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October 30, 2007 / compassioninpolitics

Communication and Education = R/evolution: “A Vision of Students” and You


The Cultural Revolution:
Is everything miscellaneous? For us? For today’s students? Folks like Weinberger and Mike Wesch and his students are asking imporant questions like “Where are we heading culturally? And is education keeping up? These are questions that I’m pretty passionate about because it frames how we relate to each other and who “we” are. Wesch’s video has been bouncing around the blogosphere since about October 12th.

Professor Wesch, whose students put this together, suggests:

This video explores the changes in the way we find, store, create, critique, and share information. This video was created as a conversation starter, and works especially well when brainstorming with people about the near future and the skills needed in order to harness, evaluate, and create information effectively.

What does this revolution mean for you and the world?
There are a number of perspectives on the web from different social sectors (education, marketing, technology, and religion) that weigh in directly or indirectly on this ongoing cultural revolution:

Inititally, the video certainly confirms that we are media snackers as Web Strategist Jeremiah suggests.

Second, DC Curry at Granger Community Church has questions about what this cultural revolution means for teens, churches, and youth ministers in his post “What students are trying to tell us.”

In a similar vein, digital marketing guru Mitch Joel suggests you drop everything and watch this video.

Certainly this changes the face of publishing and books and perhaps even Amazon. Fewer book shelves, more tagging. Merlin Mann at 43 folders suggests this means the future is hybrid. While this is true, when is the last time you purchased a wax record, tape, or cd? (to be true: the analogy is less than perfect, but instructive)

The Signs of the Revolution are Everywhere:
For those that doubt the reality of the revolution Facebook, Myspace, Google (perhaps including mobile due to a recent aquisition of Zingku), and Hulu (a new AOL/NBC video platform from with some rave reviews like Giga Om’s simple “Brilliant”) are all pushing new changes that will have ripple effects in the new media communication and culture. The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers like the Washington Post and the Politico (YouTube) have been making steady moves into the social media space. Its made the frontpage of most major magazines in country, including being featured in the Time Magazine Person of the Year for 2006. One only wonders when Apple will make its splash in social media space. Certainly, its hiring of a YouTuber to create advertising does signal that it recognizes the revolution.

What now? How can I learn more about our cultural location at the tipping point of the revolution?
For those interested in the revolution in communications, technology, and culture, Wesch has made the text of the video available here. Wesch’s students have put together about 30 videos that anthropologically explore different aspects communication via platforms like YouTube. It serves as a metaphor for interative digital communication and community. You might also like Wesch’s introduction to Web 2.0.

Your Perspective/Your Role and Identity/Your Thoughts:
What are your thoughts about this revolution? About the digital divide? About new media, mobile, and interactive digital technologies? The video questions the core our information explosion and digitally induced ADD? Wesch asks important questions like “Are we using technology or is technology using us?” on his video the Machine is Us/ing Us. What do you think? Is the revolution for the better or worse? Is it an attention economy or a trust economy or both?

Enjoy the digital culture!

Bonus: For those of you who appreciate the wisdom of Marshall McLuhan check out slideshare (thanks to Chris Brogan):

Just click on the forward arrow to see the next slide. You may just want to check out a couple, given that its a long presentation.

Update: Check out these great education 2.0 videos here. You may also want to check out my resource post on elearning and distance learning tools and solutions.

thanks to wise acre for the creative commons flickr photo.



Leave a Comment
  1. Ariah Fine / Oct 30 2007 4:03 am

    Fascinating video, and an excellent set of links and thoughts as well.

    Hope all is well.

  2. birdiechamp / Feb 7 2011 4:45 pm

    Students have a rich vocabulary; a rich language that is evolving into a cant that teachers and parents are excluded from. How can we expect to facilitate learning if we don’t take the time to learn their language? Their culture? The digital patois is the new acrolect, and teachers and parents are becoming clueless bumblers!


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