11 February 2007

Problems of New Media - The Book

A very clever take on some of the problems of introducing new media - in this case, a reconstruction of what a Gutenberg era tech support encounter might have looked like.

Aside from the fun of this little comedy, it does highlight an important consideration about media, dominant modes of communication, knowledge and education. In each era - from the primary orality of ancient Greece, through the manuscript culture of early literacy, on to mass literacy in the Gutenberg era, through to the UCaPP transitions of today with multi-way, instantaneous communication - the skills and knowledge of the soon-to-be-former era are all taken as obvious (i.e., ground) while those of the next are seen to be problematic relative to that ground. And, of course, the structuring ground effects of the new medium of any day are never known until that new media itself becomes the cultural ground. What's more is that the current era eventually forgets how to interpret most of what was considered obvious, that is, taken for granted as comprising the basic skills of an educated person, of the former eras. This, of course, is the theme of my talk, Why Johnny and Janey Can't Read and Why Mr. and Ms. Smith Can't Teach, a version of which I will be performing for the Calgary City Teachers' Association later this week.

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1 comment:

Scott Fehr said...

Dr. Federman I attended your session at the Teachers' Convention in Calgary and came away with lots to think about. You mentioned that your daughter had completed a project comparing world religions/spiritualism that was captured in a blog. Is this available and could you indicate where I would access it? Thanks very much for a really interesting presentation.