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Presenting Dr. Michael Wesch: The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever

The Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) brought Dr. Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist and media ecologist at Kansas State University, to campus on March 19th, 2013. He delivered a moving talk entitled The End of Wonder in the Age of Whatever. If you were unable to attend the event, or would like to experience it again, please watch the video below.

New media and technology present us with an overwhelming bounty of tools for connection, creativity, collaboration, and knowledge creation - a true "Age of Whatever" where anything seems possible. But any enthusiasm about these remarkable possibilities is immediately tempered by that other "Age of Whatever" - an age in which people feel increasingly disconnected, disempowered, tuned out, and alienated. Such problems are especially prevalent in education, where the Internet often enters our classrooms as a distraction device rather than a tool for learning.

What is needed more than ever is to inspire our students to wonder, to nurture their appetite for curiosity, exploration, and contemplation. It is our responsibility to help them attain an insatiable appetite and pursue big, authentic, and relevant questions so that they can harness and leverage the bounty of possibility all around us and rediscover the "end" or purpose of wonder, and stave off the historical end of wonder.

Professor Wesch has managed to inspire wonder in his students by giving them 'the gift of big questions.' Wesch often teaches courses exceeding 400 students and has been breaking ground in higher education with his use of technology in teaching and research.

We believe Dr. Wesch's talk will inspire you and begin a dialog on our campus about academic motivation and using technology to broaden the learning experience for UK students.