Thursday, April 17, 2008

Youtube Foolishness

First off, I think that Youtube is absolutely genius. People will flock to whatever will give them center stage to publish their views/opinions, especially if people can see it.
Hence the whole Internet phenomenon, it's just one great big circus for all the world to see!
There are drawbacks to such a great site, as we all know (and have probably seen) the utter foolishness that can go up. I'm a fan of a funny clip or blooper video just as much as the next person but there are unnecessary extremes that often pass the Youtube radar. 
Normally I do not search the site for any kind of educational content but Michael Wesch's "A Vision of Students Today" was a welcome discovery. The first thought that crossed my mind after I watched it, was So true! I can't help but feel exploited as a student. I mean, me and nearly every other person attending a private University, are paying upwards of $40,000 a year to LEARN.  To get a piece of paper at the end of 4 years and say that we are proficient in one or more subjects. Somehow that piece of paper gives validity and meaning to one's whole life. I mean without it, there is almost no way to make a livable wage to support a family or live comfortably. There is life without a college education or degree but i think that statistics would prove that it is significantly harder to make a comfortable, living income without one.
How can these esteemed Universities--private, public, and state schools alike-- put a price on intellect? Is there any ONE way to learn that is better than another? If attending college wasn't such a cash cow, communities could educate people for free. All the information you need is available via the library, internet, etc. All your really need is someone who can teach. Wesch's video was a reminder of how absurdly overpriced education truly is, and i don't see the trend declining as time goes on. I shutter to think of what i might have to pay if i decide to have children. There needs to be some kind of educational revolution (among other things) to put these Universities in check.
 I suppose this topic is a double edge sword because it seems that even if all of the Universities cost the same amount there would still be "prestigious" colleges and those that are perceived as "other". How can we level the playing field to make all education equal and affordable?  I'm not sure if that is the question or the beginning of a completely new discussion of competition, human nature, economics, and evolution (you figure it out!).
Ah. My brain hurts.

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