robertogreco + mimiito   32

I Embraced Screen Time With My Daughter—and I Love It | WIRED
I often turn to my sister, Mimi Ito, for advice on these issues. She has raised two well-adjusted kids and directs the Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine, where researchers conduct extensive research on children and technology. Her opinion is that “most tech-privileged parents should be less concerned with controlling their kids’ tech use and more about being connected to their digital lives.” Mimi is glad that the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) dropped its famous 2x2 rule—no screens for the first two years, and no more than two hours a day until a child hits 18. She argues that this rule fed into stigma and parent-shaming around screen time at the expense of what she calls “connected parenting”—guiding and engaging in kids’ digital interests.

One example of my attempt at connected parenting is watching YouTube together with Kio, singing along with Elmo as Kio shows off the new dance moves she’s learned. Everyday, Kio has more new videos and favorite characters that she is excited to share when I come home, and the songs and activities follow us into our ritual of goofing off in bed as a family before she goes to sleep. Her grandmother in Japan is usually part of this ritual in a surreal situation where she is participating via FaceTime on my wife’s iPhone, watching Kio watching videos and singing along and cheering her on. I can’t imagine depriving us of these ways of connecting with her.

The (Unfounded) War on Screens

The anti-screen narrative can sometimes read like the War on Drugs. Perhaps the best example is Glow Kids, in which Nicholas Kardaras tells us that screens deliver a dopamine rush rather like sex. He calls screens “digital heroin” and uses the term “addiction” when referring to children unable to self-regulate their time online.

More sober (and less breathlessly alarmist) assessments by child psychologists and data analysts offer a more balanced view of the impact of technology on our kids. Psychologist and baby observer Alison Gopnik, for instance, notes: “There are plenty of mindless things that you could be doing on a screen. But there are also interactive, exploratory things that you could be doing.” Gopnik highlights how feeling good about digital connections is a normal part of psychology and child development. “If your friends give you a like, well, it would be bad if you didn’t produce dopamine,” she says.

Other research has found that the impact of screens on kids is relatively small, and even the conservative AAP says that cases of children who have trouble regulating their screen time are not the norm, representing just 4 percent to 8.5 percent of US children. This year, Andrew Przybylski and Amy Orben conducted a rigorous analysis of data on more than 350,000 adolescents and found a nearly negligible effect on psychological well-being at the aggregate level.

In their research on digital parenting, Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross found widespread concern among parents about screen time. They posit, however, that “screen time” is an unhelpful catchall term and recommend that parents focus instead on quality and joint engagement rather than just quantity. The Connected Learning Lab’s Candice Odgers, a professor of psychological sciences, reviewed the research on adolescents and devices and found as many positive as negative effects. She points to the consequences of unbalanced attention on the negative ones. “The real threat isn’t smartphones. It’s this campaign of misinformation and the generation of fear among parents and educators.”

We need to immediately begin rigorous, longitudinal studies on the effects of devices and the underlying algorithms that guide their interfaces and their interactions with and recommendations for children. Then we can make evidence-based decisions about how these systems should be designed, optimized for, and deployed among children, and not put all the burden on parents to do the monitoring and regulation.

My guess is that for most kids, this issue of screen time is statistically insignificant in the context of all the other issues we face as parents—education, health, day care—and for those outside my elite tech circles even more so. Parents like me, and other tech leaders profiled in a recent New York Times series about tech elites keeping their kids off devices, can afford to hire nannies to keep their kids off screens. Our kids are the least likely to suffer the harms of excessive screen time. We are also the ones least qualified to be judgmental about other families who may need to rely on screens in different ways. We should be creating technology that makes screen entertainment healthier and fun for all families, especially those who don’t have nannies.

I’m not ignoring the kids and families for whom digital devices are a real problem, but I believe that even in those cases, focusing on relationships may be more important than focusing on controlling access to screens.

Keep It Positive

One metaphor for screen time that my sister uses is sugar. We know sugar is generally bad for you and has many side effects and can be addictive to kids. However, the occasional bonding ritual over milk and cookies might have more benefit to a family than an outright ban on sugar. Bans can also backfire, fueling binges and shame as well as mistrust and secrecy between parents and kids.

When parents allow kids to use computers, they often use spying tools, and many teens feel parental surveillance is invasive to their privacy. One study showed that using screen time to punish or reward behavior actually increased net screen time use by kids. Another study by Common Sense Media shows what seems intuitively obvious: Parents use screens as much as kids. Kids model their parents—and have a laserlike focus on parental hypocrisy.

In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle describes the fracturing of family cohesion because of the attention that devices get and how this has disintegrated family interaction. While I agree that there are situations where devices are a distraction—I often declare “laptops closed” in class, and I feel that texting during dinner is generally rude—I do not feel that iPhones necessarily draw families apart.

