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Re: [xmca] Will Professors be the ice deliverymen of tomorrow? The question of professorial obsolescence

On this and wider themes, here's a video of Neil Postman:



On 30 July 2012 18:00, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com> wrote:

> Thought that this article called for some meditation by us younger
> scholars, and perhaps some discussion by young and old:
> http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/07/30/essay-whether-online-education-will-make-professors-obsolete
> The article is a thoughtful engagement with the question of whether or not
> professors will be made obsolete by online teaching at the college level.
> Setting aside knee-jerk responses from this professorial hopeful, it seems
> like what is needed is some good quality research on the diff between
> online and co-present teaching. And, in particular, what can be taught more
> effectively with online courses and with what is lost in these kinds of
> learning contexts? I think Robert Lecusay (among many others) has got the
> beginning of an answer to this question with his in progress dissertation
> that points to the importance of bodily co-presence for the mediation of
> local cultural knowledge of various sorts. This also points in the
> unfortunate direction of a new kind of digital divide: when local cultural
> knowledge is shared and/or relatively presupposable between folks on either
> end of the on-line connection - as is the case with culturally advantaged
> middle (and upper) class students - things are likely to go more smoothly.
> This raises the possibility that online courses will further disadvantage
> those who are already disadvantaged b.c. of the increased difficulty of
> drawing on local funds of knowledge when the student's funds of knowledge
> differ from those of the (mostly middle-class)  instructors. Not a pretty
> picture.
> On the other hand, for those students whose local cultural knowledge
> matches up well with the instructor's, online learning can open up new
> possibilities. I had a student last quarter who had a younger brother in
> high school who did an online self homeschooling program. He would spend
> his mornings doing schoolwork - finishing by noon - and would spend his
> afternoon making good money as a contractor designing websites. Maybe not
> quite what Marx had in mind with his idea of working at the factory in the
> morning, fishing and hunting in the afternoon, and being a critical critic
> in the evening, but I wonder if there isn't a way to see technology as
> having a liberatory component to it and to capital-ize on it without
> fetishizing it (much as Marx saw capitalism).
> -greg
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
> Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
> Department of Communication
> University of California, San Diego
> http://ucsd.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
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