YouTube researcher presents future of technology in education at Virginia Tech

Michael Wesch

Michael Wesch

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 26, 2008 – More than 200 graduate students, faculty, and staff gathered in Virginia Tech's Graduate Life Center on Thursday, Sept. 11, to hear Michael Wesch present on the future of technology in education and his use of YouTube in the classroom.

Wesch, an assistant professor of anthropology at Kansas State University, researches the impact of new media on human interaction. In January 2007, he released on YouTube the video, “Web 2.0…The Machine is Us/ing Us”, which became the most popular video in the blogsphere and has been viewed more than 7 million times on the user-generated video-sharing website.

“The most significant problem in education is the problem of significance itself. Our technologies have profound impact. Teaching has not changed, but the way we learn certainly has,” says Wesch.

In his presentation, Wesch outlined a three-step program for educators to follow when trying to teach in an environment where information is no longer scarce. Wesch suggests creating a meaningful narrative, creating an environment that values the learners themselves, and do the first two using the new media environment.

“Using the new media environment allows educators to not only prepare our students for the world, but to create the world,” said Wesch.

Wesch’s presentation was co-sponsored by The Virginia Tech Graduate School, Learning Technologies: Office of Information Technology, and the Electronic Campus of Virginia.