Schools for Sale?
Morgan Spurlock, creator/director of the McHit Supersize Me, released his newest documentary, The Best Movie Ever Sold. I saw this flick at my local neighborhood RedBox (That’s right Netflix, you’re out!) and decided to check it out. Overall, I thought it was a great documentary, ironically detailing the use of product placement in the production of movies, TV, and well, life. The one thing that really caught my attention was when Morgan visited Broward county schools in Florida. He interviewed high school students in regards to their status as the holy grail of advertising demographics and how they feel about being targeted at school by advertisers. He then, went on to speak with the faculty, discussing some of the product placement that occurs in the school system. A faculty member escorted Morgan around the school’s campus, showing him purchased advertising banners hanging on a fence outside, as well as discussing the implications of advertising in academia.
This discussion made me feel very uneasy, as you could literally see the faculty member licking her lips as Morgan discussed purchasing ad space around the school. I was initially disgusted by the obvious desperation the woman displayed, but then was struck by a sad realization: the issue here was not ethics in advertising, it was ethics in capitalism, and where our priorities lie as a country. It is a widely known fact that the U.S is not exactly topping the charts when it comes to education, but what does it say about our nation when we have educators so desperate for school funding that they have turned to advertising to keep them afloat? Keep in mind this isn’t a television program or magazine we are talking about here, this is the future of our country. I start to feel queasy when thinking about schools having to sell out to survive.
Who knows though, maybe I am just old school, maybe this is a surefire sign that the brick-and-mortar style of education is an outdated dinosaur, and this is the future of classroom education and what is necessary for its survival. Being a company that focuses on web-based learning, we are constantly looking over the horizon and trying to innovate and plan for the future of education. At VocabSushi we specialize in web-based education, but we understand that these are merely tools for education, and like any tool, are the most useful in the hands of those skilled at the trade.
We are very curious to know what you think about all of this. Where do you think the future of education is headed?