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King University News :: King Professors Discuss Technology and Globalization at Conferences in Florida and Texas

Three King professors, Dr. Cara E. Anderson, dean of King’s School of Education, Dr. Eric L. Richardson, dean of King’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies Online Programs, and Mrs. Rebecca Thomas, associate dean of Institutional Effectiveness and faculty member in King’s School of Business, presented “What Happens when ‘Dial-up’ Meets Globalization” at the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., on Oct 10-12, 2012, and at the 2012 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 8-11, 2012. 

The professors’ presentation explored rural non-traditional students’ access and use of technology and how “global readiness” evolves with developing technological skills.  Many colleges and universities focus on “digital natives” - students said to make up today’s traditional undergraduate student population.  

During a Dec. 8, 2012 article on CNN titled “What does it mean to be a digital native,” reporter Oliver Joy stated “The post-millennial ‘digital native,’ a term coined by U.S. author Marc Prensky in 2001, is emerging as the globe’s dominant demographic while the ‘digital immigrant,’ becomes a relic of a previous time.  The digital native-immigrant concept describes the generational switchover where people are defined by the technological culture which they’re familiar with.”

Anderson, Richardson, and Thomas’ presentations spoke of how often discussions focus on the adaptation of instructional strategies and technological resources which assist these digital natives in successful learning.  

“Common is the conversation in academia that college graduates must be ready for the global market,” said Richardson.  “While the traditional undergraduate population, as always, remains an important group at colleges and universities, the enrollment of the non-traditional professional student population continues to increase.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2011), enrollment of non-traditional students (ages 25 and over) is projected to increase by 23 percent from 2010 to 2019.  This compares to a nine percent increase of traditional students (25 years or younger) during the same period. 

“For some non-traditional students, particularly students who reside in rural areas, their concept of globalization - and their place within it - is dependent upon their access to technology,” said Richardson.  “Though assumptions are made about the time the ‘typical’ 20 year old ‘digital native’ spends using his/her IPAD, Android, or Facebook, we still have reason to ask whether non-traditional students are ready to meet the technological demands of the college curriculum.  Students in professional programs are most often older than the traditional student, ready to change their vocational path, and taking their first chance at obtaining a college degree.  

“Understanding students’ access to technology and their proficiency in the use of technology, colleges and universities can identify areas in academic programs that can be designed or enhanced to better address students’ needs and expectations,” said Richardson.


King University is a Presbyterian, master's-level comprehensive university.  Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, digital media, education, and humanities.  Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing.  A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available.  King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity athletic teams.  For more information about King University, visit  King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.  King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia.  For more information, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.