The grass is greener on the other side of the screen

One way to overcome potential and real negative reactions is to use wrap your view in humorous media. Even dull products and ideas can be made more interesting to an audience with if they are presented humorously. They will also be more memorable if they also get ‘a little bit personal’, so include a personal anecdote, photo or experience. To get people to repeat your view and endorse it, simply invite the #audience to the #conversation and get people feeling like it’s okay to participate and get behind the idea. To do that, you need to give the audience something to think about. For example: post a photo of Kate Middleton throwing a sideways glance or say something controversial. There’s even a sub Reddit for that if you’re stuck for something.

My point is that media is increasingly used towards homogeneous disarming of thought. By entertaining the crowd, it doesn’t need to become wise and therefore very little critical interaction occurs between its immediate members. This means that criticism is less likely than endorsement, regardless of the facts, validity or relevance.

For example: A well placed Tweet at a conference, will create immediate echos from the local audience, which the wider audience sees as a signal of a valid truth. Little fact checking or consideration is given as the re-tween button echo’s the ‘true message’.  As I’ve said, this action can be promoted by the speaker with some reliability. Many speakers clearly build their presentations around it, and rarely bother with facts.

Websites such as Buzzfeed rely on the fact people only read 27 reasons, 7 ways, 9 idea — type posts these days and amplify them to their friends and imaginary audiences via social media. Are you interested in what Iron Man Rob Gronkowski did with a fluffy kitten? – perhaps society will amuse itself to death after all with our telemedia obsessions. Education is not immune to this culture. At both educational events I went to this year, I saw thin assertions presented to the audience as I described at the beginning.

The culture of everyday life is increasingly marketed for the sole purpose of making a profit from education. Education should not be constructed though the media as homogenization or hybridization. This idea that metaphors are better than evidence, or can be used in lieu of it is an immediate fail for me as they ignore the complex cultural systems that schools exist in (economic, social, political and religious) and how these things effect one another. I’ll sign off with the ultimate ed-tech metaphor — the grass is greener on the other side of the screen. You can tweet me on that.