This is the video we discussed in our LTMS600. I liked parts of the hour long video. I do not want to watch it again, so I wanted to remember my impressions.
The crisis of significance is very similar to the discussion we had in class. Students have the blank stare and are only interested in learning exactly what they will need to know for the test. We have all heard the question “is this going to be on the test?” This question is the backbone of the crisis of significance. Students are not willing to learn beyond getting a grade.
Random quote: Kevin Kelly – “Nobody is as smart as everybody.” This is a more interesting quote than “collective knowledge,” but it says the same thing.
I do not think the challenge is just for higher education, it needs to be expected at all levels of education. He worded the challenge as “creating platforms for participation that students realize and leverage the emerging media environment.” Wesch gave the example from his classroom of the ‘best notes I’ve ever seen.” What he described sounded like the wikified paper we created. It makes sense to me that the learning would have connections to many other sources. There is so much information out there; our brains would struggle to make connections without the power of the hyperlink. For students who understand all the connections, they have the chance to enhance the learning by adding some of their own hyperlinks. This is really awesome. I would love to be able to post lesson notes on a wiki and have the students personalize them. The professor said that he benefited from the lecture notes, because he saw what the students took away as being significant and meaningful for the students.
There are two small hurdles for me creating a true wikified classroom. Unlike a college setting where students bring their personal laptops to the classroom, I do not have access to 1-to-1 computers. Also the age of my students would pose a problem. The eighth graders can type on a blog/Facebook while they are pretending to pay attention in class. However, my sixth graders struggle to find the correct keys when they are looking at the keyboard, at least in the beginning of the year.
You have to give the learning a meaning beyond the test. The students have to decide for themselves that the learning is significant and going to influence their life outside of school. For some topics this is probably easier than others. But all students have something that excites them, even if it is something small, or relatively non-academic. If they can connect the lessons to their own lives than connect it to all the information, videos, etc on the web, they will find meaning.
Wesch says that the power of the network comes from collaborative work. He mentions something, and instantly 200 people are trying to find a solution. Early he mentioned that the network is stronger with more people. It is more complicated to manage, but it will not suffer as much if there are weak links. In a 25 person classroom, two weak links could influence the outcome in the long run. The students can be successful in the 21st century if they are ‘knowledge-able’ all the knowledge is out there, but the students, teachers, and adults need to know how to find it.