Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Revolution from the edge: students posting class recordings

Classes put on the web by students
The power of Cluetrain [Link], as delivered via Web 2.0 technologies, is that the Internet empowers individuals to engage in a global conversation. Now normal citizens can be accessable as networks, media houses, corporations, governments and universities in delivering information about products, goods, services and ideas. On the Internet all URLs are equal.

In the past it was just well funded institutions that controlled the media and thus the conduits of information. In the past there was only direct dial up one-to-one phone communication between ordinary citizens. Ordinary citizens, as frustrated customers, could call their friends on the phone, or perhaps go to their window and yell out "I am mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore." But, their angry voices would only carry so far. The mass media was controlled by institutions who provided monologues of information and controlled and spun the message. A monologue is not a conversation.

Not any more! Here is an example as relates to education. Educational content is reaching the Internet not just by the institution and faculty putting it there. Students with small portable devices are now able to record and post lectures. They are doing it [Andrew Venegas recording Link.] Students are pushing the envelope. If we, as the institutions, strive to control content and the message, perhaps we are wasting our time fighting against the tide.

The nature of the Internet, and Internet enabled individuals, is that it (and they) route around obstacles. Maybe our time would be better spent learning how Cluetrain can be remixed to relate to education [Scott Adams, Cluetrain for Education Link.] Maybe working together with our customers, the students, we can help education content become more open. Perhaps we can spark a real open conversation, and not a series of monologues, by tearing down the walls to learning.

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