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Published:December 3rd, 2005 10:44 EST

Dean: Learn technology now

By Matthew Kent

Adjust to technology in education or be left behind was the advice of a speaker Monday night.

Charles Rohn, dean of the college of education/professional studies, said at the school of technology's global centennial symposium that education has dramatically affected technology over the last 100 years.

He said educators have challenges since young people know how to use technology better than them. He also emphasized educators need to be prepared because technology will affect them 30 years from now.

"The ability to keep up is tremendously difficult," Rohn said. "By 2020, computers will have the processing power of the human brain."

He also talked about virtual campuses and how students are obtaining their degrees online.

"There have been educators who have asked whether we can maintain the quality of education through this," Rohn said.

He said third-grade students in a local county in Virginia have decided to not use textbooks, but instead are using laptops for all courses.

"There are no copy machines; no paper clips, no staples," Rohn said.

He said he has a great concern about the move that they have made.

"It's an incremental change and a broad sweeping-revolution change -- they have jumped off the edge of the cliff," he said.

He also said people need to find an appropriate balance and said it's a challenge. He added that technology and computers aren't going to solve problems in the world but said, "We can't ignore the opportunities that technology offers us."

Kipp Kruse, department chair of biological sciences, said technology has drastically affected biology. He spoke about biotechnology, a method used to produce useful biological substances.

He said the issue of cloning is "an ethical and moral issue that needs to be debated among legislators and philosophers."

He said science is a process that needs to continue.

"There is an 80 to 90 percent probability that cloning stem cell research will save your life or the life of a loved one within the next 10 years," Kruse said.

He added that biotechnology will "produce medical advances beyond our wildest dreams. Never be afraid of science," Kruse said.