Friday, July 17, 2009
The New York Law School faculty is on fire this week. This article is by Professor Camille Broussard and can be found at 53 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 903 (2008/09). From the introduction:
Technology continues to change the way we teach law, practice law, perform legal research, and provide library services to the legal community. Technological innovation in the twenty-first century is incredibly fast-paced, and each new generation of tools is often heralded as the one that will have great and lasting pedagogical impact on law schools. Will the new generation of applications and social media tools, popularly referred to as Web 2.0, finally provide the first real impetus in many generations for law schools to change the way the J.D. curriculum is designed and delivered? It is quite possible that these applications will not only be incorporated into the existing curriculum, but, more significantly, they may indeed become the foundation of a new teaching and learning environment.
The use of computers and electronic “gadgets” by students at all levels of education continues to increase. In a 2000 study of students entering higher education, Jason Frand noted that computers are not technology for these new students but instead are “hardwired into their psyche.” Students are not only computer literate; they are exceedingly comfortable with online information and online learning tools. This observation, particularly in the social media arena, has been echoed in subsequent studies. To borrow and slightly modify an excellent question phrased for university education: “Is [Legal] Education 1.0 Ready for Web 2.0 students”? Absorbing the impact of changing technology, already a complex issue, is further complicated by the fact that the students, the technological tools, and the educational environment itself are all changing simultaneously.