I haven't seen any research on this, but I suspect people take continuing
ed classes for the purposes of interacting with other people who share
their interests. That's the essence. That's the essence (or should be) of
all education, continuing or not.
Some probably prefer 2f2, some the net, some real-time, some asynchronous
exchange. If there seems to be a tendency now to favor f2f it's probably
because the alternatives aren't as readily available.
-->Second (and this is the rhetorical question), wouldn't these telecommuting
-->students need a pretty good chunk of hardware and software to take these
-->courses over the 'net?
Nope. (This is a nonrhetorical answer) For a couple hundred buck's worth
of machinery & less per month than most people pay for cable you can be on
the net & go like 60. As Marcy says, ubiquity (or thereabouts) is on deck.
Besides, I don't know where all this talk about 'taking courses' came
from. Courses? Take? We gotta work on our terminology (not to mention the
shape of our learning environments!)
-->I guess I'm just trying to be a skeptic, not because I don't think this
-->could work, but because I think we need to be careful about leaping too far
-->ahead if this were to become a reality.
It's like playing ping-pong, isn't it? I say 'ping' you say 'pong'. You
say 'pong' and I say 'ping.' Over and over. But what the hell, I hate to
interrupt a good volley. To this, I have to say (whack):
We need to be careful not to be too careful. We can't leap too far. We
gotta leap as far as we can just to keep from falling short. Prudence can
be dangerous, my friend. We're talking about finding ways for educators to
remain relevant in society. We don't really have the luxury of time here.