[Humanist] 26.243 brave new world?
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Aug 24 10:43:20 CEST 2012
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 26, No. 243.
Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 09:37:21 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: Brave New World, version ?
Our colleague Jascha Kessler has sent me a letter he wrote to the Editor
of the Financial Times, for Saturday, 18 August 2012, "Brave new world
without teachers, or learning, or thinkers". It concerns dire
predictions of what will happen to higher education as a result of
prominent efforts to teach very large classes by online means. (I send
it along as my first attachment, below.) Perhaps this effort will be as
successful as various tsunamis have been in wiping out costal
settlements. (The metaphor is columnist Christopher Caldwell's, for
which see my second attachment.) But I recall prominent efforts at the
University of California at Berkeley in the early 1960s to promote
teaching by television, accompanied at registration by enthusiastic
posters declaring e.g. "See Professor Helson on television!" One can
still find the large, now empty, brackets for the televisions in some places.
I spit nails, but not here. I think of all my years in classrooms, with
people, face to face. "Now we see through a glass darkly, then face to
face" reversed? I know, Paul's words are more accurately for us
translated "by means of a mirror in an enigma", but the point remains,
does it not?
Willard McCarty, FRAI / Professor of Humanities Computing & Director of
the Doctoral Programme, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Professor, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics,
University of Western Sydney; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.isr-journal.org); Editor, Humanist
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