With the introduction of the computer into the modern classroom students.
are getting to see entirely new aspects of their chosen degrees. Collaboration.
between classrooms and schools that wasn't possible before, now happens on .
a daily basis. Through the networking of research facilities and instructional .
labs, students get a first-hand look at the actual processes that are involved in .
their principal area of study. Professors are now able to convey thoughts and .
ideas in much more clear and concise ways then ever before. The .
communication lines between instructor and student and grown vastly as well as .
peer-to-peer interaction. With the "Open Courseware Initiative" that is being .
developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, course materials and .
notes are being published online in the form of a massive knowledge base that .
will be publicly accessible to the entire world. The goal is to get all of the .
Universities and Colleges of the world networked together by the sharing of .
information so that all schools, large and small, will have access to the same well .
of information. From that, you will see entire courses being taught online. .
Classes will become virtual and schools themselves will simply be reduced to .
their domain names. .
In my area of concentration, Astronautics, technology hasn't yet made a .
large impact in the classroom. PowerPoint presentations and online grading is .
about the extent to which it has been involved. In engineering, the first few years .
of study mainly deal with classical topics that have been around for hundreds of .
years. Calculus and physics have, so far, been best laid out on a white board .
with great attention given to understanding the concepts behind forces observed .
in nature. At the heart of these ideas are equations that must be written out and .
derived to be completely understood. While this could be done online, greater .
comprehension will come from seeing the process step by step and being able to .