Professor Geghard Arakelian
30 August 2013
“A Vision of Students Today”
Flashpoint: “We simply need to move our students from simply being knowledgeable, that is knowing a bunch of stuff…to being ‘knowledge-able,’ that is able to find, sort, analyze, ultimately criticize and even create new information and knowledge.” – Michael Wesch quote.
In his TED Talk, Professor Michael Wesch of Kansas State University addresses the current problem of higher education and how it is not preparing students for life in the real world. Universities pay thousands of dollars to bring in new technology and media to the school to help students be successful in college and open a whole new world for them. He claims that “there’s something in the air…the entire body of human knowledge…two million people on the planet connecting, sharing, and collaborating” (Wesch YouTube). This may seem beneficial, however, the media can be seen as a common distraction, so the students are not participating in class. During class, students have no motivation, because they rather be on Facebook chatting with friends than paying attention to the lecture. Another problem, as Wesch stated, is that the new media today only prepares for success in the classroom, and not in the real world. In the presentation, it seemed as if the students felt that the material they were learning in class was not relevant to real life. Therefore, they saw no point in paying attention. There needs to be a way where professors can use the media to inspire their students so they do not feel like they are wasting their time and money.
So what is the solution? According to Wesch, we must use the media in a way that can inspire students and prepare them for the real world. He states that “we have to convince our students…that meaning is not just something you find, but something you make” (Wesch YouTube). Use the media as an inspiration, to broaden their horizons and learn more about what they are truly passionate about and how they can make a difference. When the students find a problem and collaborate on how to solve it, that is when the media should be used to their advantage. They should use the media to make a change and to fix the issue. In addition, the media should be used to help students criticize ideas, concepts, beliefs, and other pieces of information and make a fresh perspective based on what they believe. By using the media as a massive tool to connect students with the world around them, students create criticism of what is out there and make their voices heard.
I believe that Wesch did a wonderful job of getting his point across during his TED Talk. He emphasized the use of the media and how we can use it to our advantage so we do not use it as a distraction. The presentation was about how the “media allows us to connect to one another, and allows us to connect to each other in different ways” (Wesch YouTube). His ideas were supported by issues and events going on in the real world, and even got his point across by relating to his own classroom at Kansas State University. With the use of his examples and the repetition of his main argument, Wesch made a very powerful message that should be followed by all students and professionals in the field of education.
YouTube. Perf. Professor Michael Wesch. YouTube. YouTube, 12 Oct. 2010.
Web. 30 Aug. 2013.