Although philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey was born before the telephone was invented, he recognized education must be innovative in order to meet the needs of an ever-evolving and dynamic world, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
Today, we are witnessing a societal transformation where the advancements in technology are drastically changing the way we live, work and interact. In his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Karl Schwab, describes this period as one “that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.”
With this in mind, static education is no longer sufficient to prepare graduates for sustained success. Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock wrote: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
Sam Houston State University’s vision to be the best at educating the next generation of professionals is predicated on our ability to go beyond the receipt of a diploma, reimagining the educational process as a lifelong learning experience.
As an early adopter of distance learning, SHSU has been on the forefront of merging proven online teaching practices with advancements in technology. As a result of this successful convergence, the Texas State University System leads the state with the highest percentage of fully online students.
Today, over 11,400 students are taking at least one online course at Sam Houston State, and a quarter of semester credit hours are generated online. Over forty fully online degree programs are taught by certified faculty, which has led to national recognition and top rankings.
While technology has expanded choices, facilitated access, and broadened the definition of a student; our commitment to a quality education and learning experience has not wavered. SHSU Online, in partnership with our faculty, goes to great lengths to ensure an online classroom mirrors the educational experience found on campus.
As this technological revolution unfolds, as educators, we must never lose sight of our purpose, helping learners reach their full human potential. In his book, Schwab reminds us that while “there has never been a time of greater promise,” we must collectively “shape a future that works for all by putting people first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all of these new technologies are first and foremost tools made by people for people.”
At Sam Houston State University, it is the people—students, faculty, staff, alumni and donors, who have always made the real difference.