2017 will be an interesting year. The Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight. Penguin order a 75,000 reprint of Orwell’s 1984. Council for the US President invites debate on the nature of ‘alternative facts’ while the alleged influence of social media during the US election suggests ‘critical digital literacies’ warrants attention.
Should Media Studies be taken more seriously? Narrowly escaping Gove’s bonfire of the subjects the MS GCSE ‘gives students the chance to develop a critical understanding of the role of the media in daily life’ while MS A level includes ‘understand and evaluate how meanings and responses are created’ alongside ‘develop and formulate… its influential role in today’s society.’ The only thing wrong with a well taught Media Studies programme is it isn’t mandatory!
It’s not too far fetched to suggest truth and knowledge are under attack. The internet is awash with speculation and fake news masquerading as truths. To counter balance this we may need to re-frame ontology and epistemology in everyday language, encourage examination of media beliefs and interrogate preferred sources of news – be it the BBC, Daily Mail or Twitter. Words like ideology and discourse can be challenged but should at least be discussed. A baseline dose of Foucault with Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World wouldn’t do anyone any harm.
Following the US election I blogged about the media in The Truth is out there somewhere . Today, just 8 weeks later, it seems even more important to address issues of truth and knowledge. Regardless of personal politics, the US election is a wake-up call. Who do we believe and why? Suroweiki’s Wisdom of Crowds and Gladwell’s Tipping Point have supported the development of Communities of Practice – where relevant knowledge is situated within the connections we make – and these concepts remain true; the risk is when wisdom and tipping points are based on fakery rather than evidence.
2017 will be a busy year.
I’ve begun to let go of wider commitments to create space for the PhD and shhh…. complete the dissertation for my p/t creative writing degree which no one knows about so far! The timing is not perfect but when it comes to doctoral research there’s no such thing. A time-table is mapped out for the PhD transfer process to the University of Northampton, a week with NVivo booked for April and I’m loving the educational research conversations with my supervisors, Director of Studies and fellow students.
On the work front there’s an exciting new focus on Learning Design. This will inform development of a digital capabilities framework for staff who teach and support learning and I want to develop the world of the TEL-People. The only downside is withdrawing from projects like #creativeHE and it was really difficult to put #poetryfeedHE to one side – albeit temporarily – but something had to give.
Lastly – the allotment lies waiting – as it did last year, and the year before that. At some point I need to find my allotmenteering hat and wear it again.
So here’s to 2017.
Did I say it looks like an interesting year? 🙂
- 2017 image https://pixabay.com/en/photos/year%202017/
- social media https://pixabay.com/en/twitter-facebook-together-292994/
- community https://pixabay.com/en/network-society-social-community-1020332/