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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Welcome to EDM310!

The following is a message from Dr. Strange which was prepared for the Fall 2009 semester and which is still applicable today (1/09/10).
Email, Word, Excel and a Database Won't Cut It Anymore
Welcome 310 Movie

This video is also available on YouTube. You can watch it there by clicking here. Because YouTube uses Flash to play the video and my gallery plays Quicktime H.264 movies, the quality of the video will not be as good on YouTube as it is on my movie.

The text of what I said in the video follows.

Several years ago this course used to cover Word, PowerPoint Excel, and a database like Access. Some of you may think it still does. You are incorrect. Email, Word, Excel and PowerPoint Won't Cut It Anymore.

Information is growing at an exponential rate. Information is not just words, but pictures, videos, sounds and graphics. There are few editors anymore. Everyone can be an international publisher - instantly - with the potential to reach a world wide audience. Books, newspapers, even emails are being replaced by tweets, SMS and MMS messages, video chats, podcasts, Skype calls, and YouTube.

The classrooms in which you will teach, if they continue to exist, will be very different from the classrooms in which you were taught. The things you will have to know and do will be very different from those your teachers experienced.

iTunesU now has more courses online than all the courses taught at the University of South Alabama. And more are being added everyday.

All of this is primarily the result of a profound, rapid and breathtaking change in communication. I can talk with and see people throughout the world instantly and without it costing me a cent. My videos can be on YouTube 4 minutes after I take them, ready to be seen by millions of people.

Printed materials are disappearing. Newspapers are dying or becoming electronic in form. Textbooks are being replaced by e-books (or no books). Reading and writing have become watching and listening.

We don't really know what schools should be like in this new world where information no longer resides in libraries but in clouds instead, where "all information is in all places at all times," where there are no editors or moderators of what gets "published", where videos and audio are as important, or more important than the printed word, where time and space have collapsed and it now takes only a microsecond to transfer information (in any form) from one place to all places in the universe (well ,at least on this planet), where privacy no longer has meaning, or very little if there is a bit left.

Are you ready to be a teacher in this new world? Do you have any idea of what the world of learning will be like tomorrow? Are you excited about learning and eager to share that excitement with others? Can you survive in a classroom where you will certainly not "know it all" and where many of your students will know a lot more about some things than you? Are you ready to practice your profession in a world in which collaboration is more important than individual action, where information is dispensed in 140 character tweets, where YouTube videos multiply at a rate that far exceeds the world of publishing's most successful era, where videos and audio are listened to and watched more than books are read? Sounds like chaos? Well, you may be correct!

You are about to encounter the chaos of the new world in EDM310. Welcome aboard!

This video is also available on YouTube. You can watch it there by clicking here.