In this piece on Edutopia, Betty Ray introduces us to Douglas Rushkoff’s book Present Shock through an interview with him on the state of technology and education. As Ray writes, Rushkoff “turns his lens to the human experience in a world that’s always on, always connected, always in the now, now, now.”
Ray asks Rushkoff, “How did digital technology “break” this narrative?” Rushkoff answers, “Well, initially, it was the remote control… We can pause, go back and forward. The storyteller no longer calls all the shots.” This is an interesting perspective, one that challenges traditional notions of narrative by acknowledging the agency of the audience in the construction and reception of the message.
Neither Ray nor Rushkoff understand this breaking of narrative as a bad thing, more as a new understanding for considering how students construct meaning. Rushkoff says, “They are no longer required to submit to the official story in order to get the information they want.” In other words, digital technology’s capacity to break the narrative creates new paths to knowledge for students.
For more from Rushkoff, check out his appearance on The Colbert Report.