A Vison Of Students Today – Marketers, Please Pay Attention To This Video

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In what is turning out to be a regular feature here, Professor Michael Wesch of Kansas State University, Digital Ethnography, and the guy behind the two amazing online videos, The Machine is Us/ing Us, and more recently Information R/evolution (of which both were featured here on the Six Pixels of Separation Blog), has done it again.

Take a look at his latest video, A Vision of Students Today:

I know that most people will see this as a wake-up call for their industry, but I find it especially relevant to the Digital Marketing industry. Young people are learning about Marketing in the types of environments depicted in A Vision of Students Today. We need to empower and power them better. From the looks of things, they are already using the tools needed to succeed, but are stuck in "industrial complex" like systems. They are mass collaborating, they are engaged in online social networks, they are spending more time with communications like email. Overall they are primed to be excellent professionals in the Digital Marketing space.

This is one of the main reasons I got involved in places like the CMA – Canadian Marketing Association, the IAB Canada – Interactive Advertising Bureau and NABS – National Advertising Benevolent Society. My hopes are that we can educate those interested in sales and marketing that the interactive space will allow them to grow and be challenged by using the tools they’ve become accustomed to (and expect).

Once again, this video acts as a powerful reminder/warning of what’s to come.

Hat tip to Hugh McGuire.


  1. Excellent video… I always wondered about the blackboard… It’s such an useless way of communicating information. Teacher writes, students re-write (making mistakes in the process).

  2. I don’t think that it’s marketers who should pay attention to this video. After all, they are partly “responsible” for this… Rather, it should be educators and governments who should watch it.
    P.S. Mitch, you need to fix the title.

  3. well, lets hope that some of them even become scientists and doctors and novelists and opera singers and indie rock pioneers, and peace activists and engineers, and judges and presidents. if they all become digital marketers, well we’ll starve pretty quickly.
    in any case the point is not so much what they will become, but what they are, namely, the future of (at least part of) the human race. this is what everything will look like in the next decade.

  4. when?
    I just want to know when the world will wake up to this. All I ever read about is how we can’t focus, we can’t stick to the program, we can’t commit to a system. They say we create rules arbitrarily. They wonder why we can’t sep…

  5. Mitch- thank you for posting this. I watched it and read your post with a colleague who is around my age (21).
    We are growing up and learning to communicate in a connected, information-rich and highly collaborative world; and we’re in the middle of an education system in flux;
    We’re multitaskers who walk to class listening to our iPods, checking our texts and email on our Sidekick, Blackberry or iPhone and talking with the friends we see along the way. Then we get to some classes and sit down for a two to four hour lecture with a professor who speaks to us rather than with us. No wonder so many students are surfing Facebook during class and finding it hard to focus on reading 200 pages of a text book for a class assignment.
    Luckily I go to a school that’s working hard to evolve. My school (Emerson College) strongly encourages small class sizes and brings in enough professors who not only know my name but know my email address and something about my goals and interests. Class debate and discussion is a huge part of the curriculum and our lectures are integrated with work on the Web.
    This kind of learning makes me feel like the investment of time and money I’ve made in my education is valuable. The blackboard, textbook, lecture rich model would make me question why I’m working so hard to keep up with the institution’s rising costs when it’s not working as hard to keep up with my rising need to learn in a collaborative, connected manner.
    This is a conversation I’d love to continue with anyone interested. You can reach me on my blog at http://www.americanshelflife.wordpress.com or email me at mooney [dot] amanda [at] gmail [dot] com.

  6. The question that occurs to me, as a marketer, is how to bridge the gap between the present (i.e. status quo) and future (i.e. a time when all consumers/decision-makers learn how to consume media the way kids do).
    Effectively, my challenge is the meantime. How do I identify the right mix of conventional and social media? How do I figure out how to shift this mix at the right pace over time? How do I help the consumers/decision-makers I want to reach make the transition with us?

  7. One of my fave bloggers, Paul Stamatiou, posted this about two weeks ago, and has some interesting things to say surrounding it. Thanks for sharing it with the digerati Mitch!

  8. This video is a testament of the poor state of educational institutions today. Teachers simply don’t get he multiple channels that students communicate in. And must resort to the one channel that they are familiar with, the blackboard. I long for the day that a professor provides and assignment via facebook, and gives hints and clues to how to solve the assignment faster and more effectively via his twitter feed and his blog posting.
    Perhaps the most concerning aspect is that these are the professors of the marketers of the future. How can marketing students think in multiple channels or in digital speak if their teachers cannot.
    We must begin to teach ourselves and reach out to blogs and our own peers to help us learn.
    Thank you for teaching us all something new today Mitch!

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