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Wednesday
Oct 29th, 2008
10:30 AM - 11:20 AM
West Hall WF5
Mountain Time
Imagine a freshman college student in the year 2015. She has grown up in a world where learning is as accessible through technologies at home as it is in the classroom, and digital content is as real to her as paper, lab equipment, or textbooks. In high school, she and her classmates engaged in creative problem-solving activities by manipulating simulations in a virtual laboratory or by downloading and analyzing visualizations of real-time data from remote sensors. Away from the classroom, she has had seamless access to school materials and homework assignments using inexpensive mobile technologies. She continues to collaborate with her classmates in virtual environments that allow not only social interaction with each other but also rich connections with a wealth of supplementary content. Her teacher has tracked her progress over the course of a lesson plan and compared her performance across a lifelong “digital portfolio,” making note of areas that need additional attention through personalized assignments and alerting parents to specific concerns. What makes this possible is cyberlearning, the use of networked computing and communications technologies to support learning. Cyberlearning has the potential to transform education by enabling customized interaction with diverse learning materials on any topic, from anthropology to zoology. Today's students already enter the university with high expectations for the use of technology in their learning and for maintaining relationships with their high school classmates, wherever they may have scattered for college or career. The educational system must respond dynamically to prepare our population for the complex, evolving, global challenges of the 21st century. Advances in technology are poised to meet these educational demands. Cyberlearning offers new learning and educational approaches and the possibility of redistributing learning experiences over time and space, beyond the classroom and throughout a lifetime. This talk will present the report of the National Science Foundation Task Force on Cyberlearning and its implications for higher education.
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