International Journal of McLuhan Studies, Volume 2: Education Overload: From Total Surround to Pattern Recognition


IJMS Volume 2

This issue was published in 2013, but I only just received my copies, published in 2013 on the occasion of Marshall McLuhan’s 102nd birthday. It’s theme of education in the Internet Age, the impact of electronic education having been observed by Marshall McLuhan from the 1950s on, is timely and important, as the disruptive forces of the New Media have finally reached education. Published in Barcelona by the Digital Culture Research Program at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), an open and online university (see ). They, of all educationists, should have been aware that in the Internet Age one can study or teach from any country to any country, as I do, living in Canada but teaching online for a university in the US. Unfortunately, they shipped my journal copies to my US university, thereby delaying my receiving them. This is just one minor shift within the massive (paradigm) shift that is happening now in education at all levels. Shift happens! I assume that this issue will eventually be available online, as Volume 1 already is; see . I will advise readers of this blog when that happens……..Alex Kuskis


This issue is dedicated to the memory of my friend and colleague Dr. Liss Jeffrey (1951-2008), McLuhan scholar, educator, visionary

Learning in Digital Media


Learning in Digital Media; the Legacy of McLuhan and his Impact on Formal Education. The works of McLuhan have a continuing influence upon academia and it is enough to substitute ‘electronic media’ by ‘digital media’ in his work so that his conclusions are still valid. Today, the education system faces an explosion of information and knowledge and a distribution of social knowledge, but also faces a fight for changing the linear speech and the frame normalized of formal technicians. This is the inheritance that is being left to the students; a legacy where the formal surroundings of education generate evaluation systems with standard criteria that legitimate the knowledge but that punish more than stimulate the creativity of the student. McLuhan was able to anticipate the inexorable transit to a new age, which some texts named as the ‘Information Age’, and also anticipated that education, amongst other things, would transform adopting technologies of electronic communication. These works were criticized in their time (Gambino, 1972), and today also we can find critics on the use of technologies in the learning process, an example is the International Center of Research for the Development (Fonseca, 2005) that mentions the need to surpass this magic vision that the introduction of technologies improves education by itself. Díaz A. (2006), bases his criticisms on the risks of implementing transformations that do not have a conceptual or strategic basis. For education to adopt new communication technologies a paradigm change is required, that reflects not only modifications on a methodological level, but it also changes the culture and the organization of education itself. During the 80s, attention was given to the needs of teachers; in the 90s the attention was given to the interaction, now however this decade requires a pronunciation on the effects that bring new technologies in the learning system and the organization of the formal surroundings of education. (Source: ).

Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

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