Monday, February 16, 2015


It is urgent for our education system to get down from their anti-social-network pedestal

James Rector
I connect passionate teachers from America with the best schools in China, Korea, Brazil, Vietnam, and Turkey

Do you agree that Networking must be taught in Schools and Colleges?

I personally believe this is something that should be taught in schools and colleges as it would lay a strong foundation for a successful career for these students and also help build a stronger and more connected future citizens. Do you agree that Networking must be taught in Schools and Colleges? Or, should it be left out for students/people to figure it out as and when they feel the need for them? Do share your thoughts on it.

It's Time to Teach Networking in Schools and Universities

Feb 12, 2015
Andy Lopata

The recent anti-networking crusade in the newspapers and business press is nothing new.
A few years ago there was a big outcry in the newspapers against patronage as politicians' children were seen to benefit from attractive internships. The newspapers' response was to call for an end to all nepotism and internships to be offered on the basis of potential and ability only.
A laudable sentiment and one I can applaud in principle. I'm a great believer in meritocracy. However, I'm afraid that the quest was a vain one and never likely to succeed and the call to stop such activities soon died down.
I believed at the time, and still do, in a different approach. Rather than trying to end a practice that is all-pervasive, not just for students but throughout most people's careers, why not enable everyone, irrespective of their social background, to build networks who will open doors for them?
I have met a number of people from less than privileged backgrounds, who have achieved amazing things in their careers at a young age. They have done so through a combination of entrepreneurial spirit, hunger, drive and the ability to develop relationships with people who are happy to support them.
Yet networking is still left off the syllabus at our schools and universities. I gave a talk to 40 undergraduate students from the Netherlands last week. Speaking to them before the presentations, very few of them were aware of networking, other than perhaps as some concept that they had been told would be important to them. My presentation was the first experience for many of the concepts I shared.
In my experience this tends to be the case in many countries. Young students start meeting people who would be happy to help them to develop their careers from an early age, yet aren't taught the value of, or given the confidence to, maintain those contacts going forward.
Isn't it time that we realised the real value and true benefit of networking for young people and taught it in a positive light from a much earlier age? Rather than railing against the unfairness of people being given a helping hand, let's give everyone the knowledge and understanding they need to find that help for themselves.

Jacques Coulardeau         Jacques Coulardeau, Independent Researcher at Academia Edu
We are supposed to help children in their social development in our society, not in last century's society. That implies we have to train them to use all the communication tools available and to train them in the proper behaviors necessary for them to be able to use communication tools. And networks, social networks or others, are such communication tools, and I mean communication which implies they are supposed to be trained so that they can take part in the exchanges on these networks, be it music, poetry, literature, or simply social issues and scientific questions, and we must not forget religious ethical and philosophical exchanges or convictions.

It would be a lot better if we started thinking education differently. Exams should be performed with all communication tools at the disposal of the students. We do not need isolation and so on to do that: a project is by far enough. And then the real part has to be a one-on-one or a one-on-jury presentation of the project and there you can check if the students has been able to assimilate his subject and the matter he collected.

Take care of the future. It's already here under our feet. Let's walk with it and not tread or trample or stampede on it.


Thomas Langtry         Thomas Langtry, English Instructor
It's absurd. Universities are places where students are supposed to learn facts, skills, and knowledge, and feel comfortable in an environment designed to encourage an open and democratic exchange of ideas. Social skills are not part of any legitimate university curriculum. If you are enrolled in a university and serious about your education and what lies ahead, opportunities for networking will present themselves. Wasting the time and money of serious students so social climbers can destroy their chances of success is not something anyone should be encouraging, especially not in any official capacity. If you want to "network," do your homework, have something to offer, and go to a party if you are fortunate enough to receive an invitation.

