Sunday, January 13, 2008
I'd like to start off this semester by having each of you view and respond to this video. I was pretty affected when I saw this, and I believe a lot of the problems it points to in today's education system (especially as it functions in relation to student responsibilities and habits) are very very real, even at high ranking schools like Whitman. I think this video is a good jumping off point from which to begin my new genre art classes this Spring semester. In some sense, it is a call for a "new genre" of information delivery and of information sharing; one that begets new and stronger types of critical thinking. As many of you know, I have long been a proponent of youtube.com and the internet in general as a source of knowledge and a sharing tool for members of a class. So now I ask you: is it time we moved over more fully into new formats? Should we leave behind more traditional classroom traditions such as the written essay, the one way lecture, the expensive, hardly read textbook. Or, are we losing critical skills regarding the focus required to take in information and distill it or put it together? How do you manage your own multi-tasking needs? Are you comfortable with how you work and what you work on, or do you wish/feel that you were naturally more engaged? In the spirit of these changes, one of the primary requirements for this class is going to be regular use--posting and responding to posts-- on this blog. But before I explain all of what I will be asking you to do on it, let me know what you think. How does this video strike you? And also, what do you see as some ways to move ahead to find yourself more actively engaged--both with your peers and your professors--and less distracted and/or bored? I'll be very interested to read your candid responses.