Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Winds of Change--is faculty development lagging?

A couple short USA Today articles (from 2006!) that describe the changing student demographics at universities.
The first describes student networking (MySpace, Facebook) and how new incoming students use such tools to find out about prospective schools, and more about the schools they'll be attending. Universities would be wise to proactively be in this space.
This next article simply outlines some of the new characteristics of the incoming digital native student.
I question how much universities have done, and how much they are doing to address this's now been a year since these articles were published. Penn State (where I am currently) appears to be doing a number of things indicating they are taking this change seriously. Though infrastructure/technology change is an important part of the picture, it is only part of the solution. There's a lot (even more) work to be done with our faculty (with notable exceptions) to meet student needs, and help keep their education and training relevant to society's needs.
-Joel G.

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