In the last few years, higher education has changed in quite a few ways. For example, in an article for CNN Fareed Zakaria says, “The final strength of a liberal education is that it teaches you how to learn – to read in a variety of subjects, find data, analyze information.” Liberal art colleges want to expand the level of critical thinking and learning. Ultimately, everyone forms their opinion based on their experiences. In the same article Zakaria acknowledges, “Even President Obama recently urged students to keep in mind that a technical training could be more valuable than a degree in art history.” Some people support online education, others support liberal arts education, others even support technical colleges. I am person that will always support a liberal arts education.
During the four years of college students need to prove that they are capable of continuing their education. In Louis Menand’s article, Live And Learn,“If they’re sloppy or inflexible or obnoxious—no matter how smart they might be in the I.Q. sense—those negatives will get picked up in their grades.” College is a four year intelligence test. For this reason I believe that students should consider going to a liberal arts college so that they can be well rounded students.
After experiencing an online class, I realized that learning in a classroom setting is much more efficient than online. There are two reasons why I believe this. First, while in class lessons take up much more time the great thing about having that time is being able to hear other people’s ideas and inputs. Being able to hear more than one person’s perspective helps many people learn. Being in an intimate group of classmates has many advantages. Secondly, the professor has inclusion of other material whether that is from previous lessons or even from other classes. For example at certain times during my senior year I would have multiple classes that overlapped in study material. Sometimes during my calculus class we would talk about physics. Having taken physics my junior year I felt that I somewhat understood concepts (speed, velocity and acceleration) in calculus much more. All my teachers would point out the fact that other classes would cover if not already covered similar material.
Online lessons can be great for some people. Even though online classes does have some advantages I still believe that it is not convenient for some people. I experienced taking an online class through my writing class that taught us how to write an effective claim. Based on that experience I notice that I started losing attention after watching four minutes of the video. I just had to watch until three minutes and forty five seconds, but because I am a very curious person I decided to watch the whole video. I noticed that my head began to hurt and that I was no longer listening to what anyone in the video had to say. Furthermore, I tried my best to give the lesson my undivided attention but I had too many distractions: I had to take medication for my headache, run to the bathroom, and my roommate walked in and began conversing with me. If I were to be in class I would have taken better notes, asked questions if I didn’t understand, and payed more attention.
There are times that having a helicopter teacher can seem to be a bad thing. In an article by Steven Conn, The Rise of the Helicopter Teacher, we can see that he believes that helicopter teachers are doing all the work for the students. Despite Conn’s reservations, sometimes having a helicopter teacher can have positive consequences. For example my physics teacher seemed to give me a little more attention in comparison to other classmates. There was a time that I sat down to work on a lab on of derivatives and the antiderivatives of speed. That teacher came to me and was looking over my shoulder to look at my paper. As I was writing the answer they said, “Are you sure you are doing this right.” I was confused but I also felt intimidated. It turned out that I was doing my work right but they just wanted to see what I would change. Now that I think about it it makes sense. A teacher needs to challenge you to think beyond what you’re used to a reason why it makes sense. At first glance having a helicopter teacher seems like a bad thing but at the end of the day it’s good to have someone who cares.
Every moment in time is very important. In the next few years, I want to make sure that I spend my time in college wisely. Although I know that most of my time will be going towards school work I know that some of my time will be also going towards my personal benefit. I am currently part of three different organizations on campus. I am part of the STAR program and part of Omega Phi Chi. The STAR program is meant for first year students to have a better transition from high school. They teach us everything that we need to know in order for us to do good in college. They cover a variety of things from how to stud, to prepare for exams, to even how to set up classes for upcoming semesters. In Omega Phi Chi, we are required to maintain a 2.6 current and cumulative GPA. Our studies are very important. Through these groups I will make sure that I keep my grades up. I want my education to be valued and these groups are teaching me how to value it.
To conclude, there is no better way to take advantage of college than to go to class everyday, let teachers help you out at all times, and join anything that is interesting. Everyone in college should find a way to make college worth it.