ASR Installment 6: Old School, meet New School

As we inch closer to the beginning of the school year, the search for wisdom on and through the online world continues.  Internally, this installment features a medley of student voices, led by our School Vice-President, who happens to be a patriotic digital native.  See further introduction below.

Externally, we turn again to Virginia Heffernan, with whom we will be continuing our ASR discussion when she visits at the end of September.  There are also a number of worthwhile links in the Further Reading section (we're really trying to keep the required parts manageable).

How this Works

Read the 3 selections below.  There are no specific, required questions to be answered, silently to oneself or out loud to the internet, but....

...Reactions are always welcome.  Responses are still OPTIONAL.  The days of reckoning will happen only once students return.

The aforementioned  Further Reading page features good, tangential material.  Poke around at your leisure (while you still have leisure)! 

Tune in on September 6th for the next (and next-to-last) installment of the ASR.  It will be #7 of 8 total installments, and yes, September 6th is the day after Labor Day and the day before...Seniors return!

SELECTION #1 the art of things to come

Backstory: The ASR asked 2011-2012 Middlesex School Vice President Nathaniel '11 (aka DJ Hellasauce, aka 5XT) to do some thinking/writing out loud about technology.  His thoughts led him to the arts, in turn bringing up thoughts about the whole art and craft of teaching and learning (further explored in Selection #2 and onwards).  A big thanks to 5XT for taking some time in the midst of the summer to contribute to the ASR. 


"Technology allows people with no formal music training to top billboard charts; technology allows people with no art experience to create masterpieces; and technology allows everyday people to become world sensations."

"(An) older generation of thinking generally feels threatened by younger minds picking up (or simulating) skills and techniques in weeks that took years to pick up only 5 years ago."

"Computers expand the member base of all forms of art, and allow for minds to unleash creativity that mere hands could not."

Read  Selection 1

SELECTION #2 note to self: stop preparing for world that doesn't exist

Backstory: Hopefully, you are familiar with Virginia Heffernan by now.  New Schoolers may delight in the following selection
(published first in the New York Times in August).  Old Schoolers may quake.  This reading is something we will definitely need to discuss, one way or another, when we get back to school.


"Simply put, we can’t keep preparing students for a world that doesn’t exist. "

"Even academically reticent students publish work prolifically, subject it to critique and improve it on the Internet. This goes for everything from political commentary to still photography to satirical videos — all the stuff that parents and teachers habitually read as “distraction.”

"The new classroom should teach the huge array of complex skills that come under the heading of digital literacy."

Read  Selection 2

SELECTION #3 a harvest of responses

Backstory: There have been well over 100 responses and contributions to the ASR thus far, the majority of them from students new to Middlesex (ASR has a few theories as to why that is the case).  Following is a collection of  140 (+/-) character samples of student opinion and perspective.  

Read  Selection 3

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