This week's readings brought up several ideas worth discussing.
Creativity stems from creative consumption of media - not just consuming
Jeff's blog post, "What does it mean to disconnect?", the message of focusing on creating rather than consuming, linked me to John Spencer's amazing video, "Why consuming is necessary for creating".
If you liked Spencer's video, follow it up with his amazing blog post on the subject.
Balance is important no matter what we do, online and off, and there's certainly value to consuming, especially when it's used to create.
This is a message I strongly purport to those I guide, my son included.
Ito, Mizuko, et al.'s reading on, "Living and learning with new media", had many connections to my youth. I remember all the chat's on Napster, MySpace, and IM. Anyone else guilty of buying those gamer magazines for those "cheat codes" or lethal combo strikes for games like Mortal Combat or Street Fighter?
Even the dating element struck a few chords. While I may be a bit old for apps like Tinder, I do remember flirting on Facebook and even tried some online dating websites when I was a free agent...haha.
Moving beyond "Lurking"
Whilst both readings may be dated, the messages within them are not. They both still relate to the theme of this week of peer-connected learning and moving beyond the "lurker" stage.
I love seeing my son, in his true digital native form, navigating, communicating, exploring and learning with his peers, (mostly) uninterrupted for a defined time period in online spaces. Some days it's learning about how to build the next best thing in Minecraft, others it's how to advance his skills in the latest Roblox game with his friends.
I particularly enjoy the way he and his peers build each other up in their community so they can all enjoy their passion together. This is particularly salient when they may not be able to see one another due to whatever pandemic-related lockdown restrictions may be in place.
Often I catch him in the moment of learning on an online math site, or perhaps watching a YouTube video, then seamlessly, with no intervention, asking Google or Siri something he doesn't understand, then flicking back to the original content.
Sure, there's a lot of noise to eventually get this signal, but it's moments like these that solidify the argument that the best time to live is now. In other words, all of this digital technology can undermine our well-being, if not used with intentionality and purpose.
"New media" = An outlet for self-directed learning and agency
Interests are easier to pursue online since it connects us to anyone with a device and an internet connection with similar interests.
The world is truly our oyster and niche interests, knowledge and experts are accessible because of this new media.
Just imagine a world without places like Wikipedia, Reddit, TripAdvisor, and more?! Crowd-sourcing is truly a remarkable thing.
In sum, "new media" is the perfect culture for a beautiful milieu of Vygotskyian social constructivism, Pink's ideas on motivation, and Bandurra's theory of self-efficacy. In other words, learners strive when they step out of their comfort zone, have autonomy, learn and seek feedback from peer experts, work towards mastery, have a purpose and more.
Some wonderings that arose from the readings...
A call to action - Questions to ask, as educators...
Three great resources to extend your thinking on this topic
If you struggle with answers or are looking for ideas to any of the above questions, here are some great resources/ learning opportunities for you: