Steve Sloan recently posted about the discussion the journalism department at San Jose State is having on what to do with the JMC 163 class on new media. This has been one of the best classes that I have taken in my four years so far at SJSU. I have learned more in this one class that will actually help me in my career than in all of the journalism classes I have previously taken combined.
Some people from the school want to change the class by adding software to the curriculum. I totally agree that we need to learn the software programs that they are talking about, but this is not the right place to do it. First off, InDesign and Photoshop are not new media by any stretch of the imagination. They are important programs that we need to learn and they should offer more classes on how to use them, but they need to keep at lest one, preferably two, classes on new media and Web 2.0.
I completely agree with Andrew that we need new media to be a concentration within journalism just as print and broadcast are.
I said it once and I'll say it again, the University needs to revamp its curriculum and consider making New Media a concentration unto itself. What's happening now is essentially like having all Nursing and Biology students in the same major because it might increase costs to the school to have both.I am a print major and am very disappointed that I have not learned anything about photography, design, video or audio until now, let alone web design, HTML, RSS, blogging, podcasting or any other new technology. We need to learn the history of media, how to write and edit and all that, but we also need to learn where the future of the industry is going to be or else we will be completely useless when we graduate and try to get jobs.
My favorite comment so far comes from what Whitney Hoffman wrote on Scoble's blog:
As Dr. Spence said to the group (at the Univ. of DE): “Most classrooms haven’t changed their knowledge delivery methods since universities first came into existance. A mideval professor would feel quite at home in most of today’s classrooms- a talking head, lecturing to a bunch of seated students, whose job it was to absorb and spit back knowledge” rather than absorb it and then transform it, work with it, to create something new.Amen. I think there is a lot to learn from lectures but we also need to apply the things we are learning into today's world. We need to learn the things that employers are going to want in five, ten, fifteen years. That is why I am going to college, and that is why I am taking JMC 163.