Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A recorded conversation with Michael Wesch @mwesch #teaching

Nellie Deutsch, an incredibly strong promoter of open education, has been gathering a few very interesting educational thinkers. One of these great educational minds, viewing the world from an anthropologist point of view is Michael Mike Wesch. These conversations offer any participant who logs into the open virtual session, a chance to pose questions to the speaker, exchange ideas or simply listen to what they have to say.

Why I found this video interesting? Most of all for the reasons Mike lists on what makes a good teacher, or a good person for that. He focuses on really getting to know your learners, respect them and recognize the gifts, expertise of the people around you, so engaging with those who are willing to engage with you. I like that idea, it is very human.

For those not familiar with Michael/Mike, I gladly add the information Nellie provided: Michael has been called "the explainer" by Wired magazine and he is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. After two years of studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. He has made some seminal contributions in the field of digital ethnography, and burst in to the realm of public consciousness with his 2007 video -"The Machine is US/ing US". Since then, his videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed over 20 million times, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide.

Wesch has won several major awards and accolades for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He is considered an active developer of innovative teaching skills, for which he has won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

Enough formality, here is the conversation which starts with his famous video 5 minutes in the YouTube video.