Opening Plenary

Title: From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able:
Building New Learning Environments for New Media Environments

Dr. Michael Wesch,
Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology,
Kansas State University

View Video Here

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 8:30am - 10:00 am at the Ryerson Theatre, view map here

Michael Wesch


The new media environment can be disruptive to our current teaching methods and philosophies. As we increasingly move toward an environment of instant and infinite information, it becomes less important for students to know, memorize, or recall information, and more important for them to be able to find, sort, analyze, share, discuss, critique, and create information and knowledge. They need to move from being simply knowledgeable to being knowledge-able. This
"knowledge-ability" is not simply a skill set as implied by the “21st Century Skills” movement , but a way of being-in-the-world in which people recognize and actively examine, question, and even re-create the (increasingly digital) structures that shape our world. Knowledge-ability must begin with the recognition that new media are not “just tools” but new ways of relating to one another that entail disruptive changes in economic, social, and political structures.

This presentation explores what knowledge-ability needs to be, why it is important, and how education can and must change to foster the forms of knowledge-building, epistemology, and self-understanding we need.

Dr. Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology,
Kansas State University

Dubbed "the explainer" by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture.
After two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society.

His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed by millions, translated in over 15 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic.

He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.

If you would like to attend the opening plenary only please register here
The cost for attending the opening plenary ONLY is $75.00 (this doesn't include any other events during the conference)
Method of payment: by Cheque paid to Ryerson University
Please send cheques attention:
Dalia Hanna, Program Coordinator,
The Learning & Teaching Office,
Ryerson University,
350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, CANADA
by June 10, 2010

PLEASE NOTE this plenary is included in your registration when you register for the conference through the conference registration system.

Would you like to attend an additional session with by Michael Wesch? This is a link for a Special Session with Michael Wesch which will be held right after the plenary, from 10:30am to 11:20am. Space is limited to only 40 participants.