Friday, May 21, 2010

A conversation about distance learning at SJSU

According to his Bio, "Will Manley recently retired after a 35 year career as a librarian and public administrator." In a recent post to his blog Manley wrote, "I boarded a commuter train in my town of residence, Livermore, CA and took the 40 minute ride to downtown San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley. My destination was the annual meeting of the advisory board of the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. It was my first meeting as a new member of the board."

It seems like the train trip may have been the best part of his day because, Manley really blasted our school:

Talk about an education! I quickly learned that all of San Jose’s library school courses are offered solely on an on-line basis. They have no traditional, face-to-face, in person classes. All communication is electronic. The face of the school is basically a computer screen.

It goes downhill from there. Manley goes on to say, "My first reaction was one of immediate revulsion." He continues for awhile before posing a number of questions to his audience including this, "Will the library continue to be a place? Well… we all thought library school was a place, didn’t we?"

I have the utmost respect for the faculty, staff and students at SLIS and I do not agree with the direction Manley is going with this.

His post and most especially the responses from SLIS graduates, students and faculty are an interesting conversation about on-line learning and distance education. My recommendation to check out Manley's post is not an endorsement of Manley's opinion.

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