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Bryan Alexander; 2022: My Thoughts

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First of all, I’d like to say that I found Alexander’s lecture to be very interesting and I watched the entire video.  Starting out, I didn’t think that I would enjoy it, nor did I belive I’d watch the whole thing. The shaggy hair and unkept beard didn’t do a lot for me when I first saw his picture and I didn’t expect anything remarkable when I pressed play on the Vimeo video. And since I couldn’t skip ahead to a part that wasn’t buffered, I simply started from the beginning.  And now I’m glad I did.

For my future, I chose to examine Alexander’s idea of “Alt.Residence”.


New college students get to explore a building that they get to “decorate” with their own alternate reality layer (inspired by Alexander’s lecture). This would be very important as it would be updated by the class as time progressed, yet there would be version retention like a wiki so they could compare dates and public opinion about certain buildings and even classrooms.  Everything would be interactive about the physical location and people would constantly use location services to check in or automatically transmit where they are.  Finding friends would be as easy as looking them up on the college intranet (not internet, the college’s network).


Dorms would be places of sleep, but rarely places of study.  In 2022 the college campus would provide free beverages in all lounges and encourage students to gather in social hubs in order to encourage closeness in regards to physical proximity.  Online interactions would be so standard that getting people together in the same place would be valued as an academic tool and something that encourages learning, although people would be collaborating in real time online.


Classes would be important for learning, but not in the sense they are now. Teachers would (again, in accordance with Alexander’s lecture) guide students instead of teaching them.  I see the internet being the most valuable tool a student can use in class and all textbooks being fully digitized. Learning would be done with online resources that were freely available with little to no course costs involved.  Courses would be much more centered on creating things, such as blog posts or online essays (even video responses) then exams or finals.


At my previous community college I did take multiple online-only classes for a variety of topics.  This was due mainly to the fact that I lived in a very rural area and didn’t want to drive 40 minutes to school if I didn’t have to. The system wasn’t that positive of an experience for me.  The biggest challenges I faced while learning online was concentrating in class.  I think the ‘Alt.Residential’ idea fixes this by still having a physical location for school.  It isn’t like “Phantom Learning” in which schools are rare yet learning is still happening at an accelerated pace.

In the future I do hope that learning in an online capacity is greatly improved and still a social college experience. Although you can learn a lot online, like I did for both HTML and web programming, there’s a certain secret ingredient that can get lost when you don’t have peers to learn alongside you.  Part of why I really enjoyed this course was being able to offer feedback to my fellow students and them doing the same for me.  It was a great system that helped me learn more than I would have on my own.

Unlike the “Lost Decade”, I think Alt.Residence offers a realistic and hopeful future that really focuses on content creators instead of just content consumers (as most people, and college students, are today).  Cheers to tomorrow.

– Paul

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