In the days before the proliferation of screens, I ran away from kindergarten every day until they kicked me out. I missed more classes than any other student in my high school and barely managed to graduate. I also started more extracurricular clubs in high school than any other student. My mother actively supported my inability to follow rules and my obsessive tendency to pursue my interests and hobbies over those things I was supposed to do. In the process, she fostered a highly supportive trust relationship that allowed me to learn through failure and sometimes get lost without feeling abandoned or ashamed.

It turns out my mother intuitively knew that it’s more important to stay grounded in the fundamentals of positive parenting. “Research consistently finds that children benefit from parents who are sensitive, responsive, affectionate, consistent, and communicative” says education professor Stephanie Reich, another member of the Connected Learning Lab who specializes in parenting, media, and early childhood. One study shows measurable cognitive benefits from warm and less restrictive parenting.

When I watch my little girl learning dance moves from every earworm video that YouTube serves up, I imagine my mother looking at me while I spent every waking hour playing games online, which was my pathway to developing my global network of colleagues and exploring the internet and its potential early on. I wonder what wonderful as well as awful things will have happened by the time my daughter is my age, and I hope a good relationship with screens and the world beyond them can prepare her for this future."
joiito  parenting  screentime  mimiito  techology  screens  children  alisongopnik  2019  computers  computing  tablets  phones  smartphones  mobile  nicholaskardaras  addiction  prohibition  andrewprzybylski  aliciablum-ross  sonialvingstone  amyorben  adolescence  psychology  candiceodgers  research  stephaniereich  connectedlearning  learning  schools  sherryturkle  trust 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Minecraft Club - Free, safe, moderated server
"Our mission is to build a global online community where kids build, code, play, and learn from one another. We tap the power of youth tech experts to teach and mentor, and have served thousands of kids through our online and community-based programs.

Connected Camps was catalyzed by three girl geeks with a passion for education and the positive potential of technology. Mimi is an educational researcher and advocate for connected learning, on a decades-long hunt to bridge education and entertainment. Katie is a game designer, educator and force behind the creation of Institute of Play and its partner school Quest to Learn. Tara is a technologist and entrepreneur who founded LA Makerspace so kids can make and learn in her local community.

Our approach is backed by lots of research and testing in practice, and is part of the Connected Learning Alliance, dedicated to mobilizing new technology in the service of equity, access and opportunity for all young people."
education  kids  programming  minecraft  coding  mimiito  katiesalen  sfsh  games  gaming  play  videogames 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Mimi Ito - Weblog: Three Lessons from My Son on Minecraft and Learning
[also here: https://blog.connectedcamps.com/three-lessons-son-minecraft-learning/ ]

"Why do some kids spend their time killing each other while others engineer epic builds in Minecraft? The educational benefits of Minecraft are celebrated, particularly for developing tech skills, but not every kid is unleashing her inner MacGyver. It doesn’t really matter if Minecraft is good for learning if your kid isn’t engaging in complicated builds, coding, engineering or collaboration online. After all, there’s more variety in Minecraft play than any game on this planet.

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUg_BCDdbuA ]
My son’s binary calculator

Minecraft was a big part of my son becoming an avid coder, a positive digital citizen, and an aspiring engineer. He started playing Minecraft in middle school with his friends, and he played in a server that the school hosted. What really got him excited about being creative in Minecraft was discovering YouTube videos of epic builds. Eventually he applied to join a Minecraft server community hosted by some of the heroes he discovered on YouTube; he leveled up in his building, as he collaborated with and learned from others in the community. A few years later, he was exposed to coding in high school, and decided to explore coding in Minecraft and build a massive binary calculator with redstone (a special type of Minecraft block that acts like an electrical wire and allows players to create circuits and other machines). In the summer, he helps out in the family business, working in the Connected Camps Minecraft server teaching kids to code.

Here’s three lessons I learned growing up with my son about unleashing learning in Minecraft.

It’s the people, stupid

Discovering a community of inspiring Minecraft builders was key to my son deciding he wanted to up the ante in Creative mode. Even better was when he was able to join a server and learn from them directly. Research shows that connecting with inspiring mentors is one of the biggest factors in kids’ learning. Whether it’s a friend, a YouTuber, parent, or a teacher, the more exposure kids have to Minecrafters doing challenging builds and engineering in the game, the more likely they will be to absorb that influence.

If your Minecrafter only seems to be watching silly Minecraft videos, introduce them to someone like sethbling or St3venAU who engineer cool stuff in Minecraft. And if you’re a parent who is happy to let your kids explore new servers, find a safe Minