After reading the first three chapters in our book, "Here Comes Everybody," it left me with a few thoughts to ponder. One point that intrigued me was reading about how professionals of any kind are valuable during ordinary times, but become invaluable during revolutionary times (p. 69) because professionals are always concerned with threats to the profession. The book discussed scribes vs. the printing press. I had never really contemplated that the technology of the printing press completely left us without the need for scribes. Then I got to thinking about how all the industrial machines invented replaced factory workers, and how that is continuing to happen in our world daily. The internet is replacing the need of a wide range of professionals. Music corporations and newspapers must be seeing a dramatic drop in their sales these past few years. With all of these new inventions in this "technological age" we are in, I wonder what will be the next profession to be unnecessary anymore? Although this technology is good for the general public, I can't help to think about all the professionals it is putting out of business, leaving them to find new specialties. It scares me to even think if someday in the future, computers or newer technology will replace the need for teachers! I know this is a random thought to ponder, and not relevant to the education field immediately; it was just a thought going through my head as I read Ch. 3.

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Tags: SocialMedia101

Comment by Ellen Wilke on March 21, 2010 at 5:57pm
Your post made me think about a recent visit from some former students who are now in college, and they were talking about the ability to view their professor's lectures online. For the most part, they said that they still attended class to hear the lecture "live," but that they watch the lecture again (often multiple times) as they complete assignments and study for exams. Really does make you wonder how long it will be before we are replaced by our virtual selves!
That section in the book also made me think about my niece who wants to major in journalism, and my friend who works for the Post-Dispatch who is finding his profession to be shrinking rapidly.
Comment by Drew McAllister on March 22, 2010 at 1:58pm
It's a daunting thought, though I think what may happen, especially in education, is a change of delivery more than a replacement of the teacher. I have always needed people to help me put information into context, and that seems to be a basic human need, not just a procedural one. I want eye contact. I prefer instant interaction. I like to refine my thinking in the context of an immediate conversation. Ellen's comment about higher education made me think of another professor, Eric Mazur, who has inverted his instruction, asking that his students study the book and work problems before entering class, posting their progress and getting help from peers online. He monitors the discussion boards and gets an idea of where the conceptual holes are for the class, addressing those in his next lecture. Here's a video with more detail:
Comment by Cindy Kraft on March 23, 2010 at 7:47pm
I agree that it is a daunting thought to ponder what is the next professiona or function that will become obsolete. I enjoy sitting down with the newspaper or magazine, and it's just not the same to curl up on the couch, or poolside, with your laptop. It seems that this scenario is a case of "majority rules." Although there are still others in additrion to myself that enjoy a publication, the majority of society is getting their news via the web through computers or smartphones, and effectively putting newspapers out of business. Is it possible to have it both ways? If we look at the example of the scribes, it doesn't seem like it. I love the new options and immediacy that technology offers, but prefer to have the power to choose between the two options.
Comment by Roxanne Warner on March 23, 2010 at 8:54pm
Ellen, thanks for sharing about the college lectures. I was not aware that some professors taught in that way, but it doesn't surprise me that they do these days. I think Eric Mazur is on to something with his way of teaching secondary education. It makes a lot of sense for the students to read the material first, then tell him what he needs to cover so it is more clear. Thanks for posting that, Drew. Also, Cindy, I agree with you. I prefer the power to choose which medium I would like to get my news from. As of now, we still have that option. It is daunting, though to think of what the future may hold.
Comment by Ellen Wilke on March 23, 2010 at 9:35pm
I looked up more info on Eric Mazur, and I was so surprised to read an article from 1995 that indicated that he was using some version of handheld personal response systems in the classroom in the early 1990's. Wow, that guy really is "cutting edge"! I have to admit that watching that video was extra fun for me since I teach Physics - thanks for the "personalization" in your response, Drew! ;-)
Cindy and Roxanne, we'll just have to hope we can still sit down with our newspaper and a cup of coffee when we're old and gray...Who knows what our other technology will be then, though!


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