In this blog I talk about what I think should change in higher education. I believe there should be an increased use of technology in the classroom and use of study abroad programs. There is much talk about how we live in a globalized economy and market and as such there should be an increase in the free flow of student and knowledge around the world.
First, professors have to embrace new technologies and social media platforms that enable to reach further and quicker than before to students and society in general. With today’s technology, there is no impediment for a professor talking about coastal erosion in Blacksburg, VA to connect via the internet to another classroom or lab site in Thailand that is exploring this same topic. The interaction between students in the classroom does not have to be simply in the traditional way of raising the hand and posing a question or answer. The student could pose a question via a chat or write in his computer and that could be shown in the monitor superimposed to the professor’s slides. The debates and exchange of ideas that could occur in this way are countless.
The second point is in regard to study abroad programs. With all the free trade agreements that exist currently and in an everyday more globalized economy. A student from Virginia Tech should be able to go to a university in Brazil, in Saudi Arabia, or anywhere in the world and study for a semester or summer. Be exposed to the customs and traditions of the host country, learn from the way they teach classes, and return to his university to share the gained knowledge. It is my perspective that this types of programs are usually very expensive, but if they are treated more fairly as in a free trade agreement scenario, where no additional taxes and costs are imposed, more students could benefit from it and graduate as well rounded professionals with experiences that will benefit them a lifetime.
In these two ways I see higher education evolving and expanding in the coming years. This will enable them to become bigger places of knowledge, not only in their countries but in the world.