When education crosses over into entertainment, teachers truly have succeeded in taking advantage of technology.
Such is the case with assistant anthropology professor Michael Wesch’s video, “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us.” Its viewers were not only the captive audience comprised of students enrolled in his anthropology class, but also the 1,286,496 people who watched it on the video Web site YouTube. In finding background information for this editorial, we were compelled to watch the 4 1/2-minute clip no less than three times.
We remember the onset of PowerPoint and the way it was supposed to revolutionize the classroom experience. However, most instructors simply offer a typed version of their lectures on white slides. This practice hardly brings a subject to life.
Music, hyperlinks, videos, animation – all these things not only capture the attention of students but capture the subject they are studying in a way that verbal or written communication alone cannot.
Wesch is correct in saying that digital text is changing us – the way we do things, the way we interact with people, and the way we see the world.
Not only instructors, but everyone can benefit from technology, from the way we share memories to the way we talk to faraway friends. Taking the steps to learn and make use of the technologies is important as we are swept along in the current of the Information Age.
To see Wesch’s video, go to www.ksu.edu/sasw/anthro/wesch.htm and click on the link to the video at the bottom of the page.