But no apologies! Sure, it's a lot, with plenty of kinks to work out. We'll get some things wrong. But we know where we are going, and that direction is not backwards to the status quo of higher education.
Speaking of which, the following video expresses our sentiments. Only, unlike the professor at the beginning, we will not shrug and say we have failed our students. We are giving this experiment all we've got.
Too many teachers, courses, and colleges proceed apace as though no radical revolution is underway in our society, This is not our point of view. We will not be teaching this course in the traditional way with a little bit of audiovisual enhancement to dress it up. No. We are challenging our students in a serious way precisely because the stakes are so high and the attention given to the change is so low -- even at first-rate universities like the one we teach at.
It isn't just that technology is increasing and media multiplying. All our institutions are being reformulated -- not just retooled -- as the revolution takes hold in how we communicate, think, solve problems, collaborate, persuade, work -- in how we conceive of the world and act meaningfully within it: government, business, family life, art -- the works.
It may appear to our students that their professors are a couple of geeks imposing their love of things technical upon their students. If so, they have missed the point. It is not about the tools, nor some naive attachment to gadgets and science fiction. It is about the principles upon which society is built (or rebuilt); it is about a lifetime of purposeful, educated, passionate involvement in the life of the mind and the lives of our neighbors across the planet. It is about the very purpose of an education. It is about realizing how to realize your potential in a world in which print literacy will no longer dominate. It's about catching up, yes, but it is more about catching the vision.
We have that vision, and it thrills us. And it scares us a bit, to tell you the truth. But we want to take our students with us, forward in the future. We want them to be brave enough to detach from the comfort and familiarity of textbook learning and to pick up the challenge to dig deep within to the taproots of their passions, and to reach beyond themselves and their classrooms to the social networks and authentic issues and problems to which they need not wait to begin contributing their talents.
For all of this, we don't apologize. We hope our students are just crazy enough to stay with us for the ride.