Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist from Kansas State. In the video above, he gives a TED Talk about how technology provides the opportunity for us to go from being knowledgeable to knowledge-able by allowing us to connect, organize, share, collect, collaborate, and publish. He says that being knowledgeable is just knowing a bunch of stuff, whereas being knowlege-able is being able to find, sort, analyze, ultimately criticize, and create new information and knowledge.
I found it interesting that he highlighted how the introduction of television sets in family homes changed the way families arranged the furniture in their living rooms. We went from a society being focused around human interaction to one being focused around technology. It changed the content of our conversations. Initially it was a one way conversation, where you only had a voice if you had air time on television. Now, with the internet and social media, anyone can have a voice, and the conversation can spread like wild fire around the world.
I agree with his thinking that students have a voice so it is important to think about what their needs and interests are. How can we get them to change from being a distracted classroom of students, to an excited crowd at American Idol. We want our students to be excited about learning in the same way that we as teachers are excited to teach. The key question is, how do we do that?
One way I would like to implement Wesch's ideas in my own classroom is to allow my students to have a voice. In the video, a student reported that only 18% of teachers knew her name, indicating that it bothered her. I intend to know the name of every one of my students and greet them by name as they walk into the classroom. I want them to feel welcomed and comfortable in my classroom so they know that they matter. I always take a few minutes at the beginning of class as well to ask the class how they are, how their weekend was, if they're going to the football game, etc. I want them to know that I care about them personally.
That's just the beginning of how I would set the stage to give every student a voice. Asking their opinions and collecting their feedback is also currently in my teaching wheelhouse. I would love to hear what you do in your classroom in order to give your students a voice! Please share in the comments below!
Wesch, M. (2010, October 12). From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able [Video file].