Michael Wesch’s video is an eye-opener for us educators. We sometimes end up not realising that the things we want and do are the same things that our students want and do. Sitting on a bench for hours on end had very little attraction. Writing thousands of words in essays is certainly no the best way how to spend our weekends. We are in a world were we are … have become surrounded by so much technology and gadgets that it is nigh impossible to concentrate when faced with a class set-up, of barely 10 years ago.
One situation which impressed me in the video is a comment which makes me realise how lucky sometimes students are when they belong to tiny classes of a dozen or so students. Names are learnt quickly and the situation becomes very familiar and learning is facilitated. It is easier for a student to ask a question when the educator is seen as a friendly character with a knowledge of the students’ background, as opposed to enormous classes where a student is just a number – though at times this situation cannot be undone or improved. Logistics can be a nasty element.
This situation, together with an old-fashioned style of teaching can result in student boredom and hence a lack of interest in knowledge in general and the academic. When the educator should be exciting the students’ intellect for furthering his/her knowledge, sometimes, sadly the opposite is occurring.
We are living in a world were Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Google and many many more are regarded as a source of infinite ‘knowledge’. I have put ‘Knowledge’ into quotes as I believe that the following is one of our roles nowadays – We need to use all types of media to put information at our students’ disposal. Then, we need to do our real role today, that is what our role has evolved into – guiding our students to understand which information is pertinent knowledge and which is purely ‘junk’.
My closing statement at this point is that we are not teachers or lecturers any more – these statements are in a way obsolete. We are educators who need to, not only be simply aware of the changes around us, but integrate them into our style of educating. Indeed I would like to rephrase my last sentence – We need to integrate OURSELVES into the changes occurring at a daily rate around us. In doing this, we will be accepted by our students as ‘in-the-know’, and we would be able to synch our knowledge better with the needs of our students and what we should be doing to give them the tools to conquer a space in our world.