A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan.¬† Five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday,¬†I present one of McLuhan‚Äôs observations and talk about its relevance today.¬† 300 ideas. 300 days.¬† 300 posts.
Marshall McLuhan (May 1959, age 47). ¬†Consumers are now producers
As I was saying yesterday my efforts to enlighten the Winnipeg Ad and Sales Club about the new business rules in our electronic age were not entirely successful.¬† If the only constant today is change, I told them, you will remember, it‚Äôs obvious that at the high speeds we are living at everyone is switching roles to keep up.¬† This is not a prediction it is an observation.¬† Just as producers are becoming consumers, the corollary is that consumers are becoming producers.¬† They gave me a puzzled look.¬† So I gave them something else to be puzzled about.¬† What I asked do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?¬† Give up?¬† They both have the same middle name.
Me (December 2009, age 57).¬† What about in education?
‚ÄúA lot of education,‚ÄĚ says the writer of a letter to the editor of the Montreal Gazette, ‚Äútakes place outside of school, and much it is self directed.‚ÄĚ (Wednesday, December 16, 2009.)¬† Marshall McLuhan would have agreed that most education takes place outside school, but I believe he would have disagreed with the idea that it is self-directed.¬† In fact it is media-directed.¬† The difference is profound and if true disturbing. (We continue the examination of education tomorrow.¬† Hang on to your mortar boards.)
If most education today takes place outside the classroom, what is the content of the current curriculum?¬† Who or what sets the curriculum?¬† What do you think is the greatest difference between the education that goes on today inside and outside the class room?
Cordially, Marshall and Me
Reading for this post
Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, pp. 252-255.