Today we have Janet Clarey with us. Janet is a top educational consultant and an editor in Elearning! Magazine. She also maintains a blog, Spinning the Social Web. Janet is with us today to share her views on education and technology.
1. What inspired you to start your blog?
Oddly enough it was an email from a former colleague, Tom Werner, at Brandon Hall Research. Tom and his wife had started a great wine blog and he said, “we should do this.” This came at a time when Brandon Hall Research was looking for a way to have a greater presence on the Web. So, I wrote my first blog post in February 2007 and was hooked. I find inspiration now from others’ content and comments. My blog is a great platform for personal learning too. At times, I find that it’s more valuable than my university classes. Actually, most of the time.
2. What makes the current generation of students different from others in terms of technology?
If you’re talking about technology usage comparisons based on the birth years of a generation, I’d say there’s only a slight difference in usage with the gap getting smaller every year (the median age of a Twitter user is 31). The real differences are visible based on exposure to technology, not age. Lifelong learning is blind to age, the current generation of students is everybody and we’re more alike than different. I do think younger works come to the workplace with a limited skill set. Facebook skills and texting skills are often strong but doesn’t carry over to online collaboration and creation.
3. How can technology change education?
Perhaps I’m splitting hairs, but I don’t think technology can change education. I think recognizing different instructional methods and approaches will change education. Using technology to support new methods for learning is where things can really change not just adding technology to traditional teaching methods.
5. Do you think it is possible to one day have all-online classroom in the future?
All online classrooms do exist (Capella, Phoenix) and they’re good. Open online courses can be very effective too. Let me go on the record those as saying I believe we’ll always need some sort of face-to-face interaction.