Dr. Richard Miller, chair of the English Department at Rutgers University, provides an in-depth view of how the use of multi-media communications in the 21st centruy and its affect on the way our students will learn (or should learn) will result in vast changes to our colleges and universities in the not to distant future.
He first addresses the incremental changes taking place today focusing on how we have evolved from a 'print driven/solo authored' society to one that works on laptops, using word-processing capabilities, researching the worldwide web, collaborating and composing using not only text, but images, film and sound documents collected and shared globally. The availablity of information instantaneously has a profound effect on our ability to mold, form opinions and compose our thoughts as actual events are taking place.
Secondly, he feels that the fundamental change itself, lies within our ability to compose using the web itself. The accumulation of aggregate blogs from around the world allows creation emotional profiles from moment to moment. The challenge to us as teachers is to inspire, provide areas to allow for 'shared labors' among the humanities and the sciences and to understand that our ideas and dreams belong to no one and should be shared in the clouds.
His dream for the future is the creation of a Center for the New Humanities, where space will be provided for collaborations and multi-media compositions regardless of discipline or major. This dream I believe is shared by many forward thinkers who actually see this evolution as enevitable but its attainment our challenge.