ERIC Number: ED526826
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov-6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Monkeys on Bicycles and Teletats Too: Prognostications from an Introduction to Media Course using a Marshall McLuhan Inspiration.
Online Submission, Paper presented at the McLuhan 100 Then/Now/Next Conference (Toronto, Canada, Nov 7-10, 2011)
This paper synthesizes the end-of-semester prognostications developed over several semesters by students, goaded by their instructor, in the Introduction to Media course at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Contending with "Understanding Media" alongside a much more conventional Introductory text, participants have distilled some consistent observations regarding beings and their tools, the convergence of Marshall McLuhan with science fiction forecasting, and the most likely direction of telecommunications technology (where we will literally "wear all mankind as our skin"--McLuhan 1964). This is all quite speculative, but the uniformity in certain speculations over several semesters about what our technology will ultimately be required to retrieve from our past is interesting. Introductory media survey courses typically regard their topic in terms of their histories, industry practices, and controversies (e.g.: Rodman). McLuhan's "Understanding Media" was added several years ago to cover the fourth perspective of media philosophy, which is usually more engaging for the many Juniors and Seniors who enroll in this Sophomore-level course, inexplicably, out of sequence. Being half a century old, "Understanding Media's" many then-contemporary, culturally relevant references used for illustration (Jack Paar?) are lost to time, and to my students. Conversely, the same passage of time has made McLuhan's prescient premonitions and prognostications today our everyday reality, and consequently readily comprehensible. This is quite a turnaround from the 1970's challenge of understanding McLuhan. The tetrads in particular are easily understood, appreciated, and handled by this generation of media savvy students.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri