This semester, I am a graduate student instructor for UGBA-10. I lead two discussion sections on Thursday morning of about 30 students each. Every week, I prepare a lesson plan with my fellow GSIs (there are 8 of us on the team) and meet with Dr. Robinson to discuss best practices for course administration.
The students are bright, inquisitive, and very eager to get a good grade. It makes my job easier, I suppose.
Last week, as I sat in the large auditorium in Wheeler Hall, I realized that the colossal undergrad lectures that the UC schools are infamous for have significantly changed with time. Instructors now incorporate multimedia into their slides. In UGBA-10, pop music and funny YouTube clips are par for the course. In my day, the professors just made bad jokes… and occasionally used overhead slides.
Secondly, students take notes with their laptop! The sound of 2,000 fingers typing in unison resemble that of a light rainstorm. I saw one girl with a paper and pencil. She seemed embarrassed.
I wonder what college will be like in another 10 years. Will students be hooked up to giant virtual reality devices with knowledge being instantly downloaded into our cranial databases? Or perhaps, students will simply think and a device will transcribe their thoughts into written notes.