Also from a recent edition of Newsweek comes Professor in Your Pocket. This is another article that deals with the impact of technology on society. I found it to be interesting.
Professor in Your Pocket
“Nov. 28, 2005 issue – When Duke University junior Eddy Leal took a research trip to Puerto Rico recently and missed his macroeconomics lecture, he didn’t sweat it. The lecture is usually attended by about 75 students, so his professor was unlikely to notice his absence. He didn’t worry about falling behind, either. When he returned from his trip, Leal went to a Web site specially designated for Duke students and downloaded the lecture (which the professor had recorded and uploaded using an iPod) onto his personal computer. In the relative tranquillity of his dorm, Leal learned about models of government surplus. “It isn’t the same as being there,” says Leal. But for the chance to go to Puerto Rico, it was close enough.”
I think that there are a multitude of advantages to being able to download a lecture and listen to it as many times as needed to try and understand a concept, but it doesn’t substitute for being there.
The ability to interact with the professor and other students is a critical component of education. You miss out on a lot when you take that out of the equation from both an educational and social standpoint.