Wednesday, October 3, 2007

School's Out

Attending college in San Diego meant ditching lectures in favor of laying out on a beach, with palm trees swaying overhead. Rainy days halted everything; students stayed at home, crippled by the fear of getting wet. When your footwear options range from light brown flip flops to dark brown flip flops, this inability to function in inclement weather is justified.

Ah, if only my undergraduate career had coincided with the explosion of user-generated video and social networking! I would have been able to bask in the sun and plop down on my couch later in the day with a lecture video from Art History class. In the case of the current students at UC Berkeley, they will soon be able to access full course lectures through YouTube. The university has over 300 hours of recorded courses that be found on their branded channel, featuring subjects such as chemistry, biology and physics. They are even offering a course on search-engine technology.

Will lecture halls across the country soon become even emptier? With the lure of beaches (in some cases!) and the ability to watch videos at one's leisure, students may not have to show up in-person for most of the school year.

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