Blogger Clive Shepherd is here today to lend his insights on education. His blog, Clive on Learning, traces developments in educational technology, from topics ranging from new educational software to the impact brain science has on e-learning design. Clive’s blog has been nominated for a 2007 Edublog award, and it has been rated as a Top 200 education blog.
1. What inspired you to start Fastrak?
Well I left my position as Managing Director of the publishing division of Epic, a major multimedia developer, back in 1997. I needed a vehicle for my consulting work and came up with the name Fastrak. I’ve regretted it ever since, as it is always mis-spelled.
2. Why is the current generation of students different from previous generations?
In many respects they are not so different. Gen Y wants learning to be interactive, relevant and on-demand, but then so does everyone. It’s just that Gen Y is more vocal in expressing their dislike for boring lectures and presentations. They are more assertive because they are so much less afraid of authority.
3. How can technology be used to impact education in the 21st century?
So much so that it is almost unimaginable. First and foremost it will impact the informal education that takes places outside the classroom. In fact it is already doing this massively. Teaching is a conservative profession, wedded to the classroom, so it will take much longer for things to change there, but change they will.
4. What is the biggest obstacle in integrating technology in education?
Well it certainly isn’t the students. The problem is that the whole basis for most courses is time spent in a classroom or lecture theatre. That needs to change, but mostly this is about fear, uncertainty and IT-illiteracy on the behalf of the teaching profession.
5. Do you think it is possible to one day have an all-online classroom?
Well we already do. Isn’t that what people use WebEx, Elluminate and all those other web conferencing platforms to do?