Blog Post

Multimedia Practice and Professional Development in Digital School

I came across this article in the New York Times today:

I was struck by how this description of a digitally empowered professional school raised many of the topics of digital media and  learning.  Specifically the school is marketed as a practical training ground for the entertainment industry.  The school touts its extravagent facilities and its ability to simulate a typical work week.

As a scholar that plans on working in a traditional university I am torn between my devotion to the mission of a university (to give students a wider world view and valuable analytical skills) and a desire to provide students with the experience they recquire to enter the profession they strive for.  In my own classes I use digital technology to create dynamic assignments that combine practice with the theory we discuss.  For example, in my Viral Video class I have the students mash-up videos to create content that could resonant with a sub-culture.  But when I assign this work I am struck by the limited skills of my students.  I am constantly told that I am teaching a digital generation and yet they have trouble with simple non-linear editors. 

From the descriptions of this school it seems that the cirriculum flips the focus.  They foreground practical skills and supplement them with theoretical discussion.  I think for some of my students this would be a welcome alternative.


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