Waiting for CN: The LMS Superman

       As CN moves forward by reaching out to more users across the globe, it maintains not only a solid source of credibility among colleagues of different ethnic backgrounds, but also creates a haven for young learners confined to torn areas of a region. The Brookings Institution, a private non-profit organization dedicated to furthering research and solving education issues surrounding the U.S. and foreign affairs, posted an article last year in their publication The Brookings Institution Press, highlighting a young Pakistani girl’s ability to use her mobile phone to send text messages to her teacher in Urdu. Her teacher then responds back to her question or comment via SMS, in which she copies by hand into her notebook, to practice her writing skills. Situations such as these have caused literacy rates to rise, especially within women, of war torn or dangerous countries of the world.

      Authors Marshall Smith and Rebecca Winthrop continue, stating technology has not been as effective in certain areas of the world, such as Peru, where a surplus of laptops sit unused in a classroom because teachers don’t know how to operate them, bugs go unfixed, and maintenance becomes too expensive to keep up with. In these cases, CN avoids most of these problems by doing the following:
·         The layout design of CN mimics those of dominant social media sites that are recognized globally. Its profile information, posting options, and “like” and “reflection” tools highlight similar features you see on Facebook, and its real-time updates can occur from the people, colleagues, or conexuses you follow, like Twitter. This lessens panic when trying to learn a new system because while some of its features are different, the social interaction is almost the same, while still offering options relevant to courses or academic inquiry
·         CN’s programmers and development specialists are constantly requesting feedback from current users and colleagues by collaborating on what bugs need immediate attention, as well as any changes that would make a CN user’s experience easier and more enjoyable
·         CN is a free academic social network that is for anybody with access to the Internet. Interns and coordinators are constantly spreading the word about how to use CN through events and classroom presentations. How-To videos that explain the process of creating an account and using its features are in the works for future users to find online

      It’s no surprise that the more you learn, the more you earn: Whether it’s monetarily or in the wealth of knowledge. Education is constantly evolving, and incorporating a field such as technology changing at the same rate is bound to cause some hesitation and confusion at first, but will prove itself to be worthwhile and effective in the future. Simple things such as a text message conversation between a student and a teacher in different parts of the world have allowed learners to gain opportunities to better themselves without worrying about the economic obstacles or governmental oppression that surrounds them.

     While the witty title of the 2010 Documentary “Waiting for Superman” claims no one person can save us all in respect to our education system, CN is taking education and molding it into something greater with the use of modern technology. 

Maybe CN isn’t Superman, but perhaps we could call it a Transformer.

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