Sunday, May 31, 2015

Professors of The Book, students of The Smartphone

Photo from U.S. News & World Report
The Internet is a revolutionary tool of communication. Because of that, teachers of communication have to face up to the possibility that our models for teaching and learning are becoming less effective and relevant.

Like many of my teaching colleagues, I have complained that students don't read. Well, they do read, but in a different way.

To understand the trend, we should step back and look at another communications tool that was revolutionary in its own day -- the Book.

(Versión en español)

For at least 500 years, research and teaching at universities has been built around the Book. We teachers of communication are still People of the Book while our students are People of the Internet.

The professor and journalist Jose Cervera explains the difference (in Spanish) in a brief article called "In Praise of the User", on his blog, El Retiario (The Net Warrior), published on Spain's public television website. El Retiario comes from the Roman name for gladiators who used a net as one of their armaments.