Sunday, March 28, 2010

MAC Week #4 Important Media History with Henry Jenkins

“We are the grassroots campaign of the modern era, built from mousepads, shoe leather and hope.”

- Howard Dean

MIT World provides free access to videos of public events at MIT. New Media, Old Politics is a 2004 panel discussion on the impact of the Internet on politics. Moderated by Professor David Thorbum, the panel of Henry Jenkins, Garret LoPorto, and Joe Trippi mostly discussed the impact of the Internet on the 2004 elections.

A phrase new to me, psychographics, caught my attention. Whereas demographics are about quantifiable items such as location, age, and salary - psychographics examines beliefs, opinions, and values. Demographics compare to psychographics is a broad stroke analysis of populations because even within the same demographics there are diverse opinions. Psychographics can more accurately define populations. It’s like being able to identify the migrating patterns of different schools of fish in the Caribbean Sea.

Psychographics can be useful in education. We are in an era of school history in which it is easier to design a one size fits all system. A state test determines a student’s success. One or two large states can influence the selection of textbooks for most of the nation and there is a federally pushed movement toward Common or National Standards. What is needed, however, is a system of personalized or individualized education. A truly effective education is relevant to the student and to society.

Steve Jobs in a 2005 commencement speech in Stanford stated that he dropped back into college to take classes that interested him after having dropped out. No longer shackled with required courses, he was able to map out his own learning. He credited a calligraphy class for the options of fonts we now take for granted in our computers.

Psychographics and the flexibility of eLearning can empower educators and learners to create personalized learning networks that will bring back relevance to education.

MIT World (2004, October 14). New media, old politics? Video retrieved from

1 comment:

jbb said...

The Steve Jobs story reminds me of the prospect of and importance of informal education and just-in-time learning. It's telling that the two leaders of the computer revolution, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, were both college drop-outs. What then is the value of a college education?