Thinking about what might be covered in Prof. Barney’s lecture March 14 led me to re-visit some links I’ve kept while lurking on the edtech blogosphere. I re-discovered a source that excited me greatly when I first found it…and reading again now has confirmed why it is time for me to join the conversation.
The work of Howard Rheingold is quite inspirational. In particular the keynote (audio) lecture he gave on participatory media in Australia provides so much food for thought. One thing that stood out as I re-read the summary notes was:
Learning to use participatory media to learn and speak and organize about issues might well be the most important citizenship skill that digital natives need to learn if they’re going to maintain, or revive, democratic governance.
Governance, public voice, community wide collaboration – all things that I’ve personally exercised in my life, but I’m one of the few. Why is that? Absent web tools, it took a lot of time and effort (not to mention confidence) to express one’s views of education, and the “system” seemed able to discourage progress.
NOT ANYMORE. Our new tech tools mean that we can find others with the same ideas and encourage each other, we can find people with different ideas and try to influence each other and we can collectively act to make any “system” take note of our concerns.
Conversation and collaboration can happen when you want, where you want, how you want – the only barriers are learning to use the tools. Rather than “teach” our children how to have a voice in society, we need to let them see us learn how to use participatory media and be real examples for change.