Thursday, July 21, 2011

The NEW College Experience

I graduated from college in 1999.  The internet was very, very new back then.  My college experience at the undergraduate level was vastly different from the collegiate experience that I'm having now.

So what was new?  How has college changed in 12 years?

1. Laptop.  I had a laptop at all times with me during lectures.  I'm not at the mercy of writing out lecture notes for myself with great detail.  I have the luxury of typing 75 wpm.  Additionally, I am able to email my notes to other students quickly and efficiently if they missed lecture for some reason.  I don't have to hunt down dimes or a copy machine.

2. Lecture notes.  The night before class lectures started our professor uploaded his partly-empty class notes to our class home page.  Each student was able to download those notes to their computers.  We followed along in our notes while he lectured.  We filled in all the blanks and added additional information as we went along.  A vastly different teaching and learning style from 11 years ago for sure.  Here's a screen capture of the notes he sent to us:

3. When my professor started talking about hapax legomenon I was able to hop on my internet-ready laptop using on-campus WiFi.  I was then able to jump over to Wikipedia.org.  At that point I was able to find out what it meant and how to spell it.  This made it possible for me to add this information to my notes clearly and accurately.

4. Facebook.  Our Summer Intensive Program now has a Facebook page.  We are able to easily connect with each other using this online format.  Prayer requests.  Praises.  Questions.  Advice.  Camaraderie.  Since we are scattered all over the globe this really helps keep us all connected.

5. Computer Software.  For various classes, today, you will find that computer software programs are a must.  Different collegiate institutions will request that you use a particular word processing software.  Other academic programs will require you to use diet and nutrition software (specific programs for your field of learning, basically).  In our program we used Logos.  I'll talk more about that in a later post.  But, be aware that this may be a program cost for your specific academic program.

6. Assignment Upload.  I never turned in any assignments by "handing" them in.  All of my work was uploaded online using a portal specifically designed for the classes I'm taking.  My assignments--after graded--were re-uploaded to that same portal in pdf format with comments.

Well, if you plan to jump back into the world of academics, yourself, I hope this helps.  Or, if you are preparing your high schooler to head off to college, this bit of information may be of great benefit to you.

Humbly serving the Master,
Melissa Culver

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