What’s wrong with classroom education and can new media change it?

As usual, a brilliant presentation by Michael Wesch, drawing on the real-life experience with students at Kansas U.

Presented at the University of Manitoba June 17th 2008.

1 Comment What’s wrong with classroom education and can new media change it?

  1. AvatarPamela McLean

    Much food for thought.

    I loved your approach of asking what the walls would say. I had not seen inside such a big high tech classroom before. I was intrigued to discover what the classroom looked like from your vantage point, and to hear what the walls would say. It was surprising to learn that the walls spoke as if they were walls in some of the poorly resourced schools that I know in rural Africa where there are few books and much rote learning. The walls there say things like
    respect the authority figure
    information is limited
    the teacher has the information that you need to know
    do not ask questions
    repeat what you have been told
    do not challenge ideas

    I love the way you are exploring the issue of what it means to study in an environment where information is not scarce. Love the learning environment you are creating where 21st century information-resources are actually altering the roles and relationships of teachers and learners.

    I love the dynamics in the class – the way students are not isolated individuals learning facts, but part of an active community of learning, were people interact with each other (face to face and digitally) and they interact with information to create knowledge.

    How would you define you role in this community of learning? Would you agree with the description “Learning Leader”?

    I ask because I see exciting overlap between what you are doing and what I am trying to do, and I would like to explore shared interests. Although I am not a professor, I am a Learning Leader. I am working with learners in Africa and trying to make best use use of the available digital resources. I am part of a very small team of “Learning Leaders” – some working face-to-face (F2F) with the learners and some offering support from a distance. The Learning Leaders come together online as a team. (I lead online,from the UK, and also F2F in rural Africa).

    Ours is a different learning environment to yours, but we are pro-actively exploring the potential of digital technologies. The Internet has come to some places in rural Africa, and mobile phones have arrived in many more, and our walls (like you walls) are starting to give a different message to the one they had to give in the 20th century. Learners don’t have to be imprisoned by walls any more – information can flow through them. Like you, I want to lead my learners into new relationships with learning, and knowledge, and each other, and the world beyond the classroom walls.

    Perhaps we can “rub minds” as my Nigerian friends say, so that we can compare the directions we are headed in and notice any points where our paths might usefully cross.

    Pamela McLean (Dadamac)

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