Monday, July 13, 2009

A New Pedagogy for a New Age: Michael Wesch Challenges us to Think Anew

Michael Wesch is an web anthropologist -or to use his correct title
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State
and as well as being a professor he is also a dab hand at creating some powerful YouTube videos that well illustrate his talents as a creative teacher and thinker for the new age we find ourselves in. In his four minute or so YouTube videos he can make us smile and think. In particular he has a good eye for what students have to go through these days to get an education-- and how they are stifled in this process by the 19th century concepts of knowledge and practices that the institutions they attend still practice. If you are not squirming with recognition after you see this then go back to your reading and sorry to have disturbed you. Take a look!

Now it is important to think through to the conclusions. Those students depicted in the video no longer want to be isolated from the world--they want to have an education that is relevant to it and to its concerns. How do they achieve it?
They need enlightened profs like Wesch to assist but they also need to say more clearly what they need out of the education and work collaboratively. Who is hosting such conversations that have to inevitably take into account the global nature of knowledge and the way the web has broken the paradigm of the way we create and share information. For this see his other dynamic video --The Machine is Us...

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