Brian Choi is a Student Advisor at Berkleemusic.com. He finished his studies at USC, where he studied Business. Brian is an avid Reason, Pro Tools and Final Cut user who routinely gets into any production gear he can get his hands on.
When EdX, the joint partnership between MIT and Harvard launched this month to offer online learning to millions of people around the world, Anant Agarwal, who is in charge, said, “Online classes are the single biggest change in education since the printing press”. Online text is good, but here at Berklee College of Music, we also integrate video/audio performance and live interaction. Our faculty has been experimenting with online education for nearly a decade and we have the largest and most current online music curriculum in the world. The interaction between our excellent faculty including celebrity musicians like Gary Burton and Steve Vai and our students is no longer just for virtual reality geeks—it is as real as it gets—and you can instantly hit the repeat button to rehearse.
Before the end of this decade, online education will eclipse traditional education. College campuses will not be empty, but the majority of students may only see it once in a while. Why? Our hectic lifestyles require education to evolve with the changing expectations and needs of students. As a school at the forefront of this revolution in teaching and learning, Berklee wants to cater to an ever-growing population of musicians who want to be part of our network. We build a community made up of online and physical campus students, alumni, faculty and staff. The best thing is you do not need to travel to Boston to be part of it anymore (although you are most welcome).
Having experienced Berkleemusic first hand as a Student and now as Staff, I’m still surprised by the amount of people I speak with that have a hard time believing they can learn online. Why does online education still have a stigma even after so many years of success?
Educators are in disbelief, of course. Their whole career has been spent in the regular classroom. Until they try online education, I guess it is hard to believe. Skeptics worry about the lack of interaction and personal touch of a traditional classroom. Until I was able to take online courses with Berklee, I thought so, too. It was actually better for me. I never would have been able to take classes otherwise with a full time job. Being able to work around my schedule was great. In many ways, I felt like it was more interaction than I had while I was in college. I was no longer in huge lecture halls where I barely interacted with other students or my professor. I had live chats each week, great feedback on all my assignments, and I felt part of a community. I interacted with other students in my class like I had never had before. This opportunity to network and interact with a very diverse group of people from all over the world made it a great experience. And much of the learning comes from classmates, through assignments, discussions, and forums.
Teachers do need to adapt. They must get used to not being the single focal point of learning. Students are learning just as much from each other. Teachers are helping facilitate the peer learning process, but students these days learn and collect information differently then in the past. They are quicker. Rapid feedback is expected. Those teachers who adjust to that change become successful in online education. Going online first is no longer a technical skill, but a mentality.
As Colleges and Universities are no longer limited by time and space, how do students react? Berklee students love it. They embrace online education like never before. Flexibility, accessibility, and convenience are the major tenets of online education. This is attractive to all students. Someday I can even envision seeing thousands of people studying together from all over the world in one class with a hologram of their professor who is across the world beamed out from their computer standing right in front of them in their living room. All the classroom materials will be easily downloaded and slide shows will be uploaded to a server so everyone can follow along with the lecture. The professor can call on any student. Any student who speaks or plays an instrument can be beamed on to a virtual stage in everyone’s living room. It will look and feel like an actual classroom in the comfort
of your own home. Or, in actual fact, a live, virtual stage. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but you get the point.
Education for everyone, anytime will be the norm, so be ready. Send me your thoughts about where you see online education in the future. I would love to hear from you.
Berkleemusic’s next term begins on June 25th, 2012.
Find out more at berkleemusic.com or contact a Student Advisor:
1-866-BERKLEE (USA) | +1 617 747 2146 (Intl) | email@example.com