Inspiring Connections: Using New Media to Create Authentic and Engaging Collaborative Learning Environments

Learning & Leading with Social Media

From the massive success of Wikipedia to the virtual volunteer efforts in crises around the world, “crowdsourcing” and online collaboration have proven to be an effective means of working together.  A wide variety of free tools are available to be leveraged to empower your students and even strangers around the world to collaborate with you to do research and solve real problems.  In this seminar we will look at ways to use these tools, not just in a technical sense, but also in the “inspiring” sense of how to inspire effective cooperation to reach your goals.


Dr. Michael Wesch
Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography
2008 U.S. Professor of the Year
Kansas State University

Dubbed “the explainer” by Wired magazine, Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and culture. After two years studying the implications of writing on a remote indigenous culture in the rain forest of Papua New Guinea, he has turned his attention to the effects of social media and digital technology on global society. His videos on culture, technology, education, and information have been viewed over 20 million times, translated in over 20 languages, and are frequently featured at international film festivals and major academic conferences worldwide. Wesch has won several major awards for his work, including a Wired Magazine Rave Award, the John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in Media Ecology, and he was recently named an Emerging Explorer by National Geographic. He has also won several teaching awards, including the 2008 CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities.