I could not care less what celebrities think about anything, call it a personal bias. So the first time my Sirius radio station was talking about how Jon Bon Jovi blames Steve Jobs for killing the music industry I didn’t care. Now the second time I heard the same story I was in a more reflective mood.
I was at first surprised that an artist was complaining. I would expect the record industry to be more likely to complain, such middlemen are the obvious losers in this situation. When the world started to flatten allowing people to access digital content in new ways the Recording Industry Association of America organized musicians to testify against file sharing. Lars Ulrich testified to the US Senate and later banned me and several hundred thousand Napster users in 2000. While he did express some mixed feelings, he stopped short of regretting the move. In a quote attributed Lars (via an unsearchable LAUNCHcast article): “We didn’t know enough about the kind of grassroots thing, and what had been going on the last couple of months in the country as this whole new phenomenon was going on. We were just so stuck in our controlling ways of wanting to control everything…” speaks to what I think Jon Bon Jovi might later think about his nostalgic waxings for vinyl, album covers and his temporary memory repressions of CDs.
But on second thought I can see some parallels between the fear that Jon is expressing and what I see teachers sometimes try to say about technology. Teachers fear students will lose the art of writing, speaking, paying attention, etc. due to technology. Those that fear that type of transition are not as worried about the future generations, but losing touch with those future generations without that common experience.
Just as music will never go away, learning will never go away.
I bring Lars into this because (well, I am still a little stung) if this is indeed his quote it captures the fear: ‘…We were just so stuck in our controlling ways…’ It’s that the real issue for both Bon Jovi and some of our teachers? The comfort of the way we experience either music or learning seems pretty good, so why upset it? May I submit to you that just as Steve Jobs filled a need in the market the teachers that are willing to move closer tot he manner in which students wan to learn will be more marketable.
What do you think?