Teaching as cooperation and sharing

I perceive that there is a change in our way or relating to information; the boundaries between the traditional communication sectors is blurring – information is organised and sent to different media – print, Web, mobile media. Things change but they stay the same; typography is about giving clear expression to content. Good Web design is about the same. Structure, clarity, communication. The students are interested in the personal expression of style – they think this is design. What is underlying is constant, but how to interest the students in this?
This class has already decided that school has nothing to teach them; they have formed their own company, registered the name and created a site that already shows promise and goes way beyond what school has started to show them. They want technique; they want content – they lap it up if you show them something they don’t know and they learn with lightening speed.
The base of this new multi-support communication is a mark-up language: XML. It allows content to be structured, separate from its form, in a way that can be understood by different programs. Now, I have just learnt this – I’m a beginner here and I am standing in front of a sceptical class. They don’t like school; they don’t work together – teachers don’t like them. Some are absent; they have made the decision that I have nothing to teach them.
“I perceive that we need to learn Cross-Media for these reasons”, I say. I have found these exercises, which I already completed. This afternoon I have asked our teacher of programming to come to answer our questions. We do the exercises. I stay for the afternoon class and learn a great deal.
There is no longer a place for the one-way passage of knowledge; the structure of power and control in school. Another relationship of cooperation and sharing is put in place.
Yet, what is important; what we need to learn depends on influences that go beyond the needs of an education and attitudes and expectations of the students towards school are already deeply engrained.

I come back to the same things; the capacity to think and communicate clearly; to structure information. to manipulate ideas. These skills are what we need to bring to students through the “noise” of too much information and the seduction of novelty.

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