Thomas Langtry         Thomas Langtry, English Instructor
Despite the contemporary trend to view the future over-optimistically as an endless leisure party in which no work and no skills will be needed, except being popular, young, attractive, and well-informed about current fads in music and fashion, no such thing is ever going to happen, and propping up this distortion is precisely why we have a crisis in education and an ongoing global political and financial meltdown. Putting nice wallpaper over a hole in the wall will not fix the problem, and a head full of pop culture trivia is no substitute for a real education.

Thomas Langtry         Thomas Langtry, English Instructor
Jacques: The real challenge would be to find students who don't already know how to use Facebook and Twitter. It is their very expertise in and addiction to social media that gets in the way of their ability to understand the real value of education. Tweeting 40 character summaries of frivolous reflections about art and literature--not to mention reducing art and literature to merely material for idle and pointless exchanges on Facebook--is not an acceptable career path, and leading students to believe they will achieve success by doing so should be a punishable offense.

Jacques Coulardeau         Jacques Coulardeau, Independent Researcher at Academia Edu
Dear Thomas

I only teach to vocational students and I always find the same difficulties with them. They do not know how to search anything on Google, they do not know how to use Google Translate, they do not know how to start a professional email and how to end it, they do not know how to address someone in an email, first contact, and later, American, English or French. Their bosses (and these students are studying part time and working part time paid full time by their bosses) want me to teach them how to use the machine they have on their desk, the computer and the Internet and eventually their telephone. They do not know how to answer a phone call, how to place a phone call, how to have a professional phone call on a very technical subject in absentia, without seeing the interlocutor. etc...

So frankly Facebook and sms.messages are really a secondary question. By the way can you reduce something to 120 characters like for Twitter, or to 600 characters like for LinkedIn? That is a question. How can you get your message through in less than one hundred words? And I am always amazed how Amazon consumers do not like long reviews though Amazon has extended these reviews from 1,000 to 5,000 words, though they kept the 1,000 word limit on IMDb.

By the way we can have very meaningful exchanges even on Facebook and Youtube, if we really try and if we speak to people who are more interested and interesting than just by and in scoring for a quicky next Saturday night during the football match. And I can tell you that Facebook is far from being only young people and students. Employers know that and check such pages. I have just asked one of my students who is applying for an Internship in Brussels to clean up his Facebook page. He took advantage of that suggestion and expanded his LinkedIn page too.

I just think your response is off the point

Take care


Jacques Coulardeau         Jacques Coulardeau, Independent Researcher at Academia Edu
My dear Thomas,

"It's absurd. Universities are " etc

The I guess the English Universities like Oxford that have classes to sensibilize students to how to establish contact with another student, male or female and keep within limits that will prevent any kind of rape or rape attempt, are off the point and should be considered as ABSURD. You are living in an intellectual ghetto.

In 1974 I answered the question of the day of the local paper in Davis, California, that Davis was a great place for people who wanted to live in an intellectual and academic ghetto and have some serious research to do (which was my case), but it was not exactly a place where real life was particularly boiling, in spite of the black organizations, the gay associations and other networking institutions, before Facebook.

Take care and try to understand why a full amphitheater of students in Davis in 1974 would explode into laughter when the main character in Women in Love, Gerald if I remember well, says: "I just slept like a log." I felt at the time there was some sexual innuendo but who would laugh at it?

Have a good day


Jacques Coulardeau         Jacques Coulardeau, Independent Researcher at Academia Edu
My very dearer and dearer Thomas,

You really come directly out of the New Testament with your "pop culture trivia."

Was Dickens who was published in small installments every week or every month and peddled down to the villages along with ribbons and safety pins nothing but "pop culture trivia" in his time? And is he now?

What about those musicians who could only cause trouble in the concert halls where they performed? These have existed all along since music was invented by Homo Sapiens some 350,000 years ago. And what about popular poet in the Middle Ages who composed Tristan and Isolde, the versions performed on the markets?

Today's pop culture trivia is tomorrow classic references and classical pedagogical matter.

What fed Shakespeare in his time? The popular audience of his theater or the publication of his sonnets that only those who could read could eventually appreciate if they got a copy? How many copies? I should ask how many hundreds of copies because it was a lot less that one thousand or at the very most coming close to that one thousand, and how close? And what proportion of readers in the English population, even in London?

