Learning from Huffington Post College

March 11, 2010

I was pleased to be informed by a staff member that Learning from YouTube was chosen as one of the “ten coolest college classes” by none other than the Huffington Post. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that this honor proved to be in the spirit of CollegeHumor only, but I would have thought better of the HP as CollegeHumor already successfully mocks stuff, it doesn’t need a grown-up knock-off.

This course is three years old, and mainstream media made fun of it already, and a long time ago because of its intentionally “cool” and even knowingly funny title. It’s easy enough to laugh about the class (and the others on the list) due to their course-title one-liners, but real coverage would look a little deeper (at syllabi, projects, readings, and student and professor description of learning goals and achievements), creating an informed context to help readers understand why professors choose “fun” topics towards the serious ends of higher education: to bring in students, engage them, and help them understand how even rarified practices, like media theory and analysis, can be applicable and even contribute to the strange new (media) world we currently live in. For this reason, I’m honored that Huffington Post asked me to blog about the class: letting my students and I establish for ourselves (in light of snarky comments) the serious nature of the work we did (albeit and importantly on contemporary platforms and in vernacular forms).

I then used the invitation to look and learn as a guest at their institution of higher education. Hope you’ll take a peek at my “Learning from Huffington Post College on Huffington Post College. I suggest over there, that there one might have the expanding opportunities of: learning by slide show, learning by corporation, and learning by edutainment.

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