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Video by Javier Duque

From typewriters to iPhones, the technology gap

by Javier Duque

Paul Majendie is a recognized Reuters’ journalist who now teaches. He finds it difficult to deal with students who have grown up in a different technological era than he did.

Transmitting his experience and knowledge to a new iPod generation is not an easy task for Paul Majendie.

"Technology has changed my life beyond all recognition since I joined Reuters in 1970. I started working with a typewriter and passed my stories over to an operator who punched them up on a telex machine and sent them to our subscribers."

Now he teaches in a class where every student has their own computer, with Internet connection.

Survival of the fittest?

Paul can’t imagine teaching without the internet. In the next five to ten years Majendie predicts, "the message of multimedia will filter all the way down the line. All sites will have to have pictures, video and text and all journalists will have to adapt or die."

For a teacher, that means updating their teaching methods is a must. Like Charles Darwin said: “it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

Students are not the only ones who have to adapt. Teachers also need to be up to date on new technology and integrate them in their teaching methods.

Respect the old school

Experience counts for something, and that’s why Paul was asked to teach. Paul thinks that instructing a younger generation is inspirational.

"They are constantly showing me something new whilst I, in turn, can offer the basics of journalism and the writing skills which will still always be needed."

Flashback

During his professional career, he covered several events like the Gulf War, "When I was there journalists were still only allowed to use typewriters and sat phones were banned.”

That can only mean that someone who managed to inform without today’s technology, will be much more efficient with it.

The tools

Traditional blackboards do not exist like they used to, everything has changed, “instead, I use power point, which I find is an invaluable tool, I use it for my lectures," says Paul.

"I also try to use videos as much as possible. It really helps the students concentrate and take in more information."

Some people even speculate that blogging will be the new way of teaching.The future is unwritten

“With the onset of the Internet and the mobile phone my job was transformed and so was the Reuters audience. The net hugely opened up our readership so we now boast 100 million readers a month.” What's next?

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