Saturday, July 29, 2006

An Inside Look Into Our University Portal

To the outside world, our University Portal looks like the following:

Once a graduate student enters, it's a whole different world:

This is my classroom inside the comfort of my San Francisco flat, where I spend many hours in class, connected to our University Portal in NYC, well into the wee hours of the early morning:

And following is a sampling of our class threads for the summer course I'm taking that ends next week: The New New Media: Weblogs, Wikis, & Emerging Social Media. Inside each class thread, which is posted on a weekly basis by our professor, Robert Berkman, is where our classroom discussions occur--all of which I've found to be academically stimulating, intelligent, and thought-provoking. I've found that unlike a traditional classroom, I have time to really think about how I will respond to our Professor's questions and to posts made by other students. I think I get a lot more out of my educational experience in this regard than I would in a traditional classroom. And there's a written record of the entire discussion in contrast to being in a traditional class where I am mostly busily taking "notes" so I don't miss what's said, which places me in a position of not having the time to really think thoughtfully about what I'd like to contribute. As in any situation, there are advantages and shortcomings to learning in either medium, but I've found the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages based on my first-hand experience with the new medium at The New School. I'll delve deeper into these differences in my next post.


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