Is the sexual and obscene trivia in Shakespeare's plays nothing but trash scattered upon the most delicate, intricate and intelligent plot and sentiments and assets and stakes? Is the excessive violence of Titus Andronicus worth even quoting? It is nothing else but a horror story and even Stephen King would not be that gory.

You are just not in contact with this civilization that is growing in front of you, under your nose and in front of your eyes. You are blind like Mona in William S. Yellow Robe, Jr's play "The Star Quilter" but you have never been able to see or feel the sap, the blood and other human fluids flowing in this society, including on the campuses and in our classes.

Wake up, man, the world is growing and it will be growing in the future without you if you do not get on the chuck wagon. You may even starve on the shoulder of the road, if not in the ditch, that is if the young texting hooligans on the chuck wagon do not throw some hot dogs at you, and just pray they don't sic these hot dogs at you.

Have a a good day


Thomas Langtry         Thomas Langtry, English Instructor

You have a very unique perspective. Normally, universities and vocational schools require the adults they enroll to already possess basic functional skills, which they should already have learned before enrolling in college. Learning basic hygiene and communication and social skills are part of what parents are supposed to teach us from the time we are children. By the time we graduate from high school, we should have learned basic math, spelling, and history. I am uncertain what kind of vocation you are going to teach adults who cannot even handle basic day to day skills, but I am not going to pay for it. If they do not have productive skills that will benefit a professional organization or the people its goods and services are designed to serve, I am unsure what exactly you are trying to accomplish.

If I am living in an intellectual ghetto, I do not know what kind of ghetto you inhabit, but I would venture to guess I am probably better off.

Thomas Langtry         Thomas Langtry, English Instructor
Jacques: You seem to be arguing that having a complete lack of skills is something that should be regarded as normal and a positive development. It is neither normal nor a positive or encouraging development. It is a horrifying and anomalous occurrence that about which no one really knows what to do or how to respond.

Having no discernible skills as an adult who is about to enter the professional job market--especially when this is happening at such an unprecedented magnitude that the entire education profession has been hijacked to cater to people who not only the cannot demonstrate the skills any reasonable person would consider a normal prerequisite for entering college in the first place, but also appear to be proud and belligerent that their selfishness and dedication to self-abuse and ignorance have resulted in a virtual cessation of the normal functioning of both private and public sector institutions is a condemnable obscenity not to be tolerated.

Your attitude of disrespect and dismissiveness toward me as you champion this unbelievably arrogant domination of resources, time, money, and effort from the rest of the world, largely populated by well-educated and accomplished adults who find this entire display an absolutely unacceptable and unforgivable slap in the face does, however, speak to your incredible courage. I am uncertain where you will take this from here, but you have certainly demonstrated a willingness to engage in international affairs that, from my perspective, certainly do put you in an elite category of individuals with regard to your ambitious vision.

I am no match for you, sir, and will gladly concede the rest of the argument.

Jacques Coulardeau         Jacques Coulardeau, Independent Researcher at Academia Edu
Dear Thomas

Better concede the rest of the argument like Oxford, Davis, Dickens, D.H. Lawrence and many others.

Play the game "I am insulted" when you just say others are "absurd" and the circle has been turned into a square. So sorry if you believe I am not in mathematics but in qualifying you.

The way you do not want to understand and the way you reject all that young people do that is so unproductive that the founder and owner of Facebook is making a fortune and Mr Ma from Alibaba is one of the most economically powerful persons in the world along with people like Bill Gates, such attitudes towards young people and the world the way it is developing, the condescending attitude against people who have not acquired the basic skills (which one exactly besides reading, writing and reckoning) in high school, all that makes you a perfect academic ghetto resident, and that is all. So if you consider the debate is closed, fine with me. It is for you, but it is not for the world.

And I live in the world and certainly not on a campus. I visit one from time to time but I would never reside on it.

Have a good day


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