Sunday, March 7, 2010

TEDxNYED: We Can't Opt Out of New Media

Yesterday was NOT my average Saturday. I had the opportunity to attend TEDxNYED at the Collegiate School in New York City. 15 incredible speakers took the stage for 18 minutes each, delivering mind bending ideas and stories.

However, one speaker truly resonated with me: Mike Wesch. Mike is an anthropologist who traveled to New Guinea to explore a variety of different civilizations. He observed groups of people as they reshaped their entire existence in response to newly administered census surveys. He saw a culture that was built upon relationships morphologically change into something much different.

He offers the following insights from his journeys: This leads me to reflect upon my own practice as a teacher. Students are being used by the media surrounding them every day. We cannot "opt out" of this experience even if we believe that we are "too old for that stuff." It is our responsibility to guide students through the world of new media, encouraging them to relate each other is a positive and productive way. Today's students must examine the existing problems (the "almosts") and search for authentic solutions, creating learning that is culturally relevant and engaging.

Thanks, Mike. Those are clearly "ideas worth spreading."

Photos courtesy of Kevin Jarrett and Kathy Ishizuka. Thanks guys!

1 comment:

  1. Of all our out-of-the-box educational thinkers, I find Michael. Wesch among the most engaging. He uses out-of-the-box ways of showing us his ideas and conjectures about cultural and educational change.

    How does it differ? He uses his students at Kansas State to share what both he and they are learning. My guess is that these students contribute greatly to his unique message, with their unique massage of it.

    There's a lesson here for all of us: invite your students in as fellow teachers and learners. Give them the power, and they will give it back to your as an empowered Classroom Learning/Instruction Community.

    This CLIC is a new kind of clique and kids will find it way-cool to belong. It will liberate them from the box too.

    There is virtually no static syllabus any more. As Wesch, and Marshall McLuhan before him, remind us: the medium and the message are changing right before our eyes.....continuously.

    We need more teachers and learners in every classroom. Promote your students to a greater team role. They'll do you proud and promote you right back!



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