Michael Wesch, Ph.D. discusses the potential of online learning if we harness it in education at the Future of State Universities Conference, which was hosted by Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Jim Hunt and Academic Partnerships in Dallas, Texas this October.

“There’s literally something in the air in these classrooms,” says Wesch. “Something radical changed about 10, 15 years ago and that is WiFi access.”

WiFi brings “almost the entire body of human knowledge” to students everywhere in the world, says Wesch. Students can access this information on any device (a laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) that they may have with them at any given time. Wesch says that this is just the beginning.

“We’re headed toward ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous communication, ubiquitous information at unlimited speed about everything, everywhere from anywhere on all kinds of devices,” says Wesch. “Nobody disagrees with that projection.”

While students today are coined the “digital natives,” they are really only good at entertaining themselves online, says Wesch. We live in an increasingly networked world with networks and network logics, says Wesch. This means that our students today must understand these concepts for the success of their futures.

View the video below:

Michael Wesch remarks at the Future of State Universities Conference from Academic Partnerships on Vimeo.

Wesch is the Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars at Kansas State University. For more about the Future of State Universities Conference, go to www.futureofstateuniversities.com.

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