For months I have been studying what I thought were new technologies to find that in the education world the social networking was all the rage.
Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture:
Media Education for the 21st Century
This introduction of the motivation for study is from the white paper by Henry Jenkins Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He published this white paper that explores new digital media and ways of collaborating.
It got my attention.
www.digitallearning.macfound.org/site/c.enJLKQNlFiG/ b.2108773/apps/nl/content2.asp?content_id=%7BCD911571… –
Henry Jenkins said
“Forms of participatory culture include:
Affiliations— memberships,formal and informal,in online communities centered
around various forms of media,such as Friendster,Facebook,message boards,
metagaming,game clans,or MySpace). ”
Expressions— producing new creative forms,such as digital sampling,skinning and modding,fan videomaking,fan fiction writing,zines,mash-ups).
Collaborative Problem-solving— working together in teams,formal and informal,to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (such as through Wikipedia,alternative
Circulations — Shaping the flow of media (such as podcasting,blogging).
A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these forms of participatory culture,including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning,a changed attitude toward intellectual propert,the diversification of cultural expression,the development of skills valued in the modern workplace,and a more empowered conception of citizenship.Access to this participatory culture functions as a new form of the hidden curriculum,shaping which youth will succeed and which will be left behind as they enter school and the workplace.
Some have argued that children and youth acquire these key skills and competencies on their own by interacting with popular culture.
Three concerns,however,suggest the need for policyand pedagogical interventions:
The Participation Gap— the unequal access to the opportunities,experiences,skills,and knowledge that will prepare youth for full participation in the world of tomorrow.
The Transparency Problem— The challenges young people face in learning to see
The Ethics Challenge— The breakdown of traditional forms of professional training and socialization that might prepare young people for their increasingly public roles as media makers and community participants.
Educators must work together to ensure that every American young person has access to the skills and experiences needed to become a full participant,can articulate their understanding of
how media shapes perceptions,and has been socialized into the emerging ethical standards that should shape their practices as media makers and participants in online communities.
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES AND COLLABORATIVE SOCIAL NETWORKING
My husband and I were then motivated to take a course, from the Computational Science Institute that combined the research technology of computational science with social networking.
The course integrated the humanities, arts and social sciences into an interesting exploration of projects and possibilities. It was leapfrogging into new technologies with
digital collaborations, and new networks of friends.
At UCSD High Performance Computing Center, we combined high performance computing with virtualization, some specialized research data mining, with use of all things google and GIS, and play. He was new to a lot of this but did better than I did in some of the social games, like second life and in reconstructing gaming.I loved the datamining and the GIS initiatives and was able to fold Map Machine, http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/, World Wind worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/, and My Wonderful World, http://www.mywonderfulworld.org/
I am not a researcher but I know how to fold new technologies into learning landscapes.
I didn’t know that combining them was called mashups.
W played and created games and we thought about gaming and the use of gaming in education.
We invented games, played and looked at video games that students made.
We did mashups, Facebook and others, used GIS tools, digital cameras, and some online projects, we studied Second Life, Margaret Corbit’s Virtualizations from Cornell, and about every kind of social networking that was a part of Henry Jenkin’s white paper on collaborative communication.
Her’s a thought.
We can’t throw out the social networking because of fear.
We can’t dismiss a whole new way of working even if for many it is not considered academic.
If we turn our backs to the ways of the youth, and their emerging ways of using
media, we lose them.
We must be able to teach, to teach literacy and let them continue to learn in the new ways.There is so much coming that will be added to what they are doing.
Think HPC, Grid Computing, Internet 2, Teragrid.. Petascale computing, Open science gateways !!!
There are many new kinds of STEM initiatives that are being dispersed within the collaborative communities , even if they are just of interest, or spark a learning opportunity, or create a pathway toward new types of learning. They make a difference.
We have been talking about 21st Century initiatives now since 1992 and even earlier.
Let the new learning begin.
Here is support that is beyond the pale. This is extraordinary kind of involvement by the school boards.
School Boards: The Internet is safe and we should use it more
National School Boards Association (a nonprofit that represents 95,000 US school-board members) did a comprehensive study of students’ experiences with the Internet, especially with social networking sites. They determined that the much-touted risk of online stalkers and predators was basically nonexistant (0.08 percent of students surveyed had ever gone to meet a stranger without parental permission). The best part is their recommendation to schools: stop fearing the Internet and embrace it as an incredible tool for instruction.
In light of these findings, they’re recommending that school districts may want to “explore ways in which they could use social networking for educational purposes” — and reconsider some of their fears. It won’t be the first time educators have feared a new technology, the study warns. “Many schools initially banned or restricted Internet use, only to ease up when the educational value of the Internet became clear. The same is likely to be the case with social networking.
“Safety policies remain important, as does teaching students about online safety and responsible online expression — but student may learn these lesson better while they’re actually using social networking tools.”
Social networking may be advantageous to students — and there could already be a double standard at work? 37% of districts say at least 90% of their staff are participating in online communities of their own — related to education — and 59% of districts said that at least half were participating. “These findings indicate that educators find value in social networking,” the study notes, “and suggest that many already are comfortable and knowledgeable enough to use social networking for educational purposes with their students.”
‘Darfur Is Dying,’ The Game That’s Anything But
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
In the online game “Darfur Is Dying,” launched at a Save Darfur rally on the Mall, atrocity is a click of a mouse away. A player can be a 14-year-old girl in a blue dress with white polka dots named Elham, in search of water for her camp, chased by gun-carrying Janjaweed militiamen. Run, Elham, run!
Suddenly a game that takes no more than 15 minutes to play seems too real and not real enough at the same time.
Sponsored by Reebok and MTVu, the college-oriented TV network, and designed by a group of students at University of Southern California, “Darfur Is Dying” is part of a growing but still nascent “games for change” movement within video games. This movement is not about the alien fighters of “Halo or the sprawling fantasyland of “World of Warcraft” or the action-packed “Madden NFL.” It’s about “very serious subjects that are meant to be taken seriously,” said Susana Ruiz, 33, one of the game’s designers. “Food Force,” a game about world hunger developed by the United Nations, served as a model for her, Ruiz explained.
The game is available free at http://www.DarfurIsDying.com , the game, which has a simple, two-level structure. The player is either inside a refugee camp, collecting food and building shelter, or is outside foraging for water.
Clouds was another video game that we used. Created by graduate students with the Electronic Arts Game Innovation Grant
For constructivist engagement there is SciCentr and SciFair: Online Virtual Worlds for Informal Science Education
Program conducted by: Cornell Theory Center, Cornell University
The goal is to lead students to learning. The Cornell Theory Center (CTC), Cornell University’s high-performance computing center, began in 1998 to focus our science and technology outreach efforts on the multi-user 3D Internet technology, virtual worlds. This new tool, which combines online chat, gaming technology, and all the features of the World Wide Web, appeals to youth and offers us the opportunity to engage them in fun, constructivist learning activities focused on our research. Current exhibits feature a virtual tour of the cluster computing machine room, crop genomics/bioinformatics, wave science, structural biology, and materials science.
Their goal is to found and support a hands-on virtual science center that exists only in cyberspace and to build a community of users engaged in its programs. World development is a team-based activity that takes place in a secure online http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/Posters/sciencecenter.htmmulti-user environment that allows the teens, undergrads, researchers, and experts to work together from distant locations. They are now focused in two areas: development of 3D interactive, multi-user exhibits in SciCentr, a virtual science museum, and a related after-school program for teens that takes place in SciCentr’s sister world, SciFair.
Did I mention Net Logo?NetLogo is a cross-platform multi-agent programmable modeling environment. NetLogo was authored by Uri Wilensky in 1999 and is under continuous development at the CCL (the people who brought you StarLogoT). NetLogo also powers the HubNet participatory simulation system. http://ccl.northwestern.edu/netlogo/
http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/Interactivate is a set of free, online courseware for exploration in science and mathematics. It is comprised of activities, lessons, and discussions.
The National Science Digital Library is also a great tool.NSDL is the Nation’s online library for education and research in
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.http://nsdl.org/
Those are just starters. We were there for a whole week. Stay tuned.