• Beth & Tim Manners

The Bright Side of Digital College

Vox: "The pandemic, says Kevin Carey, the director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, is hastening what he thinks is the long-term trend: 'the integration of technology into the planning, design, and implementation of college in a way that’s so taken for granted and ingrained that the distinction between in-person and online really starts to collapse altogether' ... Unlike a live lecture, a recorded one has a shelf life. It might take two-and-a-half hours to record one hour’s worth of lecture, but once it’s done, a professor could use that hour for four or five years straight ... While those digital lectures might not be as good as live lectures, professors will not have to spend time creating them and can devote their freed-up time to discussions, office hours, and other forms of high-value engagement."

"Digital lectures also have logistical benefits from the student’s standpoint. With asynchronous delivery, you never miss out on a class simply because it happens at the same time as another class. Seven years ago, then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, making the case for investing in classroom technology, argued that with 'streaming video, students — particularly those who are geographically isolated or who are taking advanced courses with limited enrollment — can connect with experts who might be thousands of miles away and can use nearly limitless instructional resources'.”

"The most selective schools could still offer unique advantages in terms of their in-person discussion seminars, providing students access to the best peer groups and other factors. And in the near future, it should be possible, through licensing or other schemes, for everyone to benefit from the best lecturers in the world. Faculty, meanwhile, could have more time for their research or for real teaching and mentoring activities rather than duplicative lecturing."

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