Thursday, November 8, 2007

We've got quite a way to go - "A Vision of Students Today"

I was going through my RSS feeds and found this video posted on both David Warlick's 2 Cents Worth blog and Vicki Davis' The Cool Cat Teacher Blog - both of which are great reads if you aren't already keeping up with them. But all that aside, take a look at this video.

If you aren't able to catch all of the messages, you can view a transcript of them at the Digital Ethnography blog. This video was created by Michael Wesch and 200 students on the Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course at Kansas State University.

Just browsing through the first ten comments on that blog, there was some virtual head nodding, but there were also quite a few negative reactions. I personally don't believe that the video's intent is to have us feel sorry for these college students trapped in a classroom of the past. Instead, I see it as a message to educators that we need to be aware of our students and how very different they are from when we were sitting in those same seats. Students gather and use information far differently from how we did.

David Warlick put it rather succinctly in his response to one comment,
"The reason that I mentioned the video is that teachers should become aware of how children use information today, and the degree to which information adds meaning to their experiences. I believe that in this time, the education that best serves our children and their future will be one that includes the curriculum that thoughtful and forward looking educators agree on, and reflects the information landscape that will almost certainly be part of our children's future."