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GLLS2007: “Henry Jenkins is a Very Smart Man…”

So went the Twit posted by Dave from the back of the room at today’s Gaming, Learning, and Libraries opening session. Jenkins presented What Libraries Need to Know About Games, Media Literacy, and Participatory Culture

Participatory Culture is…

  • Low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
    • Strong support for creating and sharing with others
    • Some kind of informal mentorship
    • Members feel that their contributions matter
    • Some degree of social connection between members
  • Is not a culture created just by kids
    • Adults and kids learn from each other
    • Is fundamentally different from the structure of schools

The Harry Potter experience is a form of “participatory culture”

  • Readers have been waiting years for the end of the series
  • Anti-HP spoilers disclose the end of the story
  • Pirates in Russia released unauthorized translations of Deathly Hallows before its release

Check out the white paper that Jenkins wrote for the MacArthur Foundation, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.

Also check out MIT’s Games to Teach Project and iCue, a blog/game designed to help students connect with issues in the news. iCue is supported by NBC and top news journalists and is scheduled for debut in time for the 2007 school year.

Gaming is about thinking what play means as an alternative system of learning. It is NOT simply about turning the library over to gaming.

More than half of all American teens–and 57 percent of teens who use the internet–could be considered media creators.

  • 33 percent of teens share what they create online with others
  • 22 percent have their own home pages
  • 19 percent blog and 19 percent remix content they found online

The “Participation Gap”

  • Is not just a “digital divide”
  • Is about kids who have 24/7 broadband access, mobile connections, etc. — the ones that are “always connected” – and those who have limited access to and time on the computer
  • Most kids have access to networking computers through home or libraries
  • Librarians must also consider how to help young users with ethical issues of the Internet

What do students need to know to participate in networked culture?

  • Traditional print literacy
  • Research skills
  • Technical skills
  • Media literacy

Competencies for participation in the online environment:

  • PLAY: capacity to experiment with surroundings as a form of problem solving
  • SIMULATION: ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real work processes
  • PERFORMANCE: ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  • APPROPRIATION: ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • MULTITASKING: ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus onto salient details on an ad hoc basis
  • DISTRUBUTED COGNITION: ability to interact meaningfully with tools which expand our mental capacities
  • COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal
  • JUDGMENT: ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • TRANSMEDIA NAVIGATION: ability to deal with the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities (books, TV, movies, etc.)
  • NETWORKING: ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
  • NEGOTIATION: ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative sets of norms

Participation in the online environment is about diversity. We must learn about and value diverse perspectives and teach them to our youth.

As librarians, we must see ourselves as information facilitators and coaches rather than simply managers of books. We must consider our roles in different ways and help young users not only with what is physically present in the library, but also with what is available across networks. We can use our natural role as information service providers to help kids bridge the gaps in online networked culture.

Homeschoolers are early adopters of technology and are socially networked. The library can become a hub for these users.

(Jenkins trivia: Despite his passion for the medium, Jenkins admits he is not a good gamer. His favorite game is Tetris.)


22 July 2007 - Posted by | gaming in libraries, glls2007, learning

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