Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Moose Can Take Virtual Classes Too

Virtual reality is something that never really took off for some reason. I remember my first interaction with a virtual reality simulator down the shore. It was a virtual roller coaster that swayed back and forth in an effort to make you feel like you're actually on a roller coaster.  I remember when I got out of the machine I thought that it wasn't anything special. Since then technology has evolved but I virtual reality never caught on. 

I found Patkin's idea to create Virtual Organizations very fascinating.  The idea of creating this internship game for students could in fact be very helpful. I'm currently on my third internship and I feel like a program like this could have definitely prepared me for everything I've experienced thus far. I had no idea what to expect the first day I interned at Capitol Records two years ago.   

I agree with Patkin when she says that "Interactivity is the critical element in computer media." While being in this virtual reality can be good practice for real life situations, it's critical to try and create human interaction during the process. I see the computer as a way to practice interacting with people in real life. When you're in front of a computer talking to someone else you have more freedom to express yourself.  These types of programs can be helpful because the fear of screwing up isn't as serious.  If you mess up a press release there are consequences in this Virtual Organization, but they're not necessarily real.  It's when you're working for an actual company that this fear can consume you and possibly hinder your performance.  I wish that colleges would look into this technology to try and prepare students for the real world. 

I'm still not sure how I would feel about taking an online course. I have friends that take them at large state school's and they say they enjoy them because they can do the work when they're able to. Dr. Levinson does a good job of looking at the pros and cons of this style of education. I definitely agree with him that these types of courses can be helpful to students, but I'm just not sure if I'd be interested. 

One of the appeals that I didn't think of until Levinson brought it up was the amount of writing involved. He says, "the online class requires actual writing by students if they are to have an online identity and role in the course. Thus, a highly significant subsidiary benefit of taking any online course is that it sharpens the student's writing ability." In a traditional classroom setting, there's going to be more communication through speaking your thoughts rather than writing them. I'm always looking to work on my writing skills so that would definitely be an advantage of an online course. 

I'm more of an old-school learner. The only way I can comprehend what the teacher is saying is by taking notes. I find that I have a better chance of recognition  when I do this.  I also have a hard time reading and fully comprehending text on a computer screen.  Most times I have to print the documents out and read them. My generation has a problem with is too much multi-tasking. One of the problems I could see with taking online courses is not being fully into the discussions and reading because I'll have my music blasting, television on, and I may even be instant messaging friends. When I'm in a classroom I'm stripped from most of those capabilities and I can focus more on what is being taught and discussed. 

I can see the appeal of taking online courses.  It enables anyone around the world to enroll into the University of their choice without having to move or uproot themselves from their comfortable environment.  It also helps that the course takes a shorter period of time, normally 2 months instead of 3 or 4. 

My favorite quote from this reading is from Edmund Carpenter, "Electricity makes angels of us all--not angels in the Sunday school sense of being good for having wings, but spirit freed from flesh, capable of instant transportation anywhere." This totally encompasses the idea of the internet today and it's great ability. 

Listen To Your Friends - New Found Glory 

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty old school myself, and I do think there is learning that goes on even when taking notes or copying words out of a text.