Doug Rushkoff on Teaching Media Theory in 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Douglas Rushkoff, new media thinker, author of Present Shock and newly appointed professor at Queens College discusses how to build a media theory program from the ground up, and what young people need to know about their digital lives.



Douglas Rushkoff

Comments [18]

thatgirl from manhattan

Chris from Westchester - Nothing put online for commentary by or dialogue with high school students can be considered "peer-reviewed." This is something you may come to learn in a higher academic setting: "peers" are considered fellow researchers and educators.

But keep on questioning--that's good. You'll yet come to realize that "casual" means dissemination should be questioned, too.

May. 27 2014 01:14 PM

Yet another left-wing charlatan gets a hearing on Brian Lehrer!

I get more laughs, though I suspect they are unintentional, out of your show than Howard Stern.

Keep those lefties coming. They don't know how funny they are.....

May. 27 2014 12:19 PM
Chris from Westchester

I called in as a highschool student in Westchester, I just wanted to make sure that my point was clear. My generation's distrust of academic journals does not come from the idea that they are "old and moldy", but from the idea that so much of published material's numbers are fudged in order to create more drastic correlations than may exist. This is done for the politics of being published. Academics need to start overcoming that distrust by reaching out with more casual means online, and opening up a dialogue for a more public online peer review. If kids my age are to learn about the academic process and learn about current academic studies, they have to be accessible and interactive.

May. 27 2014 12:04 PM

tell us how to check the sleep data we put in--tx!

May. 27 2014 11:57 AM
Russell Spears from Montclair nj

Educators consistently fail to look beyond the outdated 100 year old model of education.

Traditional schooling and the vested interest of the universities as well as key organizations like the Teachers Union, all benefit from the Educational Monopoly that was built and maintained by a huge injection every year of more than $940 Billion in public taxes. 
I believe many educators suffer from what I call Pedagogical Hubris then fails to see the power of a simple idea like a Free Online University for all. I wish he would consider well the potential, but unlike his economic views, his views on education are quite inline with economic forces.

Universities create these Online/Distance programs for about $40 to $80 million, and universities do not considered them less effective when they can profit by charging full tuition, yet for decades now we have had the means of providing everyone life long access to accredited diplomas. Sadly, even progressive thinkers fail to see the potential. Citing many failings of distance learning, they manage to overlook one minor problem: Access to education for all comes at a cost to the whole class system.

The Educational Monopoly functions as an institution of exclusion-not inclusion. Contrary to their lofty ideals, it is their exclusive issuance of accredited degrees that shores up their money pots and protects their graduates with what is effectively monopolies in their respective "Professional Job Markets". To give everyone access and allow people to openly compete for all jobs is a massive threat to to the professional class. So the necessity is clear to me that the vast potential of all people must be suppressed in order for a lucky few to continue to enjoy a comfortable life.

A Free Online University that works with Community colleges for skills testing and lab work can at the very least cut the average cost of education in half. but the potential to liberate every human soul and actualize their many life possibilities can't underestimated!

May. 27 2014 11:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The name of the course should be "propaganda" and how to create effective propaganda. Commercial propaganda, political propaganda, anything that can effect people's thinking and actions in 140 characters or less :)

May. 27 2014 11:43 AM
john from office

Kids today just care about being up to date with the latest app. They don't care about how they work. A generation of idiots, looking at their cellphones.

To not know what it means to sellout, in all its meaning means that they don't read.

May. 27 2014 11:36 AM
Amy from Manhattan

How about adding this to the curriculum? 1st question: Who funded it? (I guess that's related to knowing what "sell out" means.)

May. 27 2014 11:36 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

David in Greenwich - Get out in the world, grow up, and learn to think for yourself. Your claims of "bias" and "liberalism" are pretty typical of a student whose views were shaped by the "authoritarian" adults in your life.

Also: slow down, use fewer words.

May. 27 2014 11:33 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Why limit it to young people? More & more people older than "college age" are going to college.

May. 27 2014 11:32 AM

Pretty good segment....I think the American way of funding the Internet -- largely via advertising -- has damaged what the potential of the Internet could be. In general, people have gotten dumber, more lemming-like, following a gossip or pop-culture link rather than finish an article of merit.

What's important tomorrow has little to do with what is important today.

How would I change it? 1) Let's back a VAT on Internet sales to restore revenue to the states and slow down the 'showrooming' that bricks and mortar storeowners face. 2) Free (yet relatively slow...say 5 mbps) WiFi for all citizens with a device.

May. 27 2014 11:31 AM
fuva from harlemworld

It's not just media illiteracy; in addition to unawareness of the infrastructure we are 24/7 plugged into, we are also substantially less aware of current events and the major important issues of the day, including those implicating the tech we're addicted to. Seems Information Technology has largely made people more tech-distracted/addicted and less informed.

May. 27 2014 11:31 AM
Meg from Stamford, CT

LOVE what Ruskoff is saying - in my 40s I learned the art of conversation: talking/thinking critically/writing/communicating at Sarah Lawrence College where classes sit around a table and talk, question, respond. It is invaluable and whatever is communicated via text/FB etc. stems from those 'sitting around the table' skills. Whether it is at your dinner table with family or elsewhere it is a skill and one we all need to learn. BL is expert and a great role model of being able to discuss.

May. 27 2014 11:30 AM
Nick from UWS

You could start out by teaching kids, people, to speak like adults in full declarative confident sentences instead of phrasing every statement like a question which makes you sound uncertain of how to use your own brain and a blithering idiot. Teach people to communicate clearly with their mouth first before you get to computers and all the rest of the crap.

May. 27 2014 11:30 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Just another silly, worthless course to help colleges suck in money from kids and the government, just like "feminist studies."

May. 27 2014 11:28 AM
Jessie from Way Uptown

What does media tell us about how our not paying for our services changes who is being served??

May. 27 2014 11:27 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Just another silly, worthless course to help colleges suck in money from kids and the government, just like "feminist studies."

May. 27 2014 11:26 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Baloney! He got older, wiser, and sold out for money and position. Nothing wrong with selling out FOR money! Selling out for any other reason is dumb.

May. 27 2014 11:23 AM

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