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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The World Is Our Classroom: The Media's Influence on Lifelong Learning - A Global Perspective

Cameron M Kiosoglous.

"Consider this scenario: we are all rowing in boats on a vast and slow moving river. This river is so large that we cannot see the other side of it. Some boats move faster than others, there are small and big boats some carry more wealth than others, some are going in different directions, but the flow of the river influences the boats' direction and path. Similarly, as we are exposed to the media, some forms of media are more effective that others, some are more costly, some are more entertaining, some educate, and others take us in the direction of a special interest. But there is an influence from the process of the media." (Fore, Television and Religion. 1987. Page 7.)

This analogy is useful when we consider major events, like the death of world leaders or the events of September 11, 2001. Much of our experience of these events comes from messages and images from the media.

This paper highlights a 1964 television documentary series, called the Up series produced by Granada Television, to look at England through the eyes of 14 seven-year-old children. This documentary, filmed every seven years since 1964, captures the lives of these fourteen individuals from ages 7 to 42. The critical issues that arise from this production are included in this paper, in addition to a review of the literature and other resources regarding the influence of the media on learning.

"The world is our classroom" articulates the influence of the media on lifelong learning. The Up series represents an example of this. Examples of other international series like this are also presented in the context of important theories, including Erik Erikson's life cycle model.

This paper highlights the media's powerful influence to encourage human development, and its dangers. The conclusion highlights future issues, in the context of technology and globalization, to the role of the educator. These trends that are highlighted, while not predictions, seem to have already begun.

"When our society is willing to invest in education with the same kind of resources now available for war, it will be able to create both diversity of media and educational environments required to produce happy, healthy citizens for a functioning democracy." (Lifton. Educating for Tomorrow. 1970. Page 207).


Cameron M Kiosoglous  (United States)
Career Development Manager
Professional Training Programs
International Internship Programs, Washington DC and Virginia Tech, Falls Church, Virginia

Cameron is an educator a international career counselor, and management consultant with specific interests in career transition and using technology to enhance lifelong learning to support people and organizations to achieve their goals. Cameron is currently a consultant in the Washington DC Metro area and Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech, in the areas of Adult Lifelong Learning and Human Development. He has a Masters degrees in Education and Human Performance Systems and is also involved with coaching elite rower to compete at the international level on the United States National Rowing team.

  • Lifelong learning
  • Technology and the media
  • International case study

(30 min Conference Paper, English)