The Crisis of Significance



One last time I’ll attempt to turn you on to the significance of what Michael Wesch from Kansas State University is trying to do. His talk at ELI 2008 in San Antonio is titled “Human Futures for Technology and Education“, and his subtitle is “The Crisis of Significance”. As the facilitator notes, Michael is famous for his “The Machine is Us/ing Us” video, and he continues to challenge us with more recent productions from his Digital Ethnography students.

It’s hard to summarize all of the good points that were made in his presentation, but his central point revolves around how the classroom, and the nature of education, needs to change. If the top questions faculty are getting in their classes are “How many points is this worth?”, “How long does this paper need to be?”, and “What do we need to know for this test?”, then that is a crisis of significance. “All learning starts with good questions” states Wesch, and if the only thing that the students are worrying about are what grade they are going to receive then there is a problem.

In fact there is so much here, and we all have so little time, I should just let you get to it right away and listen/watch for yourself.

UPDATE: None of the ELI sessions are available. Sure hope this is temporary.


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