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Multimedia Multiversity

Here’s an idea I’d like to see come true..

A Multimedia Multiversity

in which all classrooms are circular

and there exists
a computer touch screen in front of everyone

and all participants are perhaps graduates
in various fields of communication
from all around the world.

It is an environment that could prove very conducive
to the formation, maximization, and application
of raw creative mental energy.

One can only imagine.

I sent this idea to Noam Chomsky
and he told me that classrooms like this already exist
and that he’s actually co-taught in some of them already
(I’m assuming he meant that they already exist at MIT).

I think this classroom model makes sense
because universities can’t keep up
with the progress being made in multimedia.

This model could accelerate and enrich the learning process
by democratizing the teaching process,
since more and more college students
are surpassing their professors technically speaking
in the field of multimedia journalism.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Patrick Yen

by P. Money at 2007-07-08 21:44:49 UTC (ed. Aug 27 2008 ) Louisville, KY , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

The following is a post I made
to the PJ After School Yahoo Group recently..

Journalism and education are inherently related.

Us journalists have a duty to deliver
integration and diversity through the media
regardless of whether or not it’s delivered in schools,
but especially if it’s not.

The following is a poem I wrote
in response to yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling.

I’m sure the wording is poor,
for I have no formal education in education.

I wrote it very quick with little editing
so it isn’t nearly as good as it could be.

Perhaps I should preface it by stating
that I attended a place called the J. Graham Brown [Public] School
in Louisville for high school
which is 50% white and 50% minority.

If I’m not mistaken,
I believe it was the first school to integrate in Kentucky.

I’m sure many of you could articulate
what I am trying to say better than I can
but I just felt like sharing.

It is pretty short
and I hope at least some of you find it stimulating or inspirational
if you have time to read it.

Thanks.

Two Kinds of Classrooms?

I.

The political nature of a society is,
to some degree,
reflected by how it chooses to educate its citizenry.

How the classroom is constructed,
to some degree,
reflects the nature of a society.

Is the classroom arranged in a circle,
or do all the chairs face one direction?

Allow me to attempt to diagram the difference
between a decentralized Socratic classroom
and a centralized autocratic classroom..

II.

In a traditional autocratic classroom,
all students face the teacher,
who is the center of attention.

The teacher generally dictates
what is to be perceived or accepted as true,
and the student must be granted permission to speak
by the authority or hierarchy of the classroom
who is typically the teacher.

The student plays a subordinate role to the teacher,
even if the student knows as much or more as the teacher.

In this method,
the student is indoctrinated
by a strong centralized system of education.

The flow of information travels
more from the top-down unidirectionally (one-way)
similar to the flow of information through television.

In this method,
the student is socialized to do and conform.

Group think.
Herd mentality.
Dictatorialism.
Authority.
Homogeneous uniformity.
Order.
Structure.

Extremes of this form of classroom
may incorporate a uniform dress code
in which personal expression
through appearance and individuality is either eliminated, suppressed, or regarded
as a threat to the herd or the team.

The banishment of books and censorship of speech
is almost always to be expected within this system.

III.

In the decentralized Socratic circular classroom,
the teacher asks questions instead of making statements.

The role of the teacher is to direct the flow of question
as well as mediate debate between the students.

All participants can view each other,
effectively dividing everyone’s field of view and attention
more equally and democratically between the participants.

The flow of information travels
more from the bottom-up omni-directionally (two-way)
similar to the flow of information through the internet.

Critical analysis, debate, and question
is actively pursued and rewarded
rather than avoided and punished.

In this method,
the student is socialized to think independently and to defy.

Individualism.
Perspectivism.
Relativity.
Liberty.
Diversity.
Chaos.
Anarchy.

Extremes of this form of classroom may eliminate
the practice of addressing the teacher formally by their last name.
In rare instances this can also result in various forms of anomie
like sexual relations between student and teacher.

IV.

To some degree,
the difference in these models parallel
the difference between democracy and totalitarianism.

One could even argue a parallel between
the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta.

Americans are often stereotyped internationally as being
“doers” and not “thinkers.”

The next time you are flabbergasted at how people are complacent to
and disaffected by the systematic elimination
of their individual freedom, rights, and political power,
just contemplate how they where educated or socialized
to behave within the classroom.

by P. Money | 08 Jul 2007 21:07 (ed. Feb 20 2009) | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Sounds fantastic, Patrick, but who says that all the students have to be in the same physical space? Ditch the hub and spoke, both in regards to the classroom (autocratic methods as you have referred to above) and in terms of the connections between individuals and their consciousness. We can all connect, interact, create and remediate through networked, distributed new media ecologies now. Just like Lightstalkers…

One of the lecuturers at the media school here at the University of New South Wales in Sydney is rather prolific on network media. Read one of his articles here and then try to find some more of his stuff about on the web.
http://enculturation.gmu.edu/3_1/murphie.html
Here’s another good one:
http://culturemachine.tees.ac.uk/Cmach/Backissues/j007/Articles/murphie.htm

One of the other really great reads out there on this stuff is Matthew Fuller’s ‘Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture’.
http://www.amazon.com/Media-Ecologies-Materialist-Energies-Technoculture/dp/026256226X/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-7540830-4226463?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1183947926&sr=8-1
Sorry if you’re already aware of this stuff.

