Electronic agora - modern Renaissance
The computer and Internet revolutions have been hailed as some of the most important developments of the modern world. The vast databases and ease of linking various information presents today’s learners with opportunities seldom imagined in the past. Visualizations and reconstructions of past monuments, archeological digs and historical re-enactments can bring distant events present immediacy and enable a better understanding of the struggles of humanity. The proliferation of distance education and especially online courses has enabled a larger population to benefit from educational activities. By providing anytime, anywhere access to learning resources and interactive discussion, these courses can transform the educational enterprise and enable the modern student to participate in a wide range of learning experiences. Course management systems herald the advent of a new agora along with various newsgroups, listservers and chat rooms proliferating on the World Wide Web. The transformation of society into a globalized economy with instant communications across the planet enables a wider dialogue of cultures and broader exchange of ideas. In this busy, electronically mediated environment, is it possible that the humanities are seeing a renaissance that will revolutionize their impact on society? This paper proposes to take a closer look at the practice of online courses and their potential impact on the teaching and learning of the humanities.
(Virtual Presentation, English)