MIT not where it
hoped to be?
fails to offer "real" skills
From the far lane
Western's promotion of the unique nature of its media, information and
technoculture program is the reason many students currently enrolled in
it originally decided to come here.
Unfortunately, the young program has thus far failed to live up to its
Touted as "offering a critical, interdisciplinary analysis of institutions,
practices and cultural meanings" associated with communication technologies,
MIT instead offers a Marxist ideological stew. I once had am MIT class
where left-wing thinker Naomi Klein's book No Logo was the course's
one and only text. As a result, the only thing students learned from the
class was the top 101 reasons capitalism is evil.
Without asserting that all MIT faculty members are pushing a socialist
message I obviously haven't had them all as instructors
it would not be stretching the truth to suggest many MIT courses are excessive
in their anti-establishment messages.
But a political slant is not the only (if even the primary) problem with
MIT. After all, one could call Ivey right-wing without suggesting it fails
to provide a high-quality, substantive program.
In my opinion, MIT is guilty of providing a low percentage of course content
that actually serves to provide students with usable tools in the "real"
world. As already suggested, many of the classes could conceivably be
offered out of the political science department.
Some tight-knit MIT students might angrily suggest I should know that
abstract theory is an integral part of university learning. The department
might argue its program focuses on teaching "critical thinking"
(probably the most popular academic buzz-term), but that detracts from
the fact that most MIT students are striving to be journalists, lawyers
or public relations officers. Being experts on alternative media and knowing
what the hell "cyberculture" means is fundamentally useless.
Of course, there are several valuable aspects to the program. The first-year
prerequisites offer an excellent look at information retrieval, an analysis
of mass media in general and important computer skills.
Sadly, for the most part, Western is guilty of false advertising when
it comes to the MIT program.
Many students I've spoken to expected to be equipped with the tools and
techniques of mass media, information and technology. With the exception
of a couple of courses on HTML and multimedia, technology only comes to
play when students learn about how no one in the Third World has access
to it. Meanwhile, students are taught that mass media perpetuates capitalist
evils and propaganda.
Maybe I'm just too much of a realist. At least with the advent of the
joint program with Fanshawe College, students will have the option of
learning something they can actually use.
Otherwise, students looking for MIT should check out a more famous program
with that moniker. I think it's in Massachusetts...