Friday, February 25, 2011

Wesch, "From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments"

"From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments" by Michael Wesch


Learning in new media environments is absolutely the epitome of what our educational institutions need to understand and implement in classrooms across America. However, what is equally important,  and Wesch does consider this in his article, is teaching in the new media environments.  Wesch states “As we  increasingly move toward an environment of instant and infinite information, it becomes less important for students to know, memorize, or recall information, and more important for them to be able to find, sort, analyze, share, discuss, critique, and create information.”  Teaching and learning , is changing its form, and students of today are ready for the shift to take place.  We see it slowly happening in the college classrooms but the high school classrooms are still archaic. The teacher lectures, the students take notes, and then there is a test on the notes.  This learning through technology is not going away. Students have instant information at their fingertips and it might be said that many, if not most, students are more knowledgeable then their teachers when it comes to this  important and life changing venue. Wesch argues that “This is a social revolution, not a technological one, and its most revolutionary aspect may the ways in which it empowers us to rethink education and the teacher-student relationship in an almost limitless variety of ways. “ Technology is not going away and young people are very savy with it, why not tap into this passion and intriquing power the youth of today have aquired in this “new” world of information. I say “why not” but we must engage in this ever changing vast of knowledgeable.
Wesch understands the value in transforming the classroom into a innovated, knowledge- able learning and teaching atmosphere because students are tuning out.   This is  “the crisis of significance.” Educators need to bring “relevance back into education.” In the online article “How Web-Savvy Edupunks Are Transforming American Higher Education” by Anya Kamenetz, she touches on an even more thought of urgency.,0&partner=rss%23
Her article claims that if we, as a society do not do something about the lack of technology in the classroom that professors will be out of a job. Online colleges will take over. “"If universities can't find the will to innovate and adapt to changes in the world around them," professor David Wiley of Brigham Young University has written, "universities will be irrelevant by 2020." Although for  many of us, the traditional college campus is still a prominent ideal, but Professor Wiely is not far off. Today there are many online colleges offering college classes right from the comfort of our own home. Realistically these online classes were first designed for the continuing educator.  Mom and dad’s took advantage of this new educational venue because they need to earn a higher degree, or earn thier bachelor’s degree to increase their salary to provide for their families. Today, these online colleges are a haven for all who seek an education. In the New York Times online “Room For Debate” blog articles, many discuss this new form of education. Many agree with Wesch that it is a crisis of significance. Greg Von Lehman states in his article “As Good as Classroom Lessons”  that there is rise in online education. “UMUC offers more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certificates fully online. The university has approximately 90,000 students worldwide.”  He also confirms that it is not just the working class who is seeking this technology education, it is everyone who wants to be educated.” This should get many educators worried.  
Points to Share:  Are the youth of today getting a quality education online?  Can our instructors be replaced by screens? Is personal interaction a thing of the past?


  1. Diana,

    It's funny because some of my students are so comfortable talking to me (the adult) whereas many of them can't even look up when they are talking to me. We live in a text-first, talk-if-we-have-to world. Take our Blogs for instance-many of us are quite expressive on the blogs, but when we get to class, we either don't say hello to each other, or if we get into groups, we tend to get a bit of anxiety about what we are going to say regarding the article.

    As far as the online education being a problem, I do NOT think that we will be replaced by screens, but I do see a new wave of "Online Testing" rather than the "Paper Testing" becoming more and more a part of the Education World.

  2. I think that your hyperlinked article by Kamenetz is interesting in its reference to the almost limitless online options for adults to take online courses today. I disagree that these will ever take the place of a passionate, well informed teacher to guide and stimulate a student, no matter what the students age. These online universitity courses serve a purpose but seem one dimentional and flat.

  3. You raise important issues about costs and benefits... so the question I think Wesch would ask is, how do we turn those online experiences into face to face learning for our students? Or how does that online learning create more opportunities for engagement in the world? Hard stuff!

  4. What's interesting about the online education is that although it takes advantage of internet and computer advances, I bet Wesch might view distance learning as the antithesis to his own education goals.

    Wesch focuses on the "social revolution" and the network of technologies. While distance learning has incorporated blogs and virtual classroom methods - this type of education still falls short of many of Wesch's ideals: participation, dialogue, production, tagging, networking, etc.

    It could be that if distance learning quickly adapts to the 'social network' they may become more relevant than the classroom experience.

  5. i liked your blog...
    really liked how you stated
    "Her article claims that if we, as a society do not do something about the lack of technology in the classroom that professors will be out of a job" Daina