ON THE COVER
Thank you very much for your excellent editorial on the abominable coverage of `the Virginia Tech` incident. `The MashUp, April 18-24.` On Wednesday night before the Current appeared, I had finished writing an extensive letter to the NPR Ombudsman on this topic. The need to fill air time, whether on the radio or on TV, subjects us to hours on end of half-baked interviews filled with non-information, speculation, and lengthy interviews with people who know no more than the interviewer, or, for that matter, the listening public. Usually, when something like the VA Tech event takes place, I listen for about 30 minutes, then turn off both radio and TV and wait until the following day, when, with any luck, we can get something more solid, usually from the print press, because as we have seen all day today on CNN, we are once more regaled with pointless interviews, views of the obvious, and 15-minutes-of-fame periods from people who have very little of substance or relevance to contribute.
Luis Torres, San Antonio
Re: “Faculty feathers, ruffled,” April 18-24
Ah … faculty fear loss of power, control, and contact hours which translates to a reduced course load for faculty which means fewer instructors needed, and a reduced faculty means lower stipends for department chairs, and so on.
When great software is paired with students who need and want to learn amazing things take place. Instruction is tailored to each individual student at their skill and knowledge level. Students can move forward at their own pace—rapid or slow, whichever suits them best. I have visited many classrooms from K-16 and in instances where some students were working on computers and others were working in small groups or interacting directly with the instructor, it never failed to amaze me that the most engaged, on-task students were the students receiving instruction via computer.
I’m willing to bet that there are many parents `may God bless them one and all` in Virginia and elsewhere who would gladly exchange face-to-face instruction for virtual classes for their children. Instructors had best embrace distance education and jump on that train—it hasn’t quite left the station yet, but it’s pulling out. They have two choices. They can get on board or they can become road kill.
La Gringa, San Antonio, Texas