The Academia of Yesterday and Today

Fred Sanders begins his chapter in The New Media Frontier with a very bold claim.

“Academics need new media.” (161)

To me, that is a very broad, generalized statement.

The first thing that comes to mind when I read that statement is all of the years that acedemia survived without media.

On the timeline of academics, the portion influenced by media is a mere fraction of all of the years that media had absolutely no part in acedemica because media simply did not exist.

For this reason, I think that this claim Sanders makes is much to bold and broad.

He phrases this statement in a way that indicates academics can not go on without the use of new media.

This is completely untrue.

Sure, new media is a great help to adademia. New media is a wonderful tool for academia. New media is a valuable resource for adademia.

BUT, if all forms of new media disappeared tomorrow, acedemica would still survive. 

Sanders statement seems to not necessarilly agree.

He seems to fail to take into consideration all of the univeristies and places of higher education that thrived before the new media revolution. Sure, in this day and time, new media is somewhat essential just because of its prevalence, but it is not alsolutely necessary to the continuation of the education world.

How many doctors, lawyers, teachers, writers, composers, singers, and theologians today were educated under a system of academia involving little or no new media?

I would dare to say the majority of them considering that the use of new media is relatively new.

I found an interesting article when researching this topic in which Sam Scalise, CIO of Sonoma State University says that on account of the use of media in education, “The professor’s role is evolving from instructor to mentor.” (7).

Take that how you will, but this shift has a few red flags to me. Young people attending a university to get an education need instructors– people to impart knowledge to them. They don’t need yes-men who mindlessly support every whim said young people might have.

By no means do I disagree with the use of new media in education. In some areas it can be very helpful and beneficial.

However, I think it is incorrect to assume that the academia of today hinges on new media. 

New media is a great tool, but we must be careful to preceed with caution lest we lose focus of true education and instruction.

Read on. 

~ CB

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One thought on “The Academia of Yesterday and Today

  1. Awesome post! Really awesome to see how passionate you are on the subject. Really good insights from the chapter and your stance is bold and not backing down, which is great. Your stance is also very arguable, but I agree that all the ground covered pre new media in academia speaks for its self about how dependent academics are on the new media. Great post and great presentation in class!

    Liked by 1 person

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