Tuesday, March 03, 2009

It's like an analog podcast

In a neat show of common interest between "old" and "new" media, Michigan Public Radio did a piece on the New Liberal Arts project. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for the piece and show up at the one-minute mark.)

Interesting observation to come out of the story: while professors are notoriously liberal, students are actually rather conservative (in much more than the political sense):

Carolyn Racine is in [University of Michigan creative writing professor Emily] Zinnemann's class and a fan of Facebook. But that doesn't mean she wants her entire creative writing class or poetry class to happen via Facebook or Twitter or whatever is the next big online tool.

"I think," says Racine, that "students now shouldn't be completely into current processes like Facebook and forget about Shakespeare and the formalities. I think that's dangerous to forget about formalities."

When asked why, Racine hesitates and says, "Uh. I don't know. I'm still figuring it out as a student."

Resistance to the new in academia doesn't primarily come from administrators or parents; it comes from students. And rightly so, since they're the guinea pigs in all educational experiments.

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