ANTH 101: AN ANTHEM WORTH LIVING
The evolution of technology has transformed the way we gather information and it has opened the door to limitless educational opportunities via networked learning spaces.
Enter Anth 101, it’s not your typical MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).
Created by Dr. Michael Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, Anth 101 explores the science of human beings with an emphasis on the art of being human.
After conducting a 2-year anthropological study of an indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, Dr. Wesch then studied the effects of social media and digital technology on global education. His research found that these 21st century tools do not automatically promote and/or improve learning. He reasoned that genuine connections are needed to fully understand, connect and learn. As Dr. Wesch puts it, “You cannot think your way into a new way of living. You have to live your way into a new way of thinking.”
Anth 101 stretches the boundaries of learning by providing students an opportunity to make meaningful connections through greater understanding of others around the world.
I believe that Anth 101 is a beautiful example of how connectivism can transform learning by creating deeper understanding and empathy for others.
The course consists of 10 lessons and 10 challenges designed to make the learner more socially and culturally aware and accepting of others. At the core, Anth 101 is a call of action for students to make real human connections in addition to using social media tools to nourish their souls.
In addition, Dr. Wesch has recently launched life101.audio which as the site explains, “features real stories about real students seeking a real education – the kind of education that can’t be measured by multiple choice exams…an education so essential that you are willing to test yourself, over and over again.”
In my opinion, Dr. Wesch has created an anthem for life because his course creates a sense of purpose with a focus on something that truly matters because at the core, we are the same. We are souls searching for connections based on understanding, acceptance and love.
And on a global scale, our collective stories are the sonic threads that weave a melodic symphony about our collective human journey towards understanding and acceptance. It features melodic movements about love, loss, achievement, sacrifice and hope. Our collective story is the universal bittersweet symphony titled, The Art of Being Human.