Some examples of truly disruptive innovation, curated by Brian Solis for LeWeb 2014,
Can robots revolutionise education- and the way we use the internet?
A lesson learnt from a long weekend marking students' work.
Links to all my liveblogs of Like Minds 2012 day one. Plus some photos you may not have seen...
So, today the (allegedly) British media goes into its annual frenzy of exam-results celebration, in predictable style. First we have the pretty girls celebrating.
Tomorrow, inevitably, it’ll be all about how A-levels have been dumbed down
But that’s not what’s really irritating me.
No, I’m niggled by the same thing I’ve been annoyed by since I was a teenager growing up in Scotland. The Scottish exam results came out two weeks ago, but would you know it from coverage from our supposedly national media? No you blooming’ well wouldn’t. A few stories about the text-messsage cock-up, sure. But a live-blog? Nope.
Elitist, shallow and London-centric media? You betcha.
I’ve gone a bit quiet, haven’t I? Sorry about that, but I’ve been busy, holidaying and sick, but not necessarily in that order. One element of the busyness was this:
Yes, I was back in Cardiff to guest lecture to this year’s crop of postgraduate journalism students. And an interesting experience it was, too. This bunch seemed to be more aware of social media and the changes in journalism than those of a year ago. There were some good challenging questions from them about entrepreneurial journalism, and a couple of them came to talk to me afterwards about their own plans and ideas for journalism businesses.
It might not be good news for big companies, but the fact that the spirit of journalism is alive and well in the younger generation – and actively trying to create its own means of funding itself, gives me a lot of hope for the future.
And I can’t resist sharing this piece of art (right) that was created by Caroline Cook, one of the students, for her Broadsheet Boutique blog. It’s always interesting seeing how your lecture filters through into the student’s blogs. Thank The Monkey (good advice in most circumstances) sums up parts of my argument pretty well, and you’ve got to love someone who’s been inpired to turn their blog into a party. And I’m really glad this point came across loud and clear:
Without sounding cheesy, if you are not passionate, interested, or keen, about what you are blogging about, why should your readers be? If you enjoy what you are doing it will be a pleasure to update your blog 3 or 4 times a week…*cough*. If you are not enjoying writing your own blog, it is unlikely people will enjoy reading it, and from a business point of view, this will result in swift homelessness.
The good Doctor Tinworth, my wife Lorna, has told me many times how Wikipedia is becoming a battleground in universities, particularly in the sciences. More and more students are handing in papers which cite only Wikipedia as a source. Anyone who knows anything about how scientific literature functions, and the fundamental concepts that underpin it, can see that as a problem. Wikipedia is closing the specialist students’ minds to potential information, not opening them to it.
In light of Lorna’s comments, danah boyd‘s contribution to a discussion about the role of sites such as Wikipedia on the Britannia Blog makes a lot of sense:
Why are we telling our students not to use Wikipedia rather than educating them about how Wikipedia works? Sitting in front of us is an ideal opportunity to talk about how knowledge is produced, how information is disseminated, how ideas are shared. Imagine if we taught the “history” feature so that students would have the ability to track how a Wikipedia entry is produced and assess for themselves what the authority of the author is. You can’t do this with an encyclopedia. Imagine if we taught students how to fact check claims in Wikipedia and, better yet, to add valuable sources to a Wikipedia entry so that their work becomes part of the public good.
And perhaps that’s a good route for educators to take: move from step one (reject) to step two (embrace and extend). It’s a blue monster moment all of their own.
The Washington Post has published an interesting article by a law professor about students attending classes with laptops open. It calls into question the idea that the younger generation are as able to multi-task and process as many information sources as we think they can.
Is he being reactionary, or is this going to be a genuine problem?
Ironically, I’m typing this in an internal meeting with my attention on 50% on the proceedings.
Martin Stabe has some good advice for journalism schools:
Journalism schools need to teach their students that blogs are internet publications like any other. They are public on the internet and can be read by anyone in the world with an internet connection. They are subject to the same media law as any other publication, including libel and fair dealing in copyright.
Funnily enough, the first hurdle I have to get over with teaching journalists to blog is getting over the “online diary/rant” stereotype and getting them to see it as another publishing medium. Sure, it has its own, particular characteristics, but the range of things you can do with blogs is much bigger than most people think.