Michael Wesch presents an important concept in education- actually, what I think is The Most Important Concept in education currently in this TEDx video titled "From Knowledegable to Knowledge-Able." He talks about how with today's media we really have a global conversation happening, and how today's students have the opportunity to be part of that conversation. He argues that that is where their learning should be taking place- through global experiences that effect real change and affect real relationships across the globe. He suggests that a good question is one that "takes us on a quest," and that a question on a scantron test doesn't do that. His main point is that helping our students to become knowledeable isn't really helping them. Instead we have to help them to become knowledge-able.
I agree with Mr. Wesch. Our charge as educators is to guide students toward tools, connections, real-world problems and ideas, and relationships. We have to help them learn to use those tools and help them learn how to connect within relationships effectively and in a manner that matters and seeks to help solve today's global problems. The realization that people such as Michael Wesch have been talking about this for a number of years now (this video is from 2010 and clips that he shared from his other video are from 2007) doesn't do much to make me personally feel great, because it seems we are still, by and large, teaching as if we are the givers of knowledge rather than facilitators within a global conversation. But I won't allow myself to become too disheartened. The fact that I am here now, engaged in this reflection on this topic, along with others in my graduate program, is a good sign. I am beginning to learn what I can do to better lead my students to knowldedgeability, and so are others like me. I guess I am the little bird in his Aztec analogy about the world on fire. I am just beginning to do all that I can.
As for ideas on how to put this in practice in my classroom, well, the ideas are coming in connected streams- flooding really. I need to have a device or pen and paper with me at all times right now, because being exposed to the ideas and inspiration of Wesch and others with similar ideas has opened up something in me that is profound and important. That is to say, I am being changed by what I am being exposed to, and I am on fire for what is possible. I'm feeling rather impatient with these ripe ideas, as I want to change everything - NOW. But I have to start slowly. I have lists of ideas that add up to this - my students need me to offer them:
The specific projects and ideas for curriculum are slower to come, but I know they will. I'm in the big idea stage. To say that I am excited about what I am learning and delving into right now is an understatement. I haven't felt this energized about my craft in a very long time, and it feels good to be energized again. I know my students will be better for it as well.
Wesch, M. (2010, October 12). From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able [Video]. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeaAHv4UTI8