In what ways is new media effecting education and the ways within which we undertake it? Strangely, it now seems, before taking New Media I had never thought about our education system changing in large ways in the near future. Of course I had seen my education mature in the electronic areas, but I never saw it as changing the entire “way we learn.” I still saw it as the teacher providing us with (most commonly) written literature, that they or some other “expert” constructed to teach us a lesson, which we dialogue on in the classroom, and relate to real world situations. In some ways, each of those has moved into different mediums (aka the internet), but still continues to exist within the “real world.” If anything, it is supplemental. We are still having the discussions in class, we are still buying textbooks, but we are now also connecting on, you guessed it, Connectyard. Also, instead of wasting time handing out and explaining assignments (blogs, study guides) in class, we find them and understand them on Angel. If we have an issue with the clarity of the posting we approach the professor or interact with them within any number of different electronic mediums. The same applies to grades – we access and asses them ourselves, online, within our own time. All of these technological time savers add up to give students and professors more face time to learn, which in most cases, would logically lead to the professor expecting more out of each student. If you see it the way I do I think you see a better, fuller education coming from that equation. Another way it leads professors to ask more of the pupils is that it brings in the concept of “no time off,” which is something we also see in the corporate world today. With the literal saturation of technology in our culture, people are and are expected to be available and able to be reached at any time in the day, meaning people are truly never “off-call.” This also applies within our education when we are required to turn in assignments over the weekends or during a vacation. On the flip-side, the internet allows our professors to request an assignment before midnight as opposed to due in the class at four PM, giving us more freedom.
I may be absolutely completely wrong, but I do not believe that the way that we learn is going to change drastically within my lifetime. Based on what I have seen throughout my lifetime I do think that it will continue to develop in the manner that it is, that everything is, as more technologically saturated. But unless our fundamental humanness changes soon, most people are not going to want to take classes online instead of going to a university. Based on what I have learned about technology, education, and trends in New Media, I believe that a percentage of the population absolutely will choose to go the online route, many already do! I think that that may pull some numbers from the universities, but a lot of the students will be people that were not a possibility before the online education was an option.
I do not think that any Professor needs to be concerned about the stability of their job. However, the people that are schooling now to enter the profession might.