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.

‘The College of 2020: Students’ – A Chronicle Report

Jim ShimabukuroBy Jim Shimabukuro
Editor

In the the first of a three-part series in the Chronicle of Higher Education (6.19.09), Chronicle Research Services reports on what higher education will look like in the year 2020. Click here to view a copy of the free executive summary. The first report focuses on students. Here are some quotes from the summary:

  • More students will attend classes online, study part time, take courses from multiple universities, and jump in and out of colleges.
  • By 2020, almost a third of respondents [121 institutions that responded to a survey] said, students will be taking up to 60 percent of their courses entirely online. Now almost no students at those colleges take courses only online.
  • Colleges that have resisted putting some of their courses online will almost certainly have to expand their online programs quickly.
  • Many colleges are learning from the for-profit college industry that they must start courses and certificate programs at multiple times throughout the year.
  • Students will increasingly expect access to classes from cellular phones and other portable computing devices.
  • Classroom discussions, office hours with a professor, lectures, study groups, and papers will all be online.
  • The faculty member . . . may become less an oracle and more an organizer and guide, someone who adds perspective and context, finds the best articles and research, and sweeps away misconceptions and bad information.
  • The average age of students will keep trending higher as expectations shift in favor of people going back to college again and again to get additional credentials to advance their careers or change to new ones. The colleges that are doing the best right now at capturing that demographic are community colleges and for-profit institutions.
  • At some point, probably just after 2020, minority students will outnumber whites on college campuses for the first time.