Second Distance Learning Essay

Second Distance Learning Essay

Overall, I'm still enjoying the class for its hands-on approach and interesting material. However, after soaking up the technology in the first few sessions, I have formed a few doubts as to whether we are really making adequate use of the medium all of the time. We seem to be caught up in the spectacle ourselves and are missing the fact that we are not using this very expensive form of communication to its full potential.

For instance, we aren't fully highlighting the inherent benefit we get by bringing together such radically different cultures as those of Berkeley and Ann Arbor. The fact that we are bridging 2500 miles and bipolar cultures is an inherent benefit of the virtual classroom. I'd like to see us directly pursue how these differences affect the way topics are viewed. Instead of Tim and Ron appologizing for radical views, I'd like to hear more spirited interactive debates.

Also, during each session we seem to have a couple of lengthly periods where our $1000 per hour video-conference lines are wasted on low-tech one-on-one conversations between students and professors. The $500/day wasted on these talks, could be put toward hours of phone calls or even fly a student to the other location every week! Or better yet, couldn't most of these converstations be accommplished for virtually no cost using EMAIL?