I really think that one of the reasons these tools are going to fundamentally change the way we educators do our business is because they are fundamentally changing the way all sorts of other people do their work. Nowhere is that more true than journalism and media which in many ways are being turned on their heads by the ability of any of us (with access) to now contribute to the news and meme making streams. Jeff Jarvis has a great post that looks at how one media organization, Reuters, is really getting the shift, and so much of what they are experiencing can apply to us as well. Substitute the word “student” for “consumer” in the following statement by CEO Tom Glocer and you’ll see what I mean:

They’re consuming, they’re creating, they’re sharing, and they’re publishing themselves. So the consumer wants to not only run the printing preess, the consumer wants to set the Linotype as well…

Our industry is facing a profound challenge from home-created content… If we create the right crossroads, provide the consumers with the appropriate tools…we can harnass what otherwise from the outside would look like a punk revolution…

We do need to harness all of the creative energy that is now at the hands of our students (with access.) I say this in my presentations all the time, but how cool would it be for us to remind our kids to “publish your homework” instead of simply hand it in? We can do that now.

Glocer also says that “what we are seeing today is an almost continuing talent show,” and I really like that image. It reminds me of a quote from a book by Marc Rosenberg, Beyond E-Learning I’ve been working through where he says “don’t call them learners:”

Thinking about e-learning in new ways has to start with existing paradigms that might be holding you back. Calling people what they really are is a good beginning, but if you must use a generic term, a better one might be performer (23).

Anyone who as ever taught knows what a difference performance can make when it comes to learning. We teach through performance, not in the getting up on stage sense but in the delivering the content in meaningful, relevant ways sense. It’s not enough to “know” it, which is what standardized test require. We have to be able to make meaning of it as well.

The whole post and ensuing comments are worth the read…