Times have certainly changed since the days of pens, notebooks, and slide rules. To the time-honored three "r's" of education -- reading, writing, and 'rithmetic -- can be added a third: reception (as in wi-fi).
The Washington Post reports that community college students now value Internet access over instruction or course content:
Community college students have come to view online education as key to their success above all else, according to a new report billed as the first national survey of students in two-year colleges.
Community college students are enrolling in online courses like never before. "[M]ore than 40 percent of community college students reported they were currently taking at least one course online," the WaPo article reports, "and 60 percent said they had taken at least one online course in their community college career."
The reasons for this preference for online education vary. Some of the most commonly given ones include the following:
Students today are “digital natives.” Having access to an online learning platform can therefore make all the difference when it comes to their finding motivation to complete homework assignments and to endure other rigors of coursework.
Looks like more traditional course planners will have to offer some sort of online component if they wish to retain those students who are most at risk. Whether these planners rise to the challenge remains to be seen, but safe to say that if they don't, they'll end up on the wrong side of history.