New School Meets Old School
Posted on March 10, 2009
A House Subcommittee gathered recently to hear observations from witnesses on the state of K-12 Science Education. The star witness was the popular “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
There was the usual slam on the New York Times from the right and the jab from the left on the abysmal state of funding for education over the last eight years.
The highlight, however, was when the Committee Chair suggested that the group of visiting students in the audience write down on paper any questions they would like to pose to the witnesses. Nye quickly turned to the young set and suggested they just text him instead. That suggestion didn’t go over so well with the Chairman who quickly expressed his desire to “maintain some control.”
There’s been lots of talk about how Barack Obama used digital media to help win the White House and now the Republicans are twittering to catch up. But politicians miss the point if they don’t understand that what makes social media so powerful and, frankly fun, is that it does shift who has control over the conversation. Content and message are no less important, but the medium requires a new school of thinking about how elected officials interface with those who put them in office and pay their salary.