Monday, January 25, 2016

Tweet Me Your Talk: Geographical Learning and Knowledge Production 2.0

Interestingly, this article focuses on the very relatable topic of shifts in learning. Schuurman argues that geographic knowledge production and translation are shaped by changing work styles that now favor accessibility and concise summaries. In this way, she believes that the academic realm is supporting shorter attention spans that prefer these methods. She cites changing journal formats, academic social networking, and academic reviewing as some of the shifts that are occurring in the academic world. 

Schurrman claims that the reason students are occupied with the shifts in learning is because of the increasing preoccupation with presentation, or aesthetics. Students want to look at something in a journal that is easy to read and easy to find, but also that looks appealing. This is further made clear by the use of PowerPoint presentations, which we are all familiar with. Of course, this problem extends further than just geographic learning; this phenomenon encompasses all academic disciplines. 

In her conclusion, Schuurman posits that these shifts in how we learn can transform our neurological and cognitive skills, which she views as a negative consequence. Perhaps students will get so used to browsing databases and skimming articles that they won't know how to conduct actual research. But perhaps that is not the student's fault.

Nadine Schuurman (2013) Tweet Me Your Talk: Geographical Learning and Knowledge Production 2.0, The Professional Geographer, 65:3, 369-377 

1 comment:

  1. I think this is very relevant to our current social and academic contexts. Although, I believe shorter attention spans are not solemnly a consequence of academic practices but a combination of social and technological factors such as media programming, advertising, and internet browsing, etc... it is interesting to think how academic disciplines now seem to have to compete aesthetically, or present information in a concise manner in order to gain or entertain audiences.