Universities in the digital age

This week’s tutorial’s and readings explored the changing technological landscape in relation to education, in particular, University education. Richard E.Millar investigates his theory that we are currently ‘living through the greatest change in human communication in human history’. To me, this is an exciting concept. It could potentially change and affect many areas of our lives. Change is apparent in our social lives with a study estimating that American’s spend on average, 16 minutes out of every waking hour on social media websites. Millar states in his YouTube presentation ‘This is how we dream’ that change is incremental rather than fundamental – a concept that is vital in allowing society to keep up with the monumental changes that we are currently living through.

Millar focuses on the need for Universities to understand that we are living in a time where change is constant. He argues that students need to be taught relevant skills that will enable them to make the most of the new media landscape. At present, the skills being taught have been irrelevant for the past few years. Students need to know how to effectively interact with new mediums to be able firstly become employed, and secondly, have the required skills to perform tasks that are asked of them. We have surpassed the days where social media skills were specialized. It is now expected by employers that graduates have a working knowledge of various social media platforms – call it a product of the Gen Y reputation.

Millar’s proposed solution? Encourage students to think creatively and teach them how to express this in a collaborative manner. Equip them with the ability to generate new idea’s with a fresh delivery method. To achieve this, Universities can teach students how to edit video’s, interact in a professional manner on social media and generate reports with multiple mediums to increase its effectiveness. I propose that these skills need to be recognized as a necessity in today’s age, and not seen as specialized skill needed by a select few.

 

References:

– Miller, R (2010) ‘The Coming Apocalypse’, Pedagogy Winter 2010 10(1): 143-151

– Schell, E (2009) ‘Online Education, Contingent Faculty and Open Source Unionism’ in Toward a Global Autonomous University (eds) The Edu-factory collective, Autonmedia New York pp 114 – 118

– Gaudin, S (2013) ‘Americans spend 16 minutes of every hour online on social nets’ [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/459379/americans_spend_16_minutes_every_hour_online_social_nets/ (Accessed: 15 April 2013)

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