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Back to grad school after 5 years off

  1. Aug 24, 2011 #1
    And man has technology in the classroom advanced at breakneck speed. I've only been away for 5 years and I'm having trouble trying to learn it. Is it me, or has technology actually made learning worse? Why can't things be simple anymore? All I want is a lecture, an assignment, and test. Now you get a lecture, all the supplemental materials are buried on some online portal website that has a gazillion subfolders and menus. There's also more than 1 portal site you have to keep track of, interactive 3D computer assignments you have to remember where to find and do them, different passwords for everything, and have to set up all sorts of different accounts. Not to mention setting up your computer to just be able to connect to your school's network on campus and off campus is a huge pain in the neck. I feel like I actually learned better the way I used to be taught. A lot of this technology makes things very convoluted to find, not easier. I think 3 quarters of the menus in my school's portal I'll probably hardly, if ever, use.

    Textbook+notes+good professor=best way to learn in my opinion.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2011 #2
    Yeah I think some of that stuff of more of a "solution looking for a problem" type of situation. But some of it is worthwhile, and it's definitely worthwhile to spend time learning to navigate that stuff, since it isn't going to go away anytime soon.
  4. Aug 24, 2011 #3
    Yeah, I mean I'm pretty much forced to learn all of this stuff, it's not going away. What happened to simply going to the library and filling out a simple form to order a journal article you don't have access to? Now you have to set up an account, with a user name and password (of course I have 200 other passwords to remember), and have to fill it out on the library's portal. But you have to remember how to navigate through the library's portal. That's only the library's portal though. You also have to remember how to navigate through your own personal university portal website and also the portal website for the classroom, with each portal having a ton of different option menus and subfolders. Where's the simplicity?
  5. Aug 25, 2011 #4
    I've started back to school, and agree with you, gravenewworld, that it's unnecessarily complicated. I spend a third of my homework time navigating the poorly-built menu systems to make sure I didn't miss anything.

    It takes more time now, not less time, and there's no increase in overall learning. I think it's because they're trying to shoehorn classic learning into the computer age. Doesn't work. I've seen good, interactive computer-based training, and what my University is providing isn't it.
  6. Aug 25, 2011 #5
    sorry buddy this is the age we live in get used to it lol
  7. Aug 25, 2011 #6
    I think it's not so much that there is something fundamentally wrong or unworkable about this idea, it's just that people still suck at making good user interfaces for web applications.
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