Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The e-learning curve

Nowadays people disseminate information primarily over the internet. When I'm talking to a co-worker, or a teacher, or a friend and I ask them for something, gone are the days where they write it down and they do that task later. If I want my grade in a given class, I have to e-mail the teacher. If I want to remind someone of a party going on, they say "oh just text me". If I hear an ad on the radio, they say "google such-n-such to find out more info about us because we're just that awesome!!!" Web sites or email addresses are given out as another way to communicate with people. In fact, communication is such a vital part of our lives, that tyrannical governments first turn to communication methods to shut down the peoples' movements and communication. The "Twitter revolution" in Iran, whether that actually happened to the scale we've been told or not, at least played some roll in Iran's recent post-presidential election protests.

The point is, technology has become an integrated part in everyone's lives -- not just the nerds like me that sit on it day and night, or who carry it around in our pockets. It's touching grandmothers and parents, kids, and rural communities, even rebelling communities. It takes a small learning curve and a way-of-life change to move your entire calendar away from you pen and paper written agenda and onto sync'd online calendars. My girlfriend still uses pen and paper, but of course there's nothing wrong with her methods. I'm just different is all. Like my preference for Wendy's french fries over Food Poisoning Whataburger french fries.

That being said I still have a hard time tracking random things such as Blackboard. If you're not familiar with blackboard, it's a teaching system that UNT uses. Thankfully, some of the Discovery Park classes use a different, more accessible system called Moodle. Nonetheless, some of those deadlines really sneak up on me in those Blackboard classes....