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Adjusting to new opportunities in learning

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Introduction

Adjusting to the new Opportunities within Learning Despite the evident advantages for students and faculty of a newly emerging computer technology mediated educational system, there are serious disadvantages that could be seen as limiting students from achieving their full potential. While students and faculty work to achieve new skills, new communication interactions, new relationships, new teaching styles and new learning opportunities many are wondering how they, as an individual, fit into the grand scheme of education. Quite obviously, the use of information technology and the skills that which accompany it are in high demand within all levels of our world that is now centered on interconnectedness and the fast-paced changes now taking place in the post-industrialization era. But this in no way indicates that today's use of information technology can only be seen as beneficial. As the disadvantages become lost in the incredible list of advantages, it has become increasingly important to focus on what technology is giving students and faculty, at all levels of education in Canada and the United States, but more specifically at the post-secondary level, and more importantly it has become essential to examine what is being taken away, and potentially lost, from the original or ideal view of education. Perhaps in this debate it is necessary to clarify the meaning of "education" to further a logical debate. Education is the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process or also an instructive or enlightening experience[1]. This idea of education through enlightenment and instruction seems somewhat ideal by today's standards but this ideal did once exist long before our arrival, in the time of the Athenian School of Thought. It was here that ancient philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and Pythagorus gathered under ideal classical architecture to discuss and debate[2]. These men were, and still are, considered great thinkers, and although time has elapsed and so many things have changed, students continue to study their ideas and theories. ...read more.

Middle

It's not a buy-out; we're not selling ourselves to the family.[13]" Excepting an undisclosed sum of money does at least attach an institution to a particular family no matter what the spokespeople say. This is another way that technology can lead education from its ideal version to a version based on gain and profits. With technology emerging as such a key player, institutions have used it to their profitable advantage. "Many educational institutions seem driven to use newly found access to global data communication that will increase enrollments and will award a vast range of degrees through massive investments in distance education programs[14]." But, unfortunately these steps to be adaptive and remain competitive with "fast track diplomas" have created programs, that "...when compared in-depth to the curricula of bona fide academic institutions... ...these ventures appeared to be little more than money-making plots managed by capitalistic-minded individuals who held verily the slightest regard for academic values." This simple act of taking advantage of students need for technology and fast paced education seems to have made education into a commodity, or means to an end rather than an end in itself[15]. Students are now finding themselves referred to as "clients" in most universities and are feeling even less appreciated and less motivated to truly put themselves into their studies. Now, how is it that students become "clients"? The universities are realizing their cost cutting potential through the use of technology. Wired campuses, distance learning and online classes and discussions won't require lecture halls, full faculty, libraries and laboratories. The idea of students becoming clients simply goes hand in hand with the idea of commodifying education. Universities are taking roles of businesses where transactions are conducted. Clients pay for their education, or their degree, and it is given to them by the institution. As Michael Margolis stated in his article entitled Brave New Universities, "...Institutions of higher education in United States are considered superior because they have delivered a lucrative educational product for a competitive price...[16]" Also, ...read more.

Conclusion

--------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. 2000. [http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/e/e0043600.html] [2] Anna Tse. 2002. "Art Resource: School of Thought." [http://www.geocities.com/rr17bb/SchAthens.html] [3] Career Planning Made Easy Program. 2002. "Careers Fast Track: Putting the Future in your Hands." [http://www.careersfasttrack.com.au/prod_cpme_uni.html] [4] MetLIfe General News: 2002 and 2001 Press Releases. "Metlife Survey finds Principals and Teachers' Opinions on Quality of School much Higher than Students." [http://www.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/WPS/CDA/PageGenerator/0,1674,P250~S211,00.html] [5] General News: 2002 and 2001 Press Releases. "Metlife Survey finds Principals and Teachers' Opinions on Quality of School much Higher than Students." [http://www.metlife.com/Applications/Corporate/WPS/CDA/PageGenerator/0,1674,P250~S211,00.html] [6]Media Awareness Network: 1999. "Canadian Internet Use and E-commerce." [http://www.media-awareness.ca/eng/issues/stats/usenet.htm#canshop] [7] Rainie, Lee. March 5, 2001. PR News. Potomac. 15 (10): 1 [8] Monroe, Susan. 08/10/01. "Canada Online: Canadian University Revenues Rising." [http://canadaonline.about.com/library/weekly/aa081001a.htm] [9] Government of Canada. April, 2002. "The Canadian UniversitySector." [http://www.innovationstrategy.gc.ca/cmb/innovation.nsf/SectoralE/University] [10] Government of Canada. 2002-07-29. "Economic Concepts: Globalization." [http://canadianeconomy.gc.ca/english/economy/globalization.html] [11] Shaw, F & Giacquinta, J. Spring 2000. A survey of graduate students as end users of computer technology: New roles for faculty. Information Technology, Learning, and Performance Journal. 18 (1): 21-40. [12] Katz, R. & Associates. Dancing with the Devil: Information Technology and the new Competition in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc: 1999. [13] Pannozzo, Linda. January/February, 1999. Pepsi U: Universities Jump into Bed with Big Corporations. [http://www.grievousangels.com/highgrader/1999/pespiu99.html] [14] Hamza, M. & Alhalabi, B. 1999. Technology and Education: Between Chaos and Order. [http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue4_3/hamza/index.html] [15] Home schooling website: Progressive and Modern education [16] Margolis, Michael. 1998. Brave New Universities. [http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue3_5/margolis/index.html] [17] Ballard, Nikki. September 16, 2002. "Women catching up: Internet Usage Stats." [http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y02/m09/i16/s02] [18] Ballard, Nikki. September 16, 2002. "Women catching up: Internet Usage Stats." [http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y02/m09/i16/s02] [19] Monture-Angus, Patricia. Thunder in my Soul: A Mohawk Woman Speaks. Saskatchewan: Fernwood Publishing Co. Ltd., 1995. [20] Hamza, M. & Alhalabi, B. 1999. Technology and Education: Between Chaos and Order. [http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue4_3/hamza/index.html] --------------------------------------------------------------------- [R1]Use Joy's quote? [R2]Get Aristotle quote about humans being social creatures-use PP book from last year [R3]Find a good quote about the strength of knowledge ...read more.

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