Just a quick thought based upon the “last regular” Oprah show from this friday. She invited her favorite “story” guests back to the show. Her final guest was a women who went from the desolation of Africa , where she was never to be educated, to the US, where in 20 years she made her “dreams” happen and is now a PHD in agricultural science. Her final dream, now to be “realized”with the assistance of oprahs millions is to build a school back in her home village. By 2015 the school should begin educating 2000 more like her… bravo.
The show and Oprah’s place in culture for the last 25 years became obvious now to me.. she’s America’s School Marm for Adults… adults who educated on Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as children, needed an adult continueing education teacher in the basics of human living in the age of media.
Born of video and global villages , Oprah fit the bill perfectly as the Teacher for this generation of latch key adults who may have gotten some alphabet and math and some “people” skills early on from PBS.. but who needed a continuation of being taught via media and a way to perpetualize their adolecense. It was Oprah who declared 50 was the new 30 , which kinda makes the point. She also helped elect her baby genxer brother, Barak to student council president;)
So there’s a quick transmedia cause and affect of storyselling techniques. The clever “new” transmedia of the Childrens Televison workshop in the late 60’s, for good or bad, directly created the need for an adult ed teacher later on in life for many genx-y’ ers. And when the time came they found Oprah to continue the transmedia ways of teaching “life lessons” in the TV media age ways.
Now that we move to the network interwebs of interactivity and immersion of the singular, and as new forms of education will be sold as the old classrooms are being forced to fail due to no economic support, a new form of teaching will occur, and then a new Oprah will arrive for that i-generations child-adults of tommorrow…. What form Oprah 2.0 will take in 20 years will be very interesting. Interactive, electric and always a teacher? A product or a Prophet ? Strange days ahead. Whatya think?