[Edu-sig] Introducing classes

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Sun Mar 5 06:25:24 CET 2006

> The difference in our sensitivities here has to do with the fact that I am
> unwilling to forget that the media our kids are experiencing is as it is
> only as a matter of market forces.  The classroom should be a haven, and a
> respite and a counterforce.  And one way to communicate to kids that we are
> somewhere else, is to turn off the TV.
> Art

We should distinguish between TV as a medium for communication, and
the programming (content).

With free Google video streaming etc., more affordable equipment, it's
ever more feasible for kids to author their own media, which is what
my earlier cited blog post was in part about.

And you could get educational videos other than via commerical
broadcast or even cable.  Yes, these cost money to produce, but so do
text books.

>From my point of view, economics doesn't stop at the school house even
pre-TV.  This idea of a "haven" seems ultra-naive.  Those text book
companies have a bottom line to think about, plus economic needs have
always shaped what gets taught (or *not* taught as the case may be). 
I worked at McGraw-Hill in the 1980s.  I'm not entirely clueless about
these things.

I think TV as a medium is what kids need fluency in, as creators, not
just passive consumers.  Watch what others have done with an eye
towards doing your own.  Same as in music, other media.

I think to NOT make this medium a part of schooling is part of the
cultural and generational breakdown that's happening around school. 
Kids get brought up on TV from a very young age, develop their brains
around it, but then are expected to go cold turkey with when it comes
to formal education.  That's really screwed up.  It's not a haven we
create, but a bandwidth starvation zone.


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