What is next?

Community Memory, from Computer History Museum

I think our way of schooling has changed with Covid19, and will keep changing. Most of us are now schooling at home now. Pleasantly I started online education last year, but with Covid-19 this year, exams have also become online.

I already studied math and physics at Istanbul University, and graduated in 1982. Then studied computer science at New York City college (1985-87), but did not graduate. Now I’m studying GIS (geographical information systems) as a second education online, after working in information technologies departments for years.

As a result of those, I am able to compare education in İstanbul and in New York City, and with online education. Moreover, of course there should be some comparison between training and education.

When I was getting my first degree, I didn’t have too many books in Turkish to study. Most of the time our teachers were giving away some texts they wrote. I had one french math book from my father, still have it with me. There were no books recommended to read by our teachers then. So we listened to our teachers in classrooms and took notes. To study we had the text books they prepared for us and those notes. I remember last semester we had a basic programming lecture about Basic language. I didn’t see any kind of computer at Istanbul University at that time, so we wrote down o a paper.

Before graduation I began working for Arçelik as a programmer.. I learned about the Cobol language over there. I developed some software about stock control, accounting, payroll, vouchers(or notes) and so on. I tried to clear bugs when we moved to a new version of Burroughs mainframe. On job training was like talking and listening face to face with the supervisor for a few hours in a day. I tried to read the manuals, even though I knew so little about English at that time. The Burroughs 3500 did not have any monitor connected to it. So again I was using a special notebook to write programming sentences on. Then the tape punch group was recording what I wrote on a tape. Replacing the tape on the tape unit and preparing the compiling punched-cards it was possible to transfer the software on the mainframe disks and run it. When we had printouts we were distributing around the company to related departments. Then Burroughs 6800 came in with two SPOs(monitors). That was the time when we began to use punched-cards less. I remember taking a training about DMS2 database. That was the first training I took outside of the company. I guess that was the time when training became an important part of information technologies departments.

However, while in CUNY it was different, I learned Pascal programming language using computer – mainframe-. Do you remember black and green monitors which were connected to the mainframe? Then I made an adding machine after buying chips and resistors and so on. It was a two digit adding calculator 😀 That was a great experience to learn how computers are working. I believe every computer related education must have such lectures. Having some family issues I returned back before graduating, and started to work in IT departments again.

There are always some advancements in any field of IT -information technologies, so learning must continue. I began to use the internet for accounting purposes when a bank brought its green monitor to the accounting department in 1989. When I watched IT Crowds The Internet episodes I laughed a lot. Anyway, I kept taking face-to-face training in classrooms. I don’t remember coming across any online training then.

Then there were many training companies around for face-to-face training, between 1990- 2010. Then some began to offer online training, some closed down. I tried to understand why they were closing down. Of course it was a business decision and money is involved.. I figured because it was possible to learn many things for free. Free seminars, webinars, articles and so on.

Since then there are many chances to learn from the internet, even universities like MIT, Stanford are offering free online courses. Since 2019 I have been trying to learn the R language from the internet. There are lots of resources to learn.

The first step was the Internet, next was new programming languages, then cloud computing, then new storage facilities, new faster network devices, all together here is the possibility to keep so much information on the Internet.

As a result, I think the way of education and the way of training will keep changing. Today we are freely having online education and training. I’m studying GIS online. But I believe in the near future we will be talking about boutique education depending on our curiosity, like Battery University. I think there should be the possibility to take different courses, since many are related to each other anyway. For instance for marketing one needs to know how to use words, needs to know about some graphical design, needs to know about math… and many more. Another example.. A developer must keep learning new languages, must know about the subject she/he is developing, must keep up with new devices.. And many more..

Moreover, education is a continuous thing in our lives. I think there should be the possibility to decide when to take those different courses.

Maybe university will last a lifetime and will offer boutique education  in near future.. 

There is a related research I would like to share it here too: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2020/new-era-higher-ed-employer-collaboration.aspx?linkId=93150502&redir=true

Education/Learning will be lifelong and I think we should be ready for “On demand education”. I believe it will be much more successful, if schools will respond to employers.

Bye for now..

©Oya Şanlı, June 9, 2020

Ps: don’t forget to read the series.. What is next?

Last updated by oyasanli at July 7, 2020.

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