Tuesday, February 26, 2008

a vision of students today

just watched this insightful video by Michael Wesch, Professor of Anthropology at Kansas State University, via PSFK. the video was created by Wesch and 200 of his anthropology students to document changes in student learning, while traditional education remains very much intact.

when i talk to college students the biggest change i see is the existence of laptops in class. with wireless networks allowing online perusal during lectures - and many of those lectures being given to enormous classes, tuning out and surfing the 'net become the norm. i'm not sure how this habit has taken hold in the small, private colleges i attended, but i'd imagine where there's a will there's a way in any sized class.

i think the most interesting thing about this video is its relevance to the way many of these college grads act in the workplace. just as education is changing and technology is both positively and negatively affecting the traditional school setting, the workplace is quickly evolving to reflect the same trends.

it's a permeation of multi-tasking and shortened attention spans. it's a heightened sense of urgency, perpetuated by convenience and opportunity to feed and execute any desire/task.

what does it all mean? i look at this video, and look around my own office and see that engagement is king. from the class to the office, technology plays both sides of the sword when it comes to engagement: you can use it to engage an audience in a meaningful way, or technology can be the first suitor to lure a disinterested brain away.

kudos to K-State for exploring this. too bad they couldn't win last night's game (yeah, i was rooting for them) to position the Jayhawks a bit more favorably.

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

this is interesting.

i had some professors who completely banned laptops in their classes, and honestly, i was either working on another project or facebooking when i brought mine to class.

i love that your top picture is from mizzou's j-school. i would recognize that lecture hall and rows upon rows of macs anywhere.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Andy Woolard said...

i sent that photo to our dear friend Heath long ago...found it again for its relevance to this post. crap...i gave props to both KSU and MU in one blog post. things are not good.


3:46 PM  
Blogger Julie Usher said...

Hey, I love that photo, did you take it? I'd like to reuse it if you wouldn't mind - do you have any higher-res versions anywhere (flickr maybe?)

Thanks a lot!

12:36 PM  

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