Anth101 Critique 1

Flickr Image - WIl_Cyclist - "Thinking"

What does it mean to be human? Find out by taking Anth101 as a free open source class or as a way to earn 3 college credits through Kansas State University. This Intro to Cultural Anthropology class is not a traditional online course. Michael Wesch takes you on a 3 part journey over 10 lessons. He wants to get you outside in the world instead of sitting at home in front of a computer. Along the journey, he has 10 challenges for you to complete and upload to the website for all classmates to see.

I find this class very similar to the Daily Creates with a bit more structure. Teachers can adopt this platform as part of their anthropology course just like Daily Create is part of our Digital Stories course. The 10 challenges are unique and interesting; they make you not only think, but they make you live.

I was very impressed by the challenges. They are not confined by a classroom. Participants have the opportunity to go out in the world. “The Unthing” challenge asks you to give something up for 48 hours, “Other Encounters” asks you to have a deep conversation to someone completely different from you for an hour, and “Your Manifesto” challenges you to write a manifesto for your life. With all of these challenges, a reflection piece is required. There is no right or wrong answers, this class is giving students the opportunity to grow, explore the world, and share their experiences.  

This open source class is an example of challenging the traditional classroom, and I love it! The teacher is providing the students with the resources to learn new lessons, and then challenging them to apply these lesson to their lives. Talk about complete engagement! I believe this class is a WIN for education. Additionally, if a teacher wanted to mimic this class or parts of it, the resources are available to do so. I think participating in the challenges one day (when I’m not in the middle of a graduate degree) would be very rewarding.   

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