Monday, May 17, 2010

The Class as New Media

One of the questions that I was willing to answer my self with this course was how education can be approach with new media. After Hansen reading in addition to other readings related to the field. I realize than more that approaching education with new media is more about education as a new media. One particular statement from Hansen argument caught my attention, the importance of the body.

For Hansen the body is the place where the digital takes place. For me his argument can be well adapted for new education: what is new about new education is that the body is the center of what is possible in this field. If education takes place in our bodies it means that we are in an undefined terrain. I believe that it is only in the undefined where emergent education can evolve. We go back to Deleuze, it is only in the becoming where new education can take place. As Ellizabeth Ellsworth quotes in her book Places of Learning: media architecture, pedagogy. What really exists is not things made but things in the making. Once made, they are dead… (William James).

It is in our bodies where we learn and trough our bodies how we learn. A great metaphor that Ellsworth brings to the field of learning and education is the parkour the sport of the art of moving trough the environment. I saw it clearly: art, architecture, the body moving with out previous maps. But best of all it is understanding this as a metaphor, because it means that this is what should be going on in our minds, in the minds of the teachers, in the design of a syllabus and in the goals of a class, among others. How to achieve the desired skills (just as in this sport the basic movement that you have to master in order to move smoothly) and at the same time be open to the new maps that each learner will trace? That is the challenge of the new education.

The concept of the prominence of the body in Hansen, although is radical about new media, is pertinent for education. First it is the understanding of our bodies as political beings that must be respect and developed consequently. Second as the place where ideas take place, it is about movement again, but the movement that takes place in our bodies even when we are resting, even when we are immobile in this point I disagree with Hansen because what he stating is that movement only occurs in the visible movement. Bergson (the body as an image in continuous movement) will further support the idea of the movement even in motionless.

Finally I would like to say that what is different in new education from Hansen’s postulate about the body it is that in new education the body is not only the receptacle of information or the framer of filter of information, instead of that, the body, the human being is the producer of meaning in education only in its continuous responses to knowledge is where becomes a learning being. What if we start seeing the class as a new media, as a new space where bodies inhabits the universe of knowledge? I’m sure that this is the only way of facing the world to come.


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