Dear Professor Michael Wesch

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Dear Professor Michael Wesch,

We are a group of students from Universidade Aberta, Portugal, and we are delighted to review some of your videos, within the curricular unit Educação e Sociedade em Rede, taught by Professor António Teixeira. Therefore, we had the challenge of launching a comment to these videos and we would like, first of all, to thank you for the production of them.

Students Helping Students shows the impact that a connected group with the same goal has on a person’s life is the main message of this video. In a cheerful and funny way describes how the K-State Proud project benefited students, whose life stories are dramatic. Students Helping Students reflects the most basic instincts of human beings. We are all social and we feel empathy for our species, and these features can be enlarged with the existence of social networks that inhabit the digital territory. Communities increase and with them their scope in obtaining common goals.

A Vision of Students Today reflects the current state of education and what technology has to offer for engagement and motivation of students. This is, for us, the major message of the vídeo – the need of approaching to today’s students. The technology, present in students lives, has a key role. The current model of education is obsolete and urges a radical transformation that, once again, attract students to school and education. As we all know, education is the basis for building the future and the video refletcts the real experience in most teaching environments, showing us the gap between the reality lived by the students and their daily school life. The technology offers us a source of pedagogical scenarios which we should not miss out as educators. The interactivity and the fast development of knowledge in the network society, that we live in, is real. Therefore, should be promoted a change of educational paradigm to walk for specific scenarios of XXI century education. We must look at the students through their own eyes and this necessarily entails this change and this transition to a dynamic, interactive and collaborative learning network. We live in the world of images, the culture of the spectacle. In this way, the existing educational setting no longer matches with the current needs of our students, so let’s follow the vision of today’s students.

The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity is about the new media and relations that appear from  Youtube.  In a society ruled and blinded by information, the conversations are empty of the social dimension. The Web 2.0 allows new ways of comunication. Youtube becames a new space for studying the human behaviour. The major conclusion is that there is a release of personality, the recognition, which leads us to reflect on ourselves. This new way of self-knowledge is generated  by a new individual authenticity and free expression. The Whatever appointed as synonymous with generational indifference earns, currently, a new meaning of cultural event : “I care Let’s do whatever it take…by whatever Means Necessary!”. A cultural revolution can be unleashed by this tool, however we are still trying to figure out the best way to handle that advantage without be carried away by hysteria and novelty of the supremacy of technology.

The Machine is us / ing (Final version) takes our attention to the simplest way to access the virtual world, remarkably through hypertext links that take us to the cyberspace, the area of direct and simple possible ways of the current digital age. The video shows us in a very attractive way how we can make use of all the potential that Web 2.0 gives us. It’s clear that is very hard, for the youth, to produce texts using the traditional way, using pen and paper, a reflex of being born in the digital era. Despite these situations, we believe that new potential is very positive wich set us to a number of information in seconds. Things that before was necessary to take hours to find, in a balanced sense of quantity and quality of information.

We finish our comment with your own words, which means a lot for us as a team:

Taken together, this new media environment demonstrates to us that the idea of learning as acquiring information is no longer a message we can afford to send to our students, and that we need to start redesigning our learning environments to address, leverage, and harness the new media environment now permeating our classrooms.

Thank you and best regards,

Team CAPA 2015

Ana Melão, António Costa, Daniela Belo and Hélder Pereira

Fonte imagem: http://www.wordle.net/delete?index=8469986&d=ENPR

Referências

WESCH, M. (2009). From Knowledgable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments. Disponível em: http://www.academiccommons.org/2014/09/09/from-knowledgable-to-knowledge-able-learning-in-new-media-environments/

Vídeos:

Students Helping Students. Spring 2010 Class of Digital Ethnography. Disponível em: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_npqbMKzHl8;

A Vision of Students Today. Michael Wesch em colaboração com 200 alunos da Kansas State University, BY-NC-SA license. Disponível em: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o;

The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube and the Politics of Authenticity. Apresentado em 2009 Personal Democracy Forum at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Diponível em: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09gR6VPVrpw;

The Machine is Us/ing Us. Michael Wesch, BY-NC-SA license. Disponível em: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLlGopyXT_g.

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