Clarence summarizes the points in Henry Jenkins’ latest white paper and adds more fuel to the conversation in terms of moving away from teaching content simply to regurgitate it and moving toward teaching content in the context of developing skills for learning, and I think they are worth repeating here:

  • Play— the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance— the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose 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 one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
  • Distributed Cognition— the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence— the ability to pool knowledge and compare 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
    grasping and following alternative norms.

There’s a healthy mix of Pink, Siemens, Robinson and others in there. (And I would again highly recommend Jenkins’ book Convergence Culture for even more on these ideas.) It’s amazing, isn’t it, how little of this is being done in most schools? Appropriation? (Plagiarism!) Collective Intelligence? (Plagiarism!) Networking? (Plagiarism!) I look at this list through the lens of my own kids’ school experience and seriously wonder…are my kids at risk?

I agree less, however, with the idea that “Jenkins tells us, we need to look beyond our kids having access to tools (blogs, wikis, etc.) and we need to learn how to use them effectively in our classrooms to support their learning.” Yes, I need to seriously roll up my sleeves and, like Clarence, get deeply engaged in the pedagogy. And this is another example of the conversation shifting to a larger scope beyond technology. But I feel like I also need to petition whoever will listen that it’s a moral imperative at this point to get every kid connected. If Libya is on the verge depending on how the $100 laptop initiative plays out, why aren’t we? (Don’t answer that…)

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