Rethinking education in media times

There are a lot of things we could argue in this video. Web 2.0 is neither going to solve nor eradicate power structures, hierarchy, modes of production or identity issues. But we need to understand that the web does not have a life of itself we make it alive by our actions and interactions. As it happens in communities, societies and nations participation is not a consistent activity; there are different degrees of integration and negotiation that by nature it creates different conditions over a period of time. Working together creates similarities as well as differences – then the resulting relations reflect the full complexity of doing things together.

Problems of power structures, inequality and so are the results of our practices in the offline world and therefore we should expect them to persist in the web 2.0 world. That said, it does not mean that the online world is a pure reflection of offline practices because the way we engage and negotiate are especially different to each environment and time.

But there is something interesting about the duality of the off and on-line world and is how our habits in both of those realities are affecting they way we perceive and interact in those two separated but closely related worlds. We bring our traditional way of thinking and doing into the web and at the same time we find ways to bring habits we developed in the digital world to our off-line lives. The line between the off and on-line world is becoming very fuzzy, just think of your identity among those two realities and think, who you really are.

The paradigms of online power, hierarchies, production and identity are changing the way we think and therefore the way we develop our thinking. We learn from both worlds offline and online sometimes we learn more from one than the other but both are affecting each of us. Schooling help us understand and internalize what we learn from the web as much as online contexts and communities help us understand our schooling. What I am saying here is that web is fast moving driven partially by larger communities of people and on the contrary schools systems. They tend to be static and driven my small groups of people who have little in common with the students interests and needs. We need to rethink the role and nature of formal education otherwise it will always talk about the theoretical potentials of the web. I would like to formal education and academics need to adopt common practices from the web 2.0 such as sharing and circulation of knowledge.

It is a strong contraction to read about peer-to-peer learning and the collaborative knowledge processes that take place on the web from books that are not posted online for larger audiences. No wonder why students read more from blog and websites than books. There are millions of sites, they are only a click away, they are free (though not always) and lots of time are shaped and formulated by the people who are interested on it. I am not advising to get rid of books and libraries but they should exist in both environments equally. Otherwise formal education will look at the web as competition when by all means they should complement each others to create healthier and stronger learning spaces.


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