Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
317-318, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Robert D. Stevenson
From bar codes, tablet computers and mobile phones to online shopping, video games and crowd sourcing, all aspects of life, including language, social standards and family vacations, are being quickly transformed by the wide adoption of electronic technologies. These same technologies are transforming the ways scientists undertake their work and the ways teachers interact with their students. What do these changes mean for ecological education? On the one hand, the “No Child Left Inside Act” from Congress results from the sense that we are producing a generation of TV zombies, video gamers, and Facebook addicts who pay little or no attention to the natural world. Parents and educators wonder how this generation can learn to appreciate the organisms and processes that maintain the health of our environment with limited experience out-of-doors. On the other hand, new technologies are bringing representations of incredible environments from around the globe to students in real time and giving them unprecedented access to images, videos, ecological data, primary literature and experts. In the near future, people will be able to take an entire digital library, including numerous field guides and keys, to their field sites. Furthermore, technologies are being used to better accommodate the range of learning styles among students and to alter the ways that instructors deliver course materials and form learning communities.
Already much as changed. Teachers make their own web sites using sophisticated tools that provide students course materials, assignments and grades at any time from almost anywhere. On-line approaches allow students to take courses when they want and at their own paces. For-profit companies now provide students a relative easy way to receive advanced degrees and advance their careers from the students’ own home. And many institutions of higher learning have opened their courses for distance learners. The rate of communication technologies continues to change rapidly and undoubtedly so will education practice. This session looks at changes that involve advances in pedagogical strategies, multimedia communication access to information and information tools, mobile computing and multimedia communication.