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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 11 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 11 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

iPod Touch
iPod Touch: Joits, modified under licence
I was amused earlier this week to find the Daily Mail in it’s usual shocked state with the screaming headline ‘The iPod A-level’.

It turns out that in a newly redesigned A-Level Media Studies course, pupils will have to engage with new media and submit some coursework in the form of websites, blogs, podcasts, or DVDs – all of which are relatively challenging media, and all of which are highly relevant to the new media world.

The coursework that has to come in this form is an analysis of the bigger coursework project which makes this even more of a challenge: They effectively have to put across a commentary on their work in an engaging, new media way. I’d rate that as a much greater challenge than a simple commentary essay.

As with anything remotely new, though, the Daily Mail doesn’t like it. It claims that such methods fail in certain areas:

Students must be able to concentrate for more than five minutes and produce a piece of work on their own.

They must be able to put arguments together and put a series of linking paragraphs together which express and develop an idea.

Well, certainly such projects will take far more than five minutes’ concentration, and will require the construction of detailed, engaging arguments about their idea. If doing this through a website or blog, then linked paragraphs will be necessary, and if doing it through a podcast or DVD, a clear script will be required – in many ways, more challenging.

The Daily Mail goes on to suggest that this new coursework requirement means that students will no longer need to be literate. Quite how it expects them to pass their written exams if they can’t form comprehensive and detailed written arguments and analyses is not mentioned.

And, as the Daily Mail should know, it’s impossible to produce a podcast using an iPod, so it’s hardly ‘The iPod A-level’. Oh, except, maybe they don’t know that, because unlike the Guardian, Telegraph, or the Times, it doesn’t publish podcasts. And it only launched a proper website in 2004. And in 2005, it’s editor said that giving away free CDs and DVDs was ‘madness’. So maybe the journalists just feel a bit threatened by young talent.

This 1,252nd post was filed under: Media, Technology.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Mort Karman


by Mort Karman

Comment posted at 02:01 on 9th January 2008.

At last educators are actually trying to educate.
All this is real world stuff, something all to often our schools forget to include.
On the other hand, with all my years in media, if I had to produce something using all the high tech stuff, I would flunk.
While we have too many young people who have aparently given up on trying to fit into the modern high tech world and drop out or drug out, we still have lots of decent youth who only need relivant course work to succeed.
It might be a good idea if you could run some of the best (and worst?) of it on your site.
This old man actually is sort adjusting to high tech.
My Horrible Product computer had to be set back to factory specs and redone and I did it. All by myself!!


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