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Re: [xmca] Will Professors be the ice deliverymen of tomorrow?

Research in Australia consistently shows that students attend university in order to collaborate with other students and that this is where they learn most. The current circumstances have created a situation where students are now tending to visit the campus just to attend lectures and tutorials and then (like your friend, Greg) return to their employment. Government intervention to crush student political life and commericalise student recreation has combined to destroy campus life and on-line learning unfortuantely kind of facilitates this process. In itself I think on-line learning is a wonderful boon. It is not the cause of the problem. It is the equivalent of the life-support system which allows the family to delay the patient's death.


Greg Thompson wrote:
I do enjoy Postman's work (who, by the way, was a long-time editor of the
mainline journal General Semantics, ETC). Here is a video that I thought
might be more on point:

Somewhere around 12 minutes in he quotes an Apple exec who says that any
problem in education that hasn't been solved without technology will not be
solved WITH technology. And as I was suggesting in my prior post, it might
be the case that technology will only make pre-existing problems worse.


On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>wrote:

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:

The article is a thoughtful engagement with the question of whether or
professors will be made obsolete by online teaching at the college level.

Setting aside knee-jerk responses from this professorial hopeful, it
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
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
knowledge is shared and/or relatively presupposable between folks on
end of the on-line connection - as is the case with culturally advantaged
middle (and upper) class students - things are likely to go more
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

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
morning, fishing and hunting in the afternoon, and being a critical
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).


Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Sanford I. Berman Post-Doctoral Scholar
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition
Department of Communication
University of California, San Diego
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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/concepts

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