We believe the social networking wave of the present will push students into a 24-hour cycle of learning from each other and not from instructors or traditional textbooks. If a student needs to learn something they do not know, they will simply expand their network to ferret out a new person and invite them into their feral circle of knowledge.
The danger in this circular and closed method of learning is there is no way to quantify or intellectually judge the depth or even the veracity of what is being taken in as truth and fact.
Students need to be taught how to be cynical and suspicious and how to crosscheck facts and how to use the scientific process to test what they think they know against what they can never understand.
Students need pillars in which to lean against, push upon and even, in the end… topple over — and the current method we have of using instructors and pillars of knowledge must find a way to be socialized into the cycle of learning the students currently enjoy.
We can continue to insert instructors into the higher learning process only via specific methods where context and contemplation matter.
Questions must be asked of the students and demands made upon students in order to rigorously prepare them for a tempting world that will not abide mere social friendships as indices of intelligence.
Minds need to be tempered and tested by directed instructor interaction and symbiotic peer evaluation online or in the classroom and we must not allow students to set the mandate for what they need to know because the rest of us know they have no idea what they don’t know.