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Metaeducation

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Today’s videos were very much about using digital technology to assist in the education of this upcoming generation (and subsequents) – and by “assist in” I mean “drive”; and by “education” I don’t mean the job training that lots of kids come to college for, but actual, no-shit betterment. That is to say, these guys, Michael Wesch and Gardner Campbell, are futurists who see, or have a vision of, where technology is taking us culturally and what that means for us in a broader sense – ie, as a species.

There are some of us out there who see that as inevitable. If you take your view of technology from the meaning its root ??????, or child, you include as technology any invention of humanity and not just all this newfangled digital stuff. From there, it’s easy to show that technology is driving human evolution – just look at medicine. Look at how many people who might have died instead lived and passed on their genes. Our species is now selecting artificially, or some hybrid of natural (those things that men and women find inexplicably irresistible about each other, like facial symmetry) and artificial (you can have the most beautiful face in the world but you can still get killed by a predator unless you’ve got a spear).

I seem to have strayed from my original point, so I’ll get back to it. Suddenly with this technology we’re becoming better or at least more able to express ourselves, but like Campbell says, it’s a bag of gold that you might not know how to reach out and grab unless someone shows you how. And that’s a failure of the LMS (Reverend, if you can enlighten me on just what that stands for that would be awesome) system, the so-called “digital facelift” that institutes of higher learning have been implementing.

*coughcoughBlackboardcough*

You’re not being shown how to do anything, you’re not being required to challenge yourself to learn how to navigate in these strange-ass seas that we’ve just discovered, you’re basically being put in one of those Jurassic Park auto-pilot Jeeps which do all your thinking for you. And we all know how that turned out.

This is more of a point Campbell was making than was Wesch, but his was a long video, full of tangents and just a bit of (justified!) self-aggrandizement. Time to close, and I’ll close with this:

When I got the email from Jim Groom that we were supposed to purchase our own domain and hosting, I got pissed – as I’m sure many of you did. But I got the hell over it, because:

  • It’s cheaper than a textbook; and
  • Guess where we’re going, folks? Digital. I learn best by sink-or-swim. And I ain’t gonna sink.

Til next time.

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