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Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture

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Published by The MIT Press
Many teens today who use the Internet are actively involved in participatory cultures—joining online communities (Facebook, message boards, game clans), producing creative work in new forms (digital sampling, modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction), working in teams to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (as in Wikipedia), and shaping the flow of media (as in blogging or podcasting). A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these activities, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, development of skills useful in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship. Some argue that young people pick up these key skills and competencies on their own by interacting with popular culture; but the problems of unequal access, lack of media transparency, and the breakdown of traditional forms of socialization and professional training suggest a role for policy and pedagogical intervention.

This report aims to shift the conversation about the "digital divide" from questions about access to technology to questions about access to opportunities for involvement in participatory culture and how to provide all young people with the chance to develop the cultural competencies and social skills needed. Fostering these skills, the authors argue, requires a systemic approach to media education; schools, afterschool programs, and parents all have distinctive roles to play.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning
Many teens today who use the Internet are actively involved in participatory cultures—joining online communities (Facebook, message boards, game clans), producing creative work in new forms (digital sampling, modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction), working in teams to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (as in Wikipedia), and shaping the flow of media (as in blogging or podcasting). A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these activities, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, development of skills useful in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship. Some argue that young people pick up these key skills and competencies on their own by interacting with popular culture; but the problems of unequal access, lack of media transparency, and the breakdown of traditional forms of socialization and professional training suggest a role for policy and pedagogical intervention.

This report aims to shift the conversation about the "digital divide" from questions about access to technology to questions about access to opportunities for involvement in participatory culture and how to provide all young people with the chance to develop the cultural competencies and social skills needed. Fostering these skills, the authors argue, requires a systemic approach to media education; schools, afterschool programs, and parents all have distinctive roles to play.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning

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Publish date: Jun 5, 2009
Added to Scribd: May 07, 2009
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10/15/2014

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Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture
This report was made possible by grants rom the John D. and CatherineT. MacArthur Foundation in connection with its grant making initiativeon Digital Media and Learning. For more inormation on the initiativevisitwww.macound.org.
 
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports onDigital Media and Learning
The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age
by Cathy N. Davidsonand David Theo Goldberg with the assistance o Zoë Marie Jones
 Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the DigitalYouth Project 
by Mizuko Ito, Heather Horst, Matteo Bittanti, danahboyd, Becky Herr-Stephenson, Patricia G. Lange, C. J. Pascoe, and LauraRobinson with Sonja Baumer, Rachel Cody, Dilan Mahendran, KatynkaZ. Martínez, Dan Perkel, Christo Sims, and Lisa Tripp
Young People, Ethics, and the New Digital Media: A Synthesis from the Good- Play Project 
by Carrie James with Katie Davis, Andrea Flores, John M.Francis, Lindsay Pettingill, Margaret Rundle, and Howard Gardner
Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the21st Century 
by Henry Jenkins (P.I.) with Ravi Purushotma, MargaretWeigel, Katie Clinton, and Alice J. Robison
The Civic Potential of Video Games
by Joseph Kahne, Ellen Middaugh, andChris Evans

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paulsignorelli_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Henry Jenkins and his co-writers, in "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture," engage us in a book-length exploration regarding "core social skills and cultural competencies" for anyone interested in being "full, active, creative, and ethical participants in this emerging participatory culture." The book (available free online as well as in a printed edition) is well worth reading for its concise descriptions of those skills; for the examples provided at the end of each section; and for the summary of those elements on pages 105-106: play, performance, simulation, appropriation, multitasking, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, judgment, transmedia navigation, networking, and negotiation. More importantly, the writers conclude the book with a reminder of why digital literacy is important: to "ensure that all students benefit from learning in ways that allow them to participate fully in public, community, [creative,] and economic life..."
davidloertscher reviewed this
What is a participatory culture? Jenkins defines it as the young people of the nation who have discovered content creation such as those creating music and putting it on YouTube, video creators, bloggers, writers of fan fiction and all manner of other creations most often done as individuals or small groups and publishing on the Web. Note the various skills Jenkins says that these young people need in order to be really successful: “Play The capacity to experiment with the surroundings as aform of problem solving; Performance The ability to adopt alternative identities for thepurpose of improvisation and discovery; Simulation The ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes; Appropriation The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content; Multitasking The ability to scan the environment and shiftfocus onto salient details; Distributed cognition The ability to interact meaningfully withtools that expand mental capacities; Collective intelligence The ability to pool knowledge and com pare notes with others toward a common goal; Judgment The ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources; Transmedia navigation The ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities; Networking The ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information; Negotiation The ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and graspingand following alternative norms.” Jenkins then explores this whole world and the idea of adults becoming mentors. For teacher librarians, here is an important mix of skills to add to those proposed in 21st century skills lists. Knowing this segment of the rising generation is one thing, but becoming their mentors is quite another. It is a challenge that teacher librarians must not shrink from. A must read.
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Blog Opera rejects the traditional idea of printed fiction as it is participatory narrative and action that's native to and played on the internet, today's culture, education, political and, entertainment highway.
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