KM Today


Michael Wesch: Move from Info Literacy to Digital Citizenship

From Juanita Richardson at OLA 2011 Superconference:

Michael Wesch, cultural anthropology prof at Kansas State University (and creator of “Web 2.0… The Machine IsUs/ing Us,”) was the plenary speaker today. Extraordinary. Here’s his key points:

In February 2005 YouTube was launched. Unfortunately despite all the potential, we’re not living up to this opportunity afforded to us by collaborative media. Too many people still aren’t passionate about what they are learning. Most people in our society don’t know what intellectual property, net neutrality etc means. Media are not just tools -media mediates between people.

Years ago Neil Postman wrote that people have been amused into indifference. People feel they have to be on tv to be significant: the result? reality tv shows. Then came the quarter-life crisis — 25 year olds with a sense of entitlement are surprised when they aren’t famous.

We need critical thinking. It is now “ridiculously easy” to create groups. Literacy must now include video — as video has the power to affect change as much as reading and writing. Video is not a one way conversation. Move from information literacy to digital citizenship. New media can create new forms of freedom -but can also lead to new forms of control. We are on this cusp of one way or another. Libraries need to create people who can harness the power of social tools. What the walls of classrooms say: To learn is to acquire info – but it should be transformative. Libraries are in the same quandry. We need to recognize the aggregated effects of so many people collaborating. The web itself is a great collaboration. The world is on fire … We each need to do the best we can. Collectively we will prevail.

We should help our students explore and share their passions and become so good @ finding information that information finds them (hm…there’s a thought to ponder);

As for measures? How do we measure how well we’re instill this passion — & harnessing this power? The problem with measures is people play to the measure rather than playing to their passion.

There was lots of passion in that plenary today. Thank you Michael Wesch — we need to talk more with you — we need to listen, reflect & reinvent ourselves, no matter how painful.

Juanita Richardson, Jane Dysart & Stephen Abram at OLA 2011
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