Friday, January 19, 2007

Howard Rheingold

Cyberspace is Social. Participation. Howard has given this presentation in 2nd Life twice, but this is his first time to give it in First life.

He tells the story of his daughter growing up when search engines first start got started. The concern about accuracy and authoritative...the locus of responsibility shifted. Now it's up to the reader, to determine. The reader determines who the author is--and what his/her identity is. It's a new critical reading skill.

Teachers and administrators did not see these new critical thinking skills as critical to education. In fact they were threatened. Now it's happening mostly after school and on weekends, instead of in the classroom! (Alice's note: Is this backwards or what?)

Fuss over Pornography on the internet. Telecommunications Act of 1996. Communications Decency Act. Moral panic and concerns for children. Howard testified at the ACLU trial. His daughter provided an affidavit about online experience.

Described that online communities could make their own rules and have discourse. DOPA. The attempts to put forth legislation for internet protection won't stop.

Cartoon: "Well I don't think you should be eating fast food, but if you're going to try it--well, try it in a safe environment."

Children appreciate when their parents try to ask about their online lives. You're trying to teach your kids how to be citizens in the democracy.

Opportunity today: make use of the natural enthusiasm for cultural production and consumption. Digital natives use the media available to them, about issues they care of. They can organize with participatory media...

In Madrid, bloggers and texters threw the election. People sent each other text messages--to go show up in protest. (Smart Mobs.) Now President--last minute get-out-the-vote campaign. Oh My News.

Oh My News called for street demonstrations.

Public Voice--media production with civic engagement. Phil Agre: How to write for a Web zine. (Public voice vs. private voice.)

15-20,000 students in LA to organize a school walkout for demonstrating against immigration.

Youth are not passive media consumers. They seek, create, modify digital media online. Digital natives have learned how to learn: they carry the equipment, the internet is not new technology but a stable feature of life.

Kids need guidance in learning how to use participatory media and apply it to political democracy. Many kids feel like government is detached and removed from daily life. But when they found out legislation might connect in their daily lives, they figured it out. Quick!

How do kids learn today? Reading and discussing texts. Voice is important--a unique style of personal expression. Energetic involvement in identity formation. Online media fits something for adolescent needs: self-expression and trying on identities. Youth can move that private voice dialogue into a public voice discussion.

Public voice is the fundamental participle of public opinion. American democracy is a bit messy in the public sphere. Phil Agre again: The Practical Republic.

Participatory media can give powerful experiences to young people. Communities, movements, markets and civilizations start through communication media. The tech. power of many to many communications enables collection action.

We are human because we are social networkers. (Early man organized against predators.) We now have capabilities to do natural activities of humans, amplified. Humans on nodes can learn, organize and transact at rates never before possible.

Henry Jenkins.

Teaching students about participatory media: he has students blog about a particular topic, and use persuasive speech.

Participatory Media Literacy.

We need to study what civic engagement means today, and how students can use their skills for communities, as well as self-expression.

Q. What are the top 2 things you recommend for librarians to do, and to stop doing?

A. Opportunity to LISTEN. What do those kids care about? (skateboard, immigration law, etc.) They can use the media that they're becoming fluent in, to advocate on issues they care about.

DOPA Act is not law. You don't have to do it!

Q. How can I teach digital literacy skills when I block MySpace and YouTube?
A. You don't have to block those sites. It's not law. It may or may not be passed...


Anonymous said...

I see you over there blogging this! :)

Alice said...

I spy works both ways, my friend! Oh wait, who else is watching this conversation...? :)

Anonymous said...

is there any chance that you will turn your notes into narrative, for those of us unable to attend the symposium?

Alice said...

Thanks anonymous. I didn't have any plans to--but I can tell you that the video of the speakers will be available on the OCLC Web site fairly soon. Probably in February!