Theme: The Internet is changing higher education

Objectives: By the end of this unit, students should be able to use active vocabulary of this theme in different forms of speech exercises.

Methodical instructions: This theme must be worked out during two lessons a week according to timetable.

Lexical material: Introduce and fix new vocabulary on theme “The Internet is changing higher education”.

Grammar: Participle I. Introduce and practice Participle I. Revise the use of Participle I.

The Internet is changing higher education

Why is the Internet likely to succeed as a vehicle for real education, when so many other inventions have faltered? Why isn’t it simply one more in a long train of distractions? Doesn’t it, ultimately, take students and faculty further and further away from books, from the hard work of sustained study and thought, and from direct human contact with other students and faculty?

There are some of the main reasons why teachers believe that the Internet is fundamentally different from those earlier electronic inventions and why they believe it is already having – and it will continue to have – such a major effect on higher education. To begin with, there is the steadily mounting evidence of dramatic change and intensity of use. All of this is certainly not a mirage.

More fundamentally, there is in fact a very close fit – a critical interlock – between the structures and processes of the Internet, and the main structures and processes of university teaching and learning. That same fit simply did not (and does not) exist with radio, film, or television. This point is in many respects a remarkably simple one, but – in the field of education, at least – it makes absolutely all the difference.

Students can carry forward their work on the Internet in ways that are similar to – and tightly intertwined with – the traditional ways that they study and learn in libraries, classrooms, lecture halls, seminars, informal discussion groups, laboratories, and in the writing and editing of papers or reports.

Some of these activities are more cumbersome and less successful when transplanted to the Internet environment. Others are substantially improved. In most cases, however, the new technology acts primarily as a powerful supplement to – and reinforcement of – the major methods that faculty and students have discovered, over the course of a very long period of time, to be unusually effective forms of teaching and learning in higher education. Specific examples can be helpful here, so that we can see more clearly how the capacities and processes of the Internet relate so closely to the university’s traditional forms of education.

For instance, the Internet – as we know – can provide access to essentially unlimited sources of information not conveniently obtainable through other means. Let’s assume for the moment that most of the technical and other problems of the Internet will in time be solved: that there will be, as there are now in the research library system, efficient ways of helping users to find what they want; that there will be procedures for information quality control, and for creating more effective linkages among different bodies of knowledge in different media.

At that point, the Internet and its successor technologies will have the essential features of a massive library system, where people can roam through the electronic equivalent of book stacks, with assistance from the electronic equivalent of reference librarians. In short, one major reason why the characteristics of the Internet are so compatible with those of universities is that some of the Internet’s most significant capabilities resemble, and dovetail with, the capabilities of university research libraries. Just as the research library is an extremely powerful instrument for learning, so too is the Internet – and for much the same reasons.

In fact, the library and the Internet are being viewed increasingly as a versatile unified system, providing an enormous variety of materials, in different formats – so that data, texts, images, and other forms of information can be readily accessed by students and faculty alike. Indeed, we are already well along this path.

If we now shift for a minute from libraries to the formal curriculum, we can see that the Internet has another set of highly relevant capabilities: it can provide unusually rich course materials online.

For instance, traditional text – based Business School “cases” are already being transformed. I recently reviewed one of the new generations of multimedia cases, which focused on a small sock – manufacturing plant in China – an American – owned plant plagued by serious production and delivery problems, and losing money much faster than it could make either toes or heels.

The materials or this case began with a video tour of the plant, close – up moving pictures of the workers operating their machines – or not operating them – followed by interviews with several managers at different levels in the company’s hierarchy. Interviews with the workers were also available. Detailed production and supply data, financial spreadsheets, and a company report containing an official analysis of what was wrong with the plant – all of this and more was obtainable I the electronic course – pack.

What one saw, or course, was that the interviews with different people revealed totally different theories about the plant’s problems, and the data was anything but conclusive?

The company’s official report, meanwhile, only served to complicate the picture further. Students who were talking this course had to analyze not just a text and statistics, but also the whole range of attitudes, expressions, and behavior – recorded on video – of the different executives, as well as the workers.

