While I understand what he is saying and I do mostly agree with what he is saying, I don't agree with some of what he put into his speech. It seems like some of what he showed was agenda driven and had little to do with his main point, save for a small thread of connection. However, apart from the agenda and ideal pushing that he does, I do agree that we need to move from a society that makes people knowledgeable to a society that make students knowledge-able.
Since, as he explains, out the world we have so much information swirling around us, education is no longer about knowing. Nowadays, the importance in education is knowing how to get information. For a while, schools have really been wrestling with this point and being in my 30s, I actually lived my entire school-life within that span where there was a good amount of experimentation going on. While my school stay fairly traditional in how the teaching was done, I had friends that went to other schools who were taught in what was called, an "alternative way." The questions keeps shifting though, as Wesch points out. Whereas the question used to be, "What do we teach students?" since we've moved into this digital age and technocentric world, the question has become "How do we teach students?" As he says, "There's something in the air... and what's in the air is nearly the entire body of human knowledge." Because of that, teaching and assessing based on what you know seems a bit ridiculous. While I do agree with most of what he is saying here, I also want to point out that there are still some redeeming qualities about learning certain knowledge. We need to have a base of knowledge, and especially when it comes to history, there needs to be an overall understanding of the order of events (but not necessarily "dates and dead people").
But when it comes to later years in school, then Wesch makes more sense, With the later years, we do need to move from "what students need to know" and into "how they know it." In other words, it is not about what you know and believe, but the evidence you have and the rguement you make. Since Technology today is all about Connecting, Organizing, Sharing, Collecting, Collaborating, Publishing, Critiquing, and Discussing, students really need to be taught how to use these tools in the right way. Just as arguing effectively was outlined by greek philosophers and then built on by subsequent philosophers, so the same needs to be done in this new age of ubiquitous information.
So while I overall agree with him, I can really only see the usefulness of this approach in higher grades. You don't teach Kindergarteners argumentation, because they dont have a foundation to understand it yet, and the same should be true for the "from knowledgeable to knowledge-able" argument, as well. Students should have a foundation of basic knowledge while the critical thinking, discussion, creation, and publishing of knowledge can come later down the road.
Wesch, M. (2010, October 12). From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeaAHv4UTI8
Richard Sable is from Vista, CA and graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2014 with a B.A. in Social Science and is currently working on his single subject teaching credential in the field of Social Science at CSU, San Marcos.