14 February 2008

A vision of students today

"A vision of students today" is a video clip that is only a piece of a very interesting initiative led by Prof. Wesch from Kansas University around digital ethnography. There is indeed a lot to say about the dramatic impact of the media into the classroom. The clip sadly highlights that the classroom is no longer a sanctuary for learning, and that students tend to turn away from academic knowledge.

According to Prof. Wesch "the most significant problem in education today is the problem of significance itself. Our students, our most important critics, are struggling to find meaning and significance in their education".

I fully agree with him. However, significance is a human concept that does not like the vacuity of our mass globalized society : significance in education is the result of a combination of secular academic culture, years of learning effort, endless days of self-questionning and unforgetable hours spent in the classroom with charismatic teachers. Our world has destroyed most of this in less than two decades! Useless to say that it will take much longer to restore a hint of significance in education -if ever!

Knowledge is not information. Knowledge can be wrong, not fake. Knowledge cannot easily be found in a search engine or in a YouTube video. Knowledge is not a product. Knowledge can grow, can be lost, can be useful or useless. Knowledge loves to be chased. Knowledge loves to be shared. Knowledge's home is the brain, knowledge's house is the classroom!