In the following video, we find some rather disturbing theories about the availability of knowledge to our students. Eli Pariser, speaking at TED, suggests that the personalized marketing that most Internet sites provide limits our students’ ability to understand all the sides of an issue.
According to Eli Pariser, Internet supporters originally felt the Internet would be the great equalizer to ignorance and prejudice. However, as you can attest, there is a lot of misinformation being handed out lately even though, in theory, the world’s knowledge is on display through the Internet. Mr. Pariser believes that due to personalized marketing software, our Internet experience is being limited by what an algorithm believes we want/need to learn. In the final moments of the video, Mr. Pariser asks Google and Facebook to adopt ethical standards that allow all view points of an issue to be available, much like what journalistic ethics has done for news print for the past century.
If that generalization is correct and our students’ internet experience is being limited
by what they want and not by what they need,
what or who can open the mind of our students?
I believe this video gives credibility to the Professor’s ability to give students many perspectives on an issue. This video helps prove the value for traditional, formal education to open the mind of a student, to challenge their thinking, and to allow them to critically think about their assumptions.
The internet can provide many educational services to our students, many educational services! However, technology must be balanced with the leadership found within a Professor introducing our students to new ideas and new perspectives.
“Always two there are…a master and an apprentice.” — Frank Oz