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Power to the students!

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This is a response to this article:

This was another pretty complicated and deep article. This person definitely has a better grasp on their field than I ever will in my life. But I think I got the overall idea of the article, and there were a couple of sections in there that resonated with me. This is one of those sections:

“We should invite students to be active co-developers, to use our web services and show us, what can be done with them. If we are doing things right, we will be surprised by how people will use it. Several years ago, I hired a student who made a name for himself in web scraping the Berkeley course catalog system to create an alternative and reportedly superior, interface. Ideally, we can create our systems so that student[s] should not have to web-scrape our systems, but have an API to access the data and wrap their own interface.”24

What is the harm in allowing students to work with the things the school has created? If they truly believe they are using the best software or the best interface (how can UMW think blackboard is the best) than why would they be scarred to let students tinker with it? If a student designs it in a way in which works better for everyone, the school has only gained something.  Also, students are going to learn a heck of a lot more this way. As of right now if the students don’t like something, all they can do is complain to the people in higher powers to change it for them. But in a system suggested in the article, students now become responsible for their education, because they have no excuse anymore. If they don’t like something, then they have the ability to go and change it for themselves. Seems like a pretty simple idea?

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