Making Old School Cool: CN and the Transition to Higher Ed Technology

Many professors have begun to accept the fact that the digital age has taken over the outside world, and yet, many still refuse to incorporate it within their courses. As a result, students, who are the most affected and molded by gadgets like smart phones, iPads, and app stores, have begun to adapt to a new way of thinking and concept recognition that is considerably different than say ten or twenty years ago. They don’t wish to read more than 140 characters at a time, writing long-hand notes from a lecture has become tedious and outdated, and almost anything they could possibly ever want or need can be accessed once they unlock their iPhone or Android with a four-digit passcode. But instead of rejecting what the generation of technology has done to our lives, why not embrace it in ways that can still further enriched, collaborative learning?
Besides trying to uphold traditional teaching methods, what’s a large reason why some professors simply refuse to fall to the technological advances that are seeping into their classrooms? Lack of information technology awareness and training seems to be the most common problem, but Course Networking is proving to be a more popular answer.
The screenshot below is the layout of an actual CN member’s home page. The design is simple, concise, and contains functions and tools similar to Facebook. Even older generation professors who may not use technology for academic purposes are familiar with the environment Facebook creates: a social network used to stay connected to people and places that individual cares about. Why not create a similar approach within a classroom?
Course Networking (
Courses that students can join are listed conveniently on the left hand side, making it easy to separate different course materials and access to posts, polls, events, and reflections are available the instant you log on at the top of the page. Accessibility and simplicity have created a network so similar to ones the world is already familiar with, but instead, for the sake of collaborating and sharing thoughts and ideas with learners around the world. Should any teacher hesitate about incorporating technology into a classroom, CN can relieve a lot, if not; all of the doubt teachers have regarding LMS’s.
So let the age of, “Find me on Facebook,” “Like my page,” or “RSVP to my event” become “What’s your CN Number?” or “How many pomegranate seeds do you have?”
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