Disrupting education

Jeff Jarvis wrote provocatively about disrupting journalism education.

Pretty sure he would agree with this, but I’d like to add my own two items.

1. Every j-school student operates their own server. A requirement. Installs software to run a linkblog, river of news, and whatever else they want.

A picture named pigOnTv.gif2. Every undergrad, no matter what their major, is required to take a semester of journalism. Today’s students are going into a world where blogging is something many if not all educated people will be doing, for a lifetime. Prepare them to do it well. Write a story that grabs the readers’ attention and holds it. Learn how to interview someone. Learn how to listen (that is actually a skill that can be taught, btw). The importance of multiple sources. How to care for the Internet (especially important for future VCs).

A good education is also about enriching the society our students will live in. This is important. And the writers, the humanists, not being scared of the technology, and not be intimidated by geeks, is essential for a well-running world.

Like Jarvis I don’t believe in turning writers into programmers, unless they have a gift for both (some do). But I do insist on attacking the fear of technology head-on. Give the students the kind of experience with a server that a med student has with a cadaver. Everything they learn about this will help them, but the most important thing is to take the fear out.

And for crying out loud the kids should learn when they’re being bullshitted and how not to be full of shit. That’s the point of #2. :-)


About Dave Winer

Dave Winer, 54, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.
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