David Alan Grier and Erin Dian Dumbacher

Forward Slash

Forward Slash is a monthly column that incorporates a multimedia format to profile the lives, trials, and accomplishments of the rising generation of computing professionals, describing the challenges they face and the character they draw upon to do their daily work.

David Alan Grier,  an associate professor of international science and technology policy at George Washington University, is a Fellow of IEEE and the author of the forthcoming book The Company We Keep. Contact him at grier@gwu.edu or on Twitter @dagrier.

Erin Dian Dumbacher is an associate director of research at the Government Executive Media Group, a division of Atlantic Media. Contact her at erin.dumbacher@fulbrightmail.org or on Twitter @erin_dian.

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Teaching the Intangible

Old New England Buildings.  Small Classes.  Frizbee on the Lawn.  Small circles of Friends discussing the great ideas of modern civilization late into the night.  Such are visions that we hold of higher education, visions that are not altogether consistent.  Still, we somehow believe or believed that higher education required close human contact in order to refine and improve character.  

Now we are seeing students flock to distance education programs, especially those for Masters degrees.   Erin can count dozen of friends who are getting advanced degrees on-line, even with they live next to the school that they are attending.  

So again, we are again prepared to ask the question "What does this all mean?" and forced to consider the answer "Perhaps more or less than it might seem?"

From Computer's May 2012 issue.

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