Another point of compatibility between the processes of the Internet, and those of the university, concerns the basic activity of communication. We know that the constant exchange of ideas and opinions among students – as well as faculty – is one of the oldest and most important forms of education. People learn by talking with one another, in classrooms, laboratories, dining halls, seminars, and dormitories. They test propositions, they argue and debate, they challenge one another, and they sometimes even discover common solutions to difficult problems.

The Internet allows this process of dialogue – of conversational learning – to be transferred easily and flexibly into electronic form. Communication can be carried on at all hours, across distances, to people who are on – campus or off – campus. Student study groups can work together on – line; faculty members can hold electronic office hours, in addition to their “real” office hours; and teaching fellows can make themselves available for after – class electronic discussions.

In all these ways, the Internet works to create a significant new forum – a limitless number of electronic rooms and spaces – where on of the most fundamental educational processes – energetic discussion and debate – can be carried on continuously.

It’s also worth noting that recent experience suggests that student participation levels tend to rise in the electronic forum. Students who are consistently reticent in actual classrooms are more likely to speak out, regularly and confidently, on the network.

No one should believe that electronic communication can be – or should be – a substitute for direct human contact. But the electronic process has some features that do permit an actual extension of the scope, continuity, and even the quality of certain forms of interaction, even though communication over the network lacks other absolutely essential aspects of “real” conversations in the presence of “real” people.

Finally, the Internet may well be having – it’s not altogether easy to tell – a subtle but significant effect on the relationships among students, faculty members, and the subject or materials that are being studied in a course.

Topical Vocabulary

1. Vehicle (n) транспорт

2. To falter (v) шататься

3. Distraction (n) развлечение, отвлечение, внимание

4. Ultimately (adj) в конечном счёте

5. To sustain (v) поддерживать

6. Evidence (n) очевидность

7. Interlock (n) соединение

8. Cumbersome (adj) нескладный, обременительный

9. Reinforcement (n) укрепление

10. Linkage (n) соединение

11. To unveil (v) открывать

12. Conclusive (adj) заключительный

13. Flexibly (adv) гибко

14. Campus (n) универсальный двор

Ex.1. Read the text and summarize it.

Ex. 2. Answer the questions:

1. What do university teachers think about the Internet?

2. Is the Internet helpful to students?

3. Can the library and the Internet be a unified system?

4. How do students exchange their ideas?

5. Does the Internet help them in it?

6. Can the electronic communication be a substitute for direct human contact?

Ex.3. Say if the statements are true or false.

1. Students can’t carry forward their work on the Internet in ways that are similar to

the traditional ways they study in classrooms.

2. Students usually don’t exchange their ideas.

3. People learn by talking with one another.

4. The Internet doesn’t allow the process of dialogue.

5. The Internet unlikely to succeed as a vehicle for real education.

Ex.4. Single out the main points of the text. Use the following opening phrases.

1.The text looks at the problem of ….

2. It is clear from the text that …

3. Among other things the text raises the issue of …

4. Great importance is also attached to …

5. In this connection, I’d like to say …

6. It further say that …

7. We shouldn’t forget that …

8. I think that … should be mentioned here as a very important mechanism of …

9. One of the main points to be singled out is …

10.I find this question of … very important because …

Ex.5.Listening

Follow the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x65OJU8Uq4 (Introduction to Higher Mathematics - Lecture 2: Introduction to Proofs)

Ex.5. Split into 2 groups and debate on the topic: “The Internet: For and Against”

Grammar: Participle I

Do exercises from Unit 67 p.134-135 ex.:67.1-67.3 and Unit 68 p.136-137 ex.:68.1-68.4 (Raymond Murphy “English Grammar in Use” A self-study reference and practice book for intermediate students of English Third Edition. Cambridge).

БӨЖ тапсырмалар:

Follow the link below and solve the exercises http://www.mathgoodies.com/lessons/vol7/order_operations.html

Follow the link and pass the test for grammar:

http://www.usingenglish.com/quizzes/326.html

Unit 6

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