ERIC Number: EJ986715
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-12
Reference Count: N/A
A Tech-Happy Professor Reboots after Hearing His Teaching Advice Isn't Working
Young, Jeffrey R.
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb 2012
Michael Wesch has been on the lecture circuit for years touting new models of active teaching with technology. The associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University has given TED talks. "Wired" magazine gave him a Rave Award. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching once named him a national professor of the year. But now Mr. Wesch finds himself rethinking the fundamentals of teaching--and questioning his own advice. The professor's popular talks have detailed his experiments teaching with Twitter, YouTube videos, collaborative Google Docs--and they present a general critique of the chalk-and-talk lecture as outmoded. To get a sense of his teaching style, check out a video he made about one of his anthropology courses. In it, some 200 students designed their own imaginary cultures and ran a world-history simulation by sending updates via Twitter and a voice-to-text application called Jott. To be fair, Mr. Wesch always pointed to the downsides of technology (it can be a classroom distraction, for instance). But he saw tech-infused methods as a way to upgrade teaching. Mr. Wesch is not swearing off technology--he still believes professors can teach well with YouTube and Twitter. But at a time when using more interactive tools to replace the lecture appears to be gaining widespread acceptance, he has a new message. It doesn't matter what method professors use if they do not first focus on one intangible factor: the bond between professor and student.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Anthropology, Video Technology, Lecture Method, Teaching Styles, College Faculty, College Students, Assignments, Teacher Student Relationship, Computer Mediated Communication, Social Networks, Electronic Publishing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kansas