Sunday, April 05, 2009

A Vision of Students Today Redux

An example of a social network diagram.Image via Wikipedia

Mike Wesch recently posted a revisit to his original video “A Vision of Students Today.”

I found the original video exhilarating. I knew people who interpreted the video as a negative thing. I did not understand that. I thought people would see that video and say “it is time to change how we teach.” I really thought that it was about time. Instead, they would say “those poor kids” and talk about how we should be banning computers in the classroom. I celebrated the video because I knew that those changes in our culture were already happening. Students today do not read paper; they do not read journals, and they don’t subscribe to newspapers. The current culture of teaching prepares students for a world that is already gone. No one is going to ask them in the work place to solve a problem by writing a ten-page research paper.

The original video was one of the inspirations for our class (Health Information Management 101). This class utilizes social networks, new media, and is portfolio assessed. I felt that it was important to create a class that taught students how to build knowledge networks of peers, advanced students, and professionals. We also have classes where students are creating videos and podcasts in place of traditional papers. Since the students are utilizing the internet and networks for their main source of information, it is extremely important that we facilitate critical thinking about new media and social networks. Isn't that why we were doing this in the first place? When did papers and tests become more important than critical thinking?

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