Consumption of Education: The Future of Universities in a Globalizing World

As a part of Globalization day I visited a panel composed of Hofstra professors, and one student. The most memorable part of the discussion for me was the student’s (I believe her name was Maya) stance on the topic. Maya said that her best professor at Hofstra has been Google. She argued that the Internet has an endless amount of information available at the push of a button, and that schools would have to adapt to this otherwise they would become obsolete. One of Maya’s many examples was her resume that she created by watching a “how-to” YouTube video for adobe. I can safely say that her resume was the most creative and eye-catching resume I have ever seen, but I believe there is a major flaw in her argument.

         In my opinion human interaction, is an intangible characteristic to education. The success of one on one interaction between students and professors is well known, hence the need for office hours. As a science major I could not imagine having to go through organic chemistry, but not being able to run up to Dr. Finzel’s office and ask if my structure was drawn properly or if a bond I was pointing to was being attacked.

         There are certain things that the Internet cannot clarify for you. For example had the how-to video that Maya watched been for a different version of Adobe than the one she had I am sure the entire experience would have been much more frustrating for her (lets assume she couldn’t access a video for the version of Adobe that she had). A professor’s ability come over and point out simple mistakes that sometimes evade us, is something the internet can not provide.

         Although I do agree that with progressive technology, education systems should have to adapt in some ways, I firmly disagree that they would eventually become obsolete without the changes. Although watching a video of a lecture may work for some people, I think there is a large population of students that need to raise their hand and ask a question directly to their instructor.

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