November 10, 2003

The Future of Pre-Professional Education

Digital video, embedded in an interactive context that allows editing, annotation, and communication of results within selected groups, has groundbreaking implications for enhancing, if not transforming, pedagogic practice. In fact, it represents a new space for the invention of methods in the digital age that allow us to create opportunities for active learning which were before unavailable. Video allows students, faculty, and clinicians to share the experiences of the field; digital tools allow the detailed study and analysis of those experiences. Such environments combine the intimacy and uniqueness of field-based experiences with the capabilities of Web-based environments, thereby allowing for reflective learning. What is the possible impact of these new technologies on the future of our professional preparation programs?

Our first meeting of this year will focus upon the possible impact of new technologies and new research on the future of professional preparation programs. In this context, Professor Herbert Ginsburg of Teachers College, Columbia University, will utilize his work with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning on VITAL, as a place from which to launch a discussion of the implications for enhancing, if not transforming, pedagogic practice in our professional schools. Professor Ginsburg's presentation, will be followed by responses from senior representatives of several of Columbia University's professional schools, including Sarah Sheets Cook from the School of Nursing and Ann McCann Oakley from the School of Social Work.