Digital Ethnography

A Vision of Students Today


  1. lean-Al-Asady

    March 6, 2012

    teachers know nothing about students and what they go through i am running a campaign to put a stop to this.
    “they just expect us to turn up and complete the work but they dont know that personal life issues effects our work”.
    “this needs to stop”.
    And more students a killing themselves with work. But will they get far?

  2. kj

    March 14, 2012

    I live in Alberta, Canada. We are a very affluent province. All the kindergarten classes I’ve been to have Smart board technology. My friend who was an English professor at our university had to pay for her own photocopies and buy her own chalk. Why is there such disparity between these two areas of education? I know I paid more for my University than my parents did for my grade school education.

  3. maaz

    October 28, 2012

    Hi. I am a PG student and have just finished with my degree. I want to express my views here about education.
    Right now i am faced with a dilemma of getting started to work in order to earn a living for the rest of my life or pursue further education which means i want to learn more.
    Today the education environment is geared towards making a sound living i.e. money oriented. This presents a challenge for people like me who find it difficult to face it.
    I see education as a means of improving a human being or society which means good moral and ethical values.
    But in reality the trend is reverse ! People see education as a means of gaining wealth.

  4. Rute Antunes & Ricardo Carvalho (Omega team)

    January 26, 2013

    This video characterized by a striking objectivity leads us to understand how students behave and think.
    Roosevelt wrote: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” This idea carries us immediately to three questions that the author of the video answers in a few seconds: what can I do? What do I have? Where am I?
    Starting with the last question we can see that the physical space becomes a virtual space. The question: ‘What do I have?’, takes us into the world of technology that should also be placed at the service of education, when one observes expressions like: “I will read 8 books this year, 2300 web pages and 1281 facebook profiles”. Shouldn’t we ask if it makes more sense to have the content in textbooks or hosted on Web pages? When a student says that he will write 42 paper pages in a semester against more than 500 pages of e-mail, does it make sense to use paper? It is important to understand what students have today.
    Finally what can I do? Financially is shown that digital systems are more economical than paper systems in the case of textbooks and paper for the notebooks. So, what makes more sense to have or what is more convenient and advantageous to have.
    A clear answer to these questions is shown in Professor Michael Wesch’s video.

  5. Carolina V Caldeira

    January 27, 2013

    “A Vision of Students Today” presents the results of a survey on a survey tool Google, on the view that the students had them today and the result for those working in education or accompanying scenarios and educational debates is the expected. A sad and tragic result that shows how our social connections made ??possible by the internet are still disconnected from formal learning spaces. It also shows that learning spaces on open networks Internet are not being used for this purpose, since the students surveyed say spend hours looking Facebook profile, or sending e-mails to colleagues, rather than, for example, produce and share content.

    Interesting how the education in the school context is seen by them as an obligation to read books, write a certain number of pages, ie something which reflects limited in other important data where only 26% of respondents see what they learn in school as something relevant to life.

    But why is it? Increasingly the school is distancing his performance the reality in which it is embedded.

    Decontextualized learning and practice in real situations.

    Best regards,

    Carolina Caldeira, Inês Araújo, Elisabete Santos (Capa Team – UAB-PT)

  6. Ana V.; Carlos S.; Nelson S. & Sérgio S. - - students of e-learning master - Open University

    January 25, 2014

    Some students have no money for their needs in the school. A lot of them need to work. The school have to help them and technology can help the school, in teaching learning. Why don’t the school uses the technology to help their students? ( by Ana V.; Carlos S.; Nelson S. & Sérgio S. – - students of e-learning master – Open University)

  7. Ana V.; Carlos S.; Nelson S. & Sérgio S. - - students of e-learning master - Open University

    January 25, 2014

    Although many students have no money, the governments must help them. All the student should be supported in the public school and to have acess to education. The new educational resources may be the really pedagogical context to the teaching and learning. For example the open educational resources (OER). ( by Ana V.; Carlos S.; Nelson S. & Sérgio S. – - students of e-learning master – Open University)

  8. Ana V.; Carlos S.; Nelson S. & Sérgio S. - - students of e-learning master - Open University

    January 25, 2014

    Time is a critical factor in a society submerged by constant technological advances. With a simple phone number or an email we can locate anyone on the web. Through applications like Twitter, Vibe, Whatsapp, or social networks like Facebook or Myspace we are able to get in touch or follow someone. They may not be able to see us, but they can’t hide. Despite being connected and visible, do we really know each other and really have perception of what surrounds us? ( by Ana V.; Carlos S.; Nelson S. & Sérgio S. – - students of e-learning master – Open University)

