Yesterday I had the very great pleasure of teaching some of the Read/Write Web tools to a group of professors at the new CUNY Gradute School of Journalism which will open this fall. Jeff Jarvis asked me to join him and his son Jake (who is quite the Digg maven.) As usual, I feel like I learned more than I taught.
Interspersed with the presentations about wikis and podcasting and screencasting, there were some pretty heated, interesting discussions about what all of this means for journalism in general and journalism education in specific. Obviously, journalism schools need to address and include the explosion of citizen journalism tools, but to what extent? And what happens to the traditional standards that journalists are expected to uphold? In a world where there are now literally millions of media outlets, one where people can find trustworthy sources of information that haven’t been educated in the finer traditions of journalism, how do J schools best deal with that reality? There was a palpable frustration in the room at times, but the conversation was extremely thoughtful and provocative.
And it was relevant to education in general, too. I just think these are such interesting times, especially as one who has experienced such a transformation in my own life from using these tools. It’s neat to be able to step back from these other transformations that are just beginning and see them in that context, something I don’t think too many people who haven’t sipped the Kool-Aid can do. (Listening to the passion with which Jeff made the case for change was pretty inspiring.) Doesn’t mean I have a clear idea of how education will eventually deal with these changes, but it does mean that I know with certainty that serious change is imminent. We’ve got to get more people to that point, and we do that by starting the difficult conversations that people are going to have to engage in. CUNY is taking a step in that direction.
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