What’s a Teacher/Scholar to Do?

ACADEME BLOG

There’s an essay on Chronicle,com by NYU professor Eric Klinenberg called “What Trump’s Win Compels Scholars To Do.” After discussing the overreach of Big Data, Klinenberg writes:

There’s one other thing that universities must do better: teach student skills for learning, discerning, reasoning, and communicating in an informational environment dominated by quick hits on social media like Twitter and Facebook.

He’s right. But I submit that we’re never going to manage that until we start seriously examining the impact of Big Data on our own classrooms. We’re taking the individual out of education just when we need her or him most. After all, social media are aggressively individualistic. To understand them, we have to understand the individual and educate the individual, fighting the corporatist tendency to concentrate on improving data instead.

The prevailing trend toward the aggregate as the spark of today’s educational decision-making is, in some ways, parallel to…

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