Thursday, August 30, 2007

higher education, tech style

I'm in the middle of doing my second batch of conferences for my online class, and I'm doing these conferences electronically. Yes, it's real 21st century stuff. I meet my students in the chat room, and we discuss just like we would in person.

There is a problem with the whole procedure, though. While I appreciate the ability to do this from anywhere in the world, we have the basic issue that very few people can type as fast as they would talk. Practically, it means that I fire off a question, I wait for a little while, then I get a response. While I'm responding, the student has to wait for me.

It's not horribly efficient. Conferences I would normally finish in 15 minutes take about thirty. I have to think fast, but I still can't type as fast as I think or would talk, so there's plenty of unused time.

It does have its upsides. I have found time to do these journal entries, for instance. But all in all, I'd rather not be staring at a computer screen right now. I do enough of that through the day.

Why can't the machine just tap into my cerebral cortex?

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