Michael Wesch’s “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube”

I find Michael Wesch one of the most interesting scholars of our time. He is an anthropology instructor at Kansas State University, and he has such a fresh, nonjudgmental approach to teaching in higher education and the role of social media. I challenge any educator who thinks that YouTube and other forms of social computing are antithetical to a rich intellectual life and critical thinking to view this video of Dr. Wesch’s presentation at the Library of Congress.  Yes, good old paper-and-ink books and writing and face-to-face time with one’s fellows in the classroom are the heart and life-blood of an academic life. But if we ignore the online lives of today’s students–because we find “all that stuff” threatening, aesthetically unappealing, or just a pile of hype–we miss out on a lot. 

The video is quite long (45 minutes), but watching just 5 or 10 minutes of it is worthwhile.

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