After mentioning Apple’s new textbook market in last week’s blog post (Read: Be Your Own Publisher In The iBooks Store,) I’ve noticed how online tools and social media have changed many aspects of education.
No, I don’t mean how much harder high school teachers need to work to keep their students off Facebook during Algebra. I mean how not only can you attend school without ever entering a building, but you can also get support from others by just sending messages.
During my time at IU, I’ve had assignments that involve blog posts, wiki articles, and students doing group projects via chatroom. In my first year, I was shocked to hear “Your assignment is to come together as a class and create an article using the school’s wiki system!” Just maybe ten years ago, teachers were still using blackboards and instructing you to handwrite a paper with eight book sources.
Beyond that, during a large snow storm last year, one of my classes has an impromptu online meeting using Adobe Connect. My teacher broadcasted by displaying her screen, along with a webcam of herself. We even broke up in to groups using special chat rooms to finish a project. Was this common even five years ago?
EdSocialMedia, a website dedicated to showing the relationships between SM and modern education, mentions that there are a number of thoughtful, scholarly blogs that students can use, though they should be wary of all the “superficial” websites that can lead to superficial papers. Other articles on the website point out that students can support each other in ways that weren’t possible before, and also find out about current events faster than ever before.
Now the biggest question is – how will these change even more ten years from now?