A Vision of Students Today


Michael Wesch, a professor of cultural anthroplogy at Kansas State University, has created several videos looking at the Web 2.0 world and what it means for today’s students and higher learning insitutions. The best know of these is Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us (definitely worth a look) and he’s come out with a new one — well, three months new — featuring his Kansas State students in one of their native habitats: the lecture hall.

The video “summarizing some of the most important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime.”

Like the old fogey I am, at first I despaired over the fact that the students surveyed will read only eight books this year but will view over 1,200 Facebook profiles. But on second thought, I realized this is a true “medium is the message” situation. A book is a superior medium for delivering long-form narrative designed to construct an arguement or tell a complex story. A Facebook profile is a superior medium for sharing experiences across large networks of people with who you share something is common.

Sometimes the superior medium is a homepage. Sometimes, its a chalkboard.