The end of face-to-face classrooms?


Shawn Magrath

Kudos to the volunteers and organizers of this year’s Dr. Seuss Family Fun Night at Stanford Gibson Primary. The annual jamboree brought out hundreds of kids, parents and grandparents Thursday night in a worthy effort to encourage kids and families in family involvement, literacy, and community engagement – three incredibly important aspects of childhood development, in my opinion. Not to mention, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Seuss myself. In retrospect, I guess I’m lucky to be a reporter, otherwise roaming the halls of an elementary school when I don’t have a child of my own – and taking pictures no less – might have looked a bit on the creepy side (I assume it’s hard to blog from a jail cell).

Also on the subject of schools and education, Bill Gates said in an interview this week that he believes technology (online classes and mentoring) will be the main source of higher education within the next ten years. Computers, he says, will slowly phase out working instructors, professors and the traditional face-to-face lectures, and the money saved by using online resources could instead be invested in research facilities and study groups. While I agree, there’s certainly potential that this could be the classroom of the future, I don’t really count on it. In the 60′s, it was widely believed that television would eventually replace teachers… five decades later, all we have to show for it Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

And while on the subject of technology … (pause for self pat on the back for a smooth transition) … did you know Facebook is losing its cool? An article published in Time this week unveiled “an unscientific survey” of 40 Alabama high school students, only eight of which said Facebook was their most commonly used social networking site. It’s disappointing news for the millions of Facebook users who like to take photos of themselves at a 45 degree downward angle. I knew it was only a matter of time before people like myself could ruin the coolness of Facebook.