I’d love to be involved in setting up some kind of multimedia/photo/visual-journalism specific ‘online seminar’ space… don’t know how it could work exactly but there’s certainly plenty of people right here on LS who could significiantly contribute to such a discussion. As you know, posts about this topic abound here on LS but they tend to trail off and never really get concentrated for a long period of time or provide a method of ‘direct’ (temporal, at least) contact between participants. Participants can contribute to a discussion, but it’s neither temporally nor physically live…. but seeing as we don’t need the phyisicality ‘liveness’ so much (what with our new-found informational network mobility) , perhaps we can facilitate some kind of networked, virtual space where temporal ‘liveness’ and distributed ecological new media (i.e. the internet and a bunch of connected interfaces) can connect a bunch of interested multimedianerds in a hardcore multimedia journalism discussion?

by Ed Giles | 09 Jul 2007 02:07 (ed. Jul 22 2007) | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Well said Ed!
Thanks for your feedback.

Lightstalkers is very Socratic indeed.
It’s definitely a great supplement to an education in photography,
that’s for sure.

I’ll be sure to take a look at the links you posted, looks interesting.

I figure that it won’t be too long before holographic projection is cheap enough to transmit facsimiles of people’s bodies over long distances of space..

by P. Money | 09 Jul 2007 19:07 (ed. Aug 20 2008) | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Here is an excerpt from a follow-up response
that I wrote to Peter Hoffman on a parallel APAD post..

The poem I included,
which isn’t very good,
is meant to articulate the extreme polar opposites
of the kinds of classrooms.

Asking is the opposite of telling in language,
right?

Most classrooms incorporate varying mixtures
of both these philosophies and approaches.

I believe that many violent extremists are in part
created by a combination of authoritarian schooling and parenting,
as opposed to authoritative schooling and parenting.

All one needs to do is study the educational system of countries
where there is no freedom of speech (like certain middle eastern countries)
to better understand the causes of violent extremism.

In my schooling,
I was fortunate enough to spend four years in a Montessori program in elementary.
Then there was Brown for high school which had many ‘circular’ classrooms
with a concentration on the method of Socratic seminar.
Somewhere in between I attended a private uniformed Catholic school
for two years in middle school which was very authoritarian.
Suffice to say, I think I’ve seen it all.

It’s not that the circular classroom lacks discipline,
it’s that it’s a different kind of discipline.
It is an internal self-discipline rather than
an external establishmentarian or forced discipline
that is to ideally be present within the circular Socratic classroom.

Also, why do many even people go to school?
Are they there because they want to learn
or because they have to be there to get a decent job someday
that pays the bills?

Nowadays you can get an education online for almost free.
You can take any of MITs courses for free online
(but without accreditation if you can’t afford to pay the tuition):
http://ocw.mit.edu

Case in point,
if you really are motivated to learn something,
you don’t need to overpay for college classes and textbooks anymore.
The internet has changed that.
More people are more informed now than they’ve ever been.
Therefore, it might make sense for universities (or
even newsrooms?)
to reform and redefine their approach
so that they don’t go out of business.

Say that you pay for the circular social interaction of the classroom,
the hands-on learning, and the formal accreditation
instead of paying for just the information.
You thereby turn college into less of a ‘scam’.

It’s no secret that a college degree isn’t worth what it used to be worth,
generally speaking. So let’s make it more valuable.

Here’s a piece I did on my old high school in April of 2006:
http://www.patrickyen.com/brownschool

It was shot with all vertical widescreen video and features
two former students, two former teachers, and two former parents
of the brown school community.

Each interview is about 6 minutes long and they could probably do a better job
of describing my perspective of the classroom
than I could with mere words.

by P. Money | 11 Jul 2007 14:07 (ed. Aug 20 2008) | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
[New Media] Knights of the Round Table, anyone?

by P. Money | 11 Jul 2007 14:07 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Patrick for this info. I’ve been thinking about some further education for myself and the MIT site is perfect. I’m thinking along the lines of Philosophy. Something I’ve always been interested in but never had the chance to delve deeply.

Anyway, for those starting out in Documentary Photography or who want to be guided on a major project, here’s a course I came across at MIT that might interest some. It’s a creative commons course.

by Paul Treacy | 11 Jul 2007 15:07 | Home in New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Here’s an interesting essay I found on elementary education..

The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher
by John Taylor Gatto
1991 New York State Teacher of the Year

http://hometown.aol.com/tma68/7lesson.htm

Specifically,
the seven lessons taught in elementary school are:

1) CONFUSION
2) CLASS POSITION
3) INDIFFERENCE
4) EMOTIONAL DEPENDENCY
5) INTELLECTUAL DEPENDENCY
6) PROVISIONAL SELF-ESTEEM
7) ONE CAN’T HIDE

by P. Money | 22 Jul 2007 08:07 (ed. Aug 20 2008) | Bowling Green, KY, United States | | Report spam→
I take it you’ve read Michel Foucault’s ‘Discipline and Punish’ (re-released 1995), Patrick? Pretty much the definitive work, if you haven’t had the chance to read it…. ‘The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Species’ (1973) is very good, too, but slightly different. Good on ‘disciplined bodies’, though, which is really what we’re dealing with here. Another that’s worth reading as far as bodies in ordered space and passively controlled social context is Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘Series: The Queue’ in ‘Critique of Dialectic Reason’ (London: Verso 1964/2004).

Also, and this is a little off topic but is also broadly related in a sense of today’s techno-socio-cultural context, another one to pass the old peepers over would be Marc Auge’s ‘Non-Places: An Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity’ (1995)… a particular chapter that slips my mind right now is right on the money but like I said right now its name slips my mind…

by Ed Giles | 22 Jul 2007 09:07 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
I believe I have only read Foucault’s essay on Panopticism from the works listed.
I have also read a lot of Foucault’s other works like Governmentality.

I am not very well read, I am dyslexic, and it is only relatively recently
that I feel I have conquered my generalized aversion to reading.
A lot of people think I am better read do to my vocabulary,
but I am only 23 and still very much learning and reading everyday.
My opinions and perspective is thus always changing everyday.

I am more of a visual thinker, through and through.

I will read all the pieces you have listed once time allows.
Thank you very much Ed for referring me to them.

Cheers and best regards my friend.

by P. Money | 22 Jul 2007 21:07 (ed. Aug 20 2008) | Bowling Green, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Sure thing man, I’m only 24 too so I’m still discovering all this stuff myself, really. It’s certainly pretty amazing when you start discovering all of this critical cultural theory and how it all pretty much explains all of the various semi-transparent, immaterial and material socio-cultural nasties (or at least formative structures/un-structures) going on around us all the time…

Cool stuff… makes me want to sit in a cafe and read for the rest of my life, sometimes (of course, between bouts of producing work somehow related to all this stuff!).

Amazon has recently become one of my best friends – or at least it’s been helping me strip my bank account of any remaining cash I might have spent on Tri-X…

by Ed Giles | 23 Jul 2007 02:07 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Here’s a nice little blog post
which points to many more free educational resources online:

“Become an Autodidact: 10 Ways to Become a Self Taught Master”
http://www.dumblittleman.com/2007/07/become-autodidact-10-ways-to-become.html

by P. Money | 01 Sep 2007 04:09 (ed. Aug 20 2008) | Bowling Green, KY, United States | | Report spam→
I now think that the ideal amount of people for these classroom/newsroom structures is about 5 people.

“Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations” by Clay Shirky:
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/interactive/events/2008/02/shirky

by P. Money | 20 Aug 2008 04:08 | Louisville, KY, United States | | Report spam→
Only posting these because I’ve been asked to,
and because this is all finally coming true..

Both of these videos were posted to Youtube on January 8, 2009.

First heard about it here
where these videos were posted by Jeff Jarvis on February 17, 2009.

Are there any constructive thoughts from any real people
who are not PSYCHO TROLLS FROM HELL WHO WILL NOT DIE?

by P. Money | 20 Feb 2009 20:02 | | Report spam→
SO now you just want to fuck with me? are you really this bored?

“Only posting these because I’ve been asked to,
and because this is all finally coming true..”
nobody asked you and nobody cares! your shit is boring, nobody answers your crap, that’s why you had to dig one out from 2007, so it seems like somebody still talks to you here.


Please stop polluting LS. We don’t care about your mental problems and are not here to be your shrinks. just do yourself a big favor and go away.

by [former member] | 21 Feb 2009 05:02 | | Report spam→
The Plight of Right-Brained Thinkers, circa October 29, 2007.

Some of the links are no longer active.

by P. Money | 21 Feb 2009 16:02 | | Report spam→

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Participants

P. Money, Creative & Futurist P. Money
Creative & Futurist
(See That Which Cannot Be Seen)
[undisclosed location].
Ed Giles, Photojournalist Ed Giles
Photojournalist
Sydney , Australia
Paul  Treacy, Photographer Paul Treacy
Photographer
(Photohumourist)
London , United Kingdom ( LGW )


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