The future role of technology in education is a topic that has already come up numerous times in my courses so far, and it’s a very interesting topic for debate. With the rise of Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs), Khan Academy, and other online courses, it’s clear that significant changes lie ahead in the world of higher education. What I hadn’t considered is how technological advancements in education would effect my snow day.
Well, I found that out last week as 10 inches of snow kept us away from campus on Thursday. Fittingly, my Strategic and Transformational IT class already had a technological contingency plan in place for dealing with this type of situation. Rather than lose a day of class, we all remotely connected on Thursday afternoon via Adobe Connect and went about class as usual. Having used Google Hangout and Go2Meeting in the past, there was nothing mind-blowing about the technology itself, but it was the first time that I had used something like that in an official classroom setting. And while I have always been a bit skeptical of the ability to replicate the classroom experience over a computer, I came out of the experience surprised and impressed with how similar it felt to a normal class.
In addition to the innovative approach to snow days, the course also features a blended learning plan, combining online lecture videos with in-class discussions. While I still believe there are valuable educational benefits that require in-person discussions, I must admit that my experience in this class has really opened my eyes to new ways of learning. Even if it comes at the expense of my snow day.