Sunday, May 20, 2007

blogging, the internet and education

In response to a post by Jackie Danicki, who asked "what is your degree worth?", Brian Micklethwait has this short but thought-provoking commentary. He writes:
  • I have long suspected that the main purpose of higher education is that you are proving that you are clever, rather than getting any cleverer. It's a signalling system, to enable you to communicate, very laboriously, with the world. So, the internet, the classic machine for enabling the individual to signal to and to communicate with the world, should be pretty good at replacing higher education. At any rate insofar as its signalling function is concerned.
The aspect of the internet mostly changing people's perception of traditional education? -- blogging. In particular, there is growing recognition and discussion of the role of blogs , both as a mass media, and as a replacement for both conventional education and conventional journalism, as a media for communicating and moulding public opinion.

  • what is the purpose of higher education in today's internet generation?
  • is information and more research necessary for improved policy making in most areas?
  • or is there an abundance of information, but a shortage of knowledge: knowing when and how to best apply that information?
  • does higher education teach the judgement and inter-personal skills necessary to assist in the transformation of information into knowledge?
  • are refereed journal articles the best benchmark of knowledge?
  • what role can alternate media such as blogs play in the development and application of knowledge?
These questions will be recurrent themes within this blog as they appear to be foundational to tackling ecomyths in a positive and creative fashion.