Monday, 25 October 2010 06:55
By George Skye Williams
Jerry, I like the article, and you are still by far the best writer on Caribarena.com. However, I know what the internet can do. I have been using the computer extensively since 1980.
I was in the information management field for the USAF back then. In 1983, I got drafted to teach that same subject at CCAF. I have been using this technology for over 30 years.
If applied right, the internet will increase a student's ability by a remarkable percentage. The real problem is when children spend too much time on it and don't get the exercise they need to be healthy. I took anatomy from a book when I started studying for Aerospace Medical Service, and about a year ago did it on the internet for AstraZeneca.
The internet allow you to see blood running through veins; you see the heart pumping; you see how food enters the mouth and makes its way out the other end. You see how the proton pumps work and how medication slows down those pumps to control the production of acid in the stomach. These vivid images burn into the mind.
There are ebooks you can download and print and take only the pages you need to study. They are easy to access and are kept current in a way that print books can't be. If your eyes get tired, you can make the font bigger, something you can't do with a book. The graphics are clear and sharp. No heavy books to lug around. All you need is your laptop.
There are audio books you can read and listen to. I am currently perusing a masters degree online. I am directly connected to the University of Alabama's online library system right from my desktop. I can do research online at home, and I can have books sent directly to my home and return them when I am finished. I can do web field trips without leaving home and have access to periodicals and online articles. I can go into my classroom anytime I please - 24/7.
On Sundays and Thursdays I have live seminars with my class and professor. The professor does a Power Point presentation and he asks questions of individuals and we are able to respond in real time. I am also taking some of my six Sigma Black Belt courses online. It is self paced, and so I do it when I can. When I do, I am able to do it right and ace every quiz because it's the right time for me to devote to that.
Antigua's new library could go online and qualify itself to serve Caricom. Students throughout the OECS can have access to many of the same resources you expect to find at any university or technical school, with a fully-stocked library, academic advice, tutoring services, career development, and technical support. The difference is that you access these services from your desktop.
I am not saying computers and the internet are a substitute for books. Many courses include textbooks as part of the study assignments. In fact, you will be seeing schools go to information intelibooks, ie, Ipad, where all your books will be on a thin internet-based platform. Sure, there are problems with using it improperly; there is garbage on the internet, but you have seen printed junk also. It's how you use it. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.
I believe that the internet can bring tourism back even stronger, and although I also believe we should get out of online gambling and restrict offshore banking, if they were to come back, it would have to be on the internet.
As we globalize, communication becomes even more important. The internet provides the best way to communicate and access information, people, businesses, products, and services. You can now call anywhere in the world for free if you know how to connect. Those who fail to upgrade will end up losing money. Those who participate in internet technology will reap many benefits such as the ability to reach customers from everywhere. The cost will be minimal; the profits will be high - a new industry that could create 5,000 new, higher-paying jobs for Antigua over the next three years. This would be a good way to cut the public sector.
That "each endeavouring all achieving" thing you guys have been talking about is very much in reach. I can close my eyes and see a future where Antigua & Barbuda markets itself as a product from Antigua & Barbuda and brings back those tax dollars we spend to have others advertise us. We can spend that money at home to educate and employ our own.
The question is, are we going to politicize it? The answer is yes, we politicize everything.
George-Skye Williams is inter disciplinarian versed and certified in fields including Military and Financial advisement, legal studies, Aerospace Medical Services, Instructional Systems Designs, Economic Development, Psychology and Substance Abuse. Skye managed special projects in China, Africa, and the USA, and has been Vice President of banks and CFO and Commercial Underwriter for financial organizations. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Psychology and substance abuse at Kaplan University and is employed as a Sr Military Adviser, WPO and Mental Health Specialist with Broward Addiction and Recovery Center.
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