Sunday, June 7, 2009

Commencement 2.0: How I'd Change the Graduation Ceremony

Traditional rituals have benefit. Older people especially find comfort in them.

But the young are, well, too young, to feel much nostalgia. At commencement ceremonies, many mainly feel bored: "I can't wait for it to be over. I'm starved."

I've written often on reinventing education but not heretofore on education's capstone. Here's my vision for Commencement 2.0.
  • Every graduate, as she or he crossed the stage to get the diploma, would give a one Twitter-length (less than 140 characters) speech. The audience would be encouraged to tweet each other about it in real-time.
(To avoid the ceremony being longer than an hour, if there were more than 100 graduates, there would be a separate ceremony for graduates within each of a university's colleges or majors. In a large high school, there'd be a ceremony for each academic subject. Each student would attend the ceremony of his or her favorite subject.)
  • One non-graduate would get to give a blog-post-length (200 words ) speech.
  • All the above would be enshrined on a monument to be prominently placed on campus. (or if a virtual university, on its website.)

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