Western builds TIES between education and technology

Cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch

 
Cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch inspired an audience of over 360 participants at the first annual Technology in Education Symposium, or TIES@Western for short, on March 8.

Nicknamed “The Explainer” by Wired magazine, the associate professor at Kansas State University studies the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His talk, titled “The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever” ranged from his early adventures in Papua New Guinea to the disruptive models of education presented by the University of Phoenix, Khan Academy, Knewton, and the CAPS School, ending with a call to create safe, inspiring spaces for students to try, succeed, and fail.

The event brought together researchers, instructors, faculty, and graduate students from over 10 faculties, as well as Information Technology Services, the Teaching Support Centre, and other units – including a strong representation  by Western Libraries and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies – to discuss the potential of educational technology and share expertise. Thirty-two presentations and 12 posters and demonstrations were held in five concurrent sessions over the course of the day. The event wrapped up with a student panel on “Engaging the ‘Digital Native’” and a reception.

“It was crucial that the composition of the symposium be as inclusive and representative as possible,” says Colin Couchman, symposium co-chair and manager of Media & Information Services at the Faculty of Education. “To be able to have discussions with our a diverse range of colleagues from around campus provided an invaluable opportunity, and to have so many present at this event was indeed a positive experience.”

Watch Wesch’s TIES@Western presentation, hosted at the Scholarship@Western website.

 

Carey Toane, Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Western University