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It is better
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IT Enrollments II

(September 23, 2002) - IT enrollments are going to continue to decline.

Internet-savvy students rely on the Internet to help them do their schoolwork and for good reason. Students told us they complete their schoolwork more quickly; they are less likely to get stymied by material they don't understand; their papers and projects are more likely to draw upon up-to-date sources and state-of-the-art knowledge; and, they are better at juggling their school assignments and extracurricular activities when they use the Internet. In essence, they told us that the Internet helps them navigate their way through school and spend more time learning in depth about what is most important to them personally.

Internet-savvy students describe dozens of different education-related uses of the Internet. Virtually all use the Internet to do research to help them write papers or complete class work or homework assignments. Most students also correspond with other online classmates about school projects and upcoming tests and quizzes. Most share tips about favorite Web sites and pass along information about homework shortcuts and sites that are especially rich in content that fit their assignments. They also frequent Web sites pointed out to them by teachers some of which had even been set up specifically for a particular school or class. They communicate with online teachers or tutors. They participate in online study groups. They even take online classes and develop Web sites or online educational experiences for use by others.

Many schools and teachers have not yet recognized much less responded to the new ways students communicate and access information over the Internet. Students report that there is a substantial disconnect between how they use the Internet for school and how they use the Internet during the school day and under teacher direction. For the most part, students' educational use of the Internet occurs outside of the school day, outside of the school building, outside the direction of their teachers.
From a new Pew Report

A compelling part of the problem is this just-beginning-to-be-documented dynamic. We've witnessed a generation of students who politely laugh at the degree to which their teachers are out of date in the subjects that they teach. (We're hardly the only ones whose kids have had net-access all the way through their educations.) With 78% of children online, the very nature of education in our society has changed. It's now a self-directed exercise that happens to include time in school. 

Schools clearly have the lowest confidence of their basic consumers (students) of all time. Grades are easy and learning takes place in spite of the system. Students form complex alternative study groups and understand school as a system that is to be beaten.

Meanwhile the droning work of an IT professional is beginning to seem, more and more like the secretarial arts we displaced in the 1980s. Object oriented programming means cut and paste. Older executives have proven universally unable to manage and motivate IT teams. Rather than exciting technical breakthroughs, IT professionals face long high-pressure years during which they are demeaned as 'geeks'.

IT enrollments are going to continue to decline. 

- John Sumser

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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