Jeff Jarvis at TEDxNYED: “This is bullshit”

If I had learned about TEDxNYED earlier than I did, I would’ve totally applied and made my way to New York to attend. Alas, I did not, and get to relive the experience through the posts and videos published online (hooray for the web). Jeff Jarvis ran through a number of things he’s identified as broken, and then offered “Googley” suggestions to fix them. Money quote:

Why shouldn’t every university – every school – copy Google’s 20% rule, encouraging and enabling creation and experimentation, every student expected to make a book or an opera or an algorithm or a company. Rather than showing our diplomas, shouldn’t we show our portfolios of work as a far better expression of our thinking and capability? The school becomes not a factory but an incubator.

Reflecting on the entire post, I have two thoughts that come to mind. First, to what degree are the qualities he observes as broken actually broken, and to what degree are they rhetoric to emphasis the overall message of his presentation? Second, if things are as broken as he says they are, what comes next?

If there are parallels between how the internet has affected the media industry and how the internet is beginning to affect the education industry, then surely there are lessons to be learned from how the media industry reacted and where they failed to. The opportunity, however, is more likely with what can be distributed (lessons, mentoring, accreditation, etc.) than trying to reform command and control. Build the tool for the public to educate itself.

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