The original comment has been expanded to include a note from his email message to me on 6.20.09. -JS]

Jim, thanks for posting the summary. From my own experiences teaching online classes at UH-Manoa in Educational Technology and also having tried such classes with Japanese students, the items summarized certainly make a lot of sense.

There are three items that I believe will become important by then, if not, perhaps passé by then:

1. The 2020 students may not have had any familiarity at all with desktop computers and traditional operating systems. Instead, all of the communications, creation, and retrieval of info will be done with mobile devices. I also believe that, as may of us have two or mobile notebook computers today, 2020 students will have multiple devices to accomplish their online tasks. The proverbial “toaster” could still be one of them. :-)

The idea of the end of the desktops should also be attributed to Alan Levine, CTO of the New Media Consortium. He also does a very informative (with a unique perspective) blog: http://cogdogblog.com/. Alan was formerly the instructional technologist for the Maricopa CC system and was tremendously influential in getting faculty in the system to adopt technology in teaching and learning.

2. Texting such as this comment will be replaced by or, at least, on par with verbal, visual or multimedia communication modes. Consequently, faculty need to be able to reach visual learners in an effective pedagogical manner as well.

3. Internationalization will enable many more distance learners to participate in online courses, and thus the online student community will be more multicultural than the current group. I believe that this will result in a much richer student experience.

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