"Our new era is marked by the multitude of people and institutions with the capacity to broadcast, each with different normative standards – and some with no concerns about accuracy even as a standard that is not always upheld – with a polarized public with little trust in any intermediary, and drawn to information that confirms preexisting biases. The result is a frayed, incoherent and polarized public sphere."
"Public broadcasters were designed to elevate the societies in which they operated: to help them be smarter, better informed, healthily pluralistic and successful. For decades they did exactly that. Their impact faded because of technological and public policy changes: we cut their funding, we deregulated their industry, and we didn't make the kind of policy interventions in the digital world that we had been making for decades in conventional radio and TV. Today, we're in a mess. Our societies are fractured and fragile, and we need to heal the rift between the people and the institutions intended to serve them. I believe that calls for a reinvestment in public institutions, including public broadcasters, and for those institutions to recenter themselves on public service."
As much as the advocates of information literacy at libraries and universities hope to be arbiters of truth and facilitators of knowledge, with a unimpeachable mission of social justice guiding their practices, their micro actions over the past few centuries have too often been tangential rather than negotiated with or in resistance to the dominant hierarchy. The result is a system that, by and large, reconciles pupils to the existing order, first in deference to an aristocracy of power and now to the sovereignty of the market.
So rather than develop localized standards, with librarians and instructors working in collaboration with those seeking information, developing together shared social standards for knowledge in their community, colleges and libraries have ceded control to content publishers, who impose their hierarchical understanding of information on passive consumers, leaving institutions to only exhibit and protect the information. In this, they have excelled: Access to the world’s most prestigious research journals is a website away, although that website is behind both a tuition and a journal subscription firewall. The best teachers in the world offer the best courses in the world for free through networks of classes aimed at democratizing education, as long as the students are essentially autodidacts. Although shrewd advertising promotes the college experience as personalized and connective, schools and libraries have joined the historical arbiters of culture as mausoleums.
To remake education into a space of social justice rather than course-by-course “all you can consume” content buffets, faculty and staff would need to acknowledge and address these structural issues. Instead, educators doubled down on control, promulgating top-down information-literacy rubrics.
#decentralization "Evolution and, more frequently, revolution is about what pushes and rewards the behavior of survivors and produces more survivors: incentives and risk aversion: the crave and the worry."
via @amcollier http:/