  9. Claudio Pinto, Diana Morais and Sonia Heideman

    January 26, 2014

    This video clearly shows how students today perceive the education system and how new technologies create, “procreate” and promote sharing, no matter it content, anxieties, dreams, goals and hopes. At the beginning we notice a very clear dissatisfaction shown by most students, regarding their views about the lessons itselves, the proposed activities, but also the deficit found within the teacher – student interaction (according to one of the students, only 18 % of the teachers know the name of their students), teaching methods, pedagogy, etc. and how they try to fight or
    “blurring” some of this motivation, which is also felt by more than half of the students. In general, we found that many students bring laptop to class, but actually, this item is finally used as a “distraction tool”, browsing the internet or using social networks, such as Facebook. The ability of multitasking assumed by students today is definitely a fact as well as the fact that other students report about the recommended bibliography being too expensive, what doesn´t establish any kind of parallel with the “real world.”
    More interesting than the opinions obtained is the natural way these were shared and how the massive use of new technologies promotes the creation of an identity, as alleged and ultimately create a new reality, which in relation to the student life can often make the students disperse their attention towards its academic goals and will eventually (re)use the new features for many other purposes.
    Most of the students “demand” a drastic change in attitude from the teachers related to teaching, claiming that teachers should take an advantage on the use of new technologies and social networking in the classroom, what would build a new form of cooperative learning, where knowledge can be shaped towards the social reality, avoiding the superfluous and unnecessary knowledge, which cannot be applied to the experience of the digital and modern society. The last couple of minutes of the video resemble a sort of appeal to the use of new technologies in the classroom (interactive whiteboards), which can possibly contribute to motivation and active participation of all actors in the classroom.

  10. Ana Freire, Claudia Miguel, Joao Pinto

    January 26, 2014

    This video shows us the inclusion of new students in the university community. It’s a great example of how this process could be done better by the students than by the university staff.
    As we could see the practice of students helping the most needed students is something that is passing from one year to another (for at least 3 years) with great results.
    The video made us remind the film “Pay it forward” by Mimi Leder. In the film the teacher challenge students to have an idea to change the world and to put it into practice. One student’s idea was to built a chain that works in the following manner: for one good thing someone give to us we would have to give 3 more. This chain spread good actions all over the world.
    In Portugal, we also know a school were there is a practice of welcoming students that is similar to that in the video. In the school were João Pinto is teacher (one of the members of our workgroup), the 1st week of classes is fulfilled with activities planned and organized by 2nd and 3rd years students (with discrete observation by directors and psychologists). During the year every class develops a project of help/support directed to the school community or to the surrounding community. What we can experience is that students are getting more and more involved in this kind of actions.
    We had already questioned if “this students that are experts in living in the network, in sharing and collaborating online, are capable of transpose that experience of a new virtual citizenship to their physical reality”. Our own experience makes us think so… and this video makes us believe in it a little more!

    Students: Ana Freire, Cláudia Miguel, João Pinto
    MPeL’7 – Master in Elearning Pedagogy
    Open University – Portugal

  11. Ana Freire, Claudia Miguel, Joao Pinto

    January 26, 2014

    We witnessed, right in mid century XXI, a classroom yet solidified with strong references of at least a hundred years apart.
    Both the shape of the rooms, the arrangement of the desks, lecture ‘posture, which fall short for what we might call, XXI century education.
    In the last decades of this century we witnessed, consume and interact with new technologies, and with it a strong demand for change in education. This changes requires adaptations of the curriculum, new capabilities, and professional updates, just like reformulations of learning space.
    Students: Ana Freire, Claudia Miguel, Joao Pinto
    MPeL’7 – Master in Elearning Pedagogy
    Open University – Portugal

  12. Diana Gonçalves & Rui Andre Pereira

    February 4, 2014

    Dr. Wesch, we are a group of students of the Master in Elearning Pedagogy at Open University of Portugal. One of our activities was related to the analysis of some of your videos and to make a statment on your website.

    The video The Vision of Students Today shows us that education has known a tiny evolution since the 19th century, when illiteracy was considered a problem. Classrooms, as we know, are outdated and, with the fast evolution of technology and the internet, the students feel displaced, the classrooms are becoming increasingly “abandoned” and obsolete. While the great theorists of education and our governants favor the maintenance of the archaic model of education where the teacher transmits knowledge (some of this knowledge have little relevance to current life), students, considered the digital generation, feel that the classes are too boring. Today’s students are digital natives, it is part of their way of living and the limitation of the use of technology in their education dificcults the knowledge construction.

    Diana Gonçalves & Rui André Pereira (ZETA team)
    Students of the Master in Elearning Pedagogy
    Open University of Portugal

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