From page 170 of Henry Jenkins’ new book “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide“:

None of us really know how to live in this era of media convergence, collective intelligence and participatory culture. These changes are producing anxieties and uncertainties, even panic, as people imagine a world without gatekeepers and live with the reality of expanding corporate media power.


Just as we would not traditionally assume that someone is literate if they can read but not write, we should not assume that someone possesses media literacy if they can consume but cannot express themselves.

I wonder to what extent he means express themselves publically. I think this is what’s really hard for many educators to get their brain around, and to be honest, I waffle on whether teachers need to be content creators or just have to understand the potential for their students. Some of that ambivalence may be because of the look of fatigue that comes over many people’s faces when I suggest it, and the frequency with which I get asked how I find the time to learn and do all of this. (Answer: I have no life.) But I do think publishing literacy is crucial these days. Not just from the technical aspect of blogging and podcasting, but from the philosophical aspect of sharing and collaboration as well.

I just had a flash of reflection on my own experiences with all of this, that the tools were relatively easy, but the expectations of sharing widely and freely are still issues that I struggle with. Not as much as before, but as recent posts indicate, it’s still there.

And just one more extended quote from the book (page 179) to whet some appetites:

More and more, educators are coming to value the learning that occurs in these informal and recreational spaces, especially as they confront the constraints imposed on learning via educational policies that seemingly value only what can be counted on a standardized test. if children are going to acquire the skills needed to be full participants in their culture, they may well learn these skills through involvement in activities such as editing the newspaper of an imaginary school or teaching one another skills needed to do well in massively multiplayer games or any number of other things that teachers and parents currently regard as trivial pursuits.

I’ll let you read the section on “Rewriting School” yourselves…

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