The changing face of arboricultural education – a global perspective
The rapid pace of technological change is having a significant impact on the way people learn. From university courses to continuing professional education, arboricultural instruction is increasingly headed “on-line”. Distance education programs and online self-study courses are a fast growing segment of the arboricultural learning. Faculty members are no longer “the sage on the stage” – they are now the “guide on the side” as well.
This presentation will explore how arboricultural education is changing on a global scale, and what that means for research, education, and the practice of tree care. Members of an increasingly fast-paced society, especially the Millennial Generation, depend upon accessible information to help them solve problems, manage resources, and develop leadership. In this way, learning is unbound by space and time, and unlike rigid courses, online learning can be paced with separable modules indexed to each person’s needs. Like the importance of species diversity in the urban forest itself, this diversity of learning delivery will pay great dividends in the coming years.
High-tech will never completely replace high-touch, but will impact how we learn and work as arborists caring for our diverse landscapes.
Paul D. Ries is the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry Program at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, USA, where he teaches online courses in arboriculture, urban forestry, and green infrastructure. He also directs a program that provides technical urban forestry assistance to cities, community groups, and non-profit organizations. He holds BS and MS degrees in Natural Resources and is nearing completion of a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He has been a Certified Arborist since 1988 and serves as President-Elect of the International Society of Arboriculture.