The title of the panel discussion at Education Nation was promising:Â Educating the Digital Generation.
So, who are the experts invited to analyze this important topic?
CEO of Johnson Publishing, CEO of Viacom, CEO of A&E Networks, CEO of Time Warner Cable,Â ï»¿a host of MSNBC’s morning political talking heads show. Â And the token teacher (“the most important person on the panel” who was also allowed the least talk time).
Start with a video, ripped off from Michael Wesch and others, illustrating how much time kids spend with media and follow that with a discussion that absolutely, completely misses the point.
The focus of the panelists was entirely on students as consumers of media (especially the content distributed by their companies) with lots of corporate ideas for “keeping students engaged” in that consumption.
Along with, of course, plenty of praise for “Waiting for Superman”, not coincidentally distributed by a division of Viacom.
In the process the speakers totally ignored the need to help students understand how to be intelligent, creative producers of media.
As if this discussion was being held at the end of the previous century and the vast array of inexpensive, easy to use tools that allow kids to publish their ideas directly to the web (bypassing the conduits controlled by the panelists) didn’t exist.
Ok, I’ve been trying to find something positive in Education Nation (I really have!) this week but incredibly wasted opportunities like this make that nearly impossible.