Thursday, 10 September 2009

ALT-C Day One - Morning - Keynote

Yes I know I’m doing the morning after the afternoon, if you see what I mean but it was just the way the last post flowed. Anyway I don’t think there are any rules in this blogging, social media world.

So the morning – it started off with a great keynote from Michael Wesch – very engaging and interesting to listen to so it deserves a post all of its own. I didn’t think that I would be hearing about a small community in Papua New Guinea at the start of this conference. Michael talked about the history of insignificance and the search for identity and recognition. He said we know ourselves through our relationships with others, new media creates new ways of relating to others, therefore new media creates new ways of knowing ourselves.

He went on to talk about the messages we are sending out to our students. If the medium shapes the message and the classroom is the medium, what message is it sending out? There needs to be a move from creating knowledgeable learners to knowledge-able learners. We need to pay attention to what our students are saying, what questions are they asking? If these walls could talk what would they say? But we need to focus on the purpose and not just use technology for the sake of it, the platform should be secondary to the purpose.

Michael took us through a history of “whatever” and the different meaning associated with this one word through different generations. From the whatever of the 60s, whatever I don’t care, through the whatever of the Nirvana lyrics in “Smells like teen spirit” to the latest incarnation of “whatever, I’ll do what I want”. He proposed a new version ”let’s do whatever it takes by whatever means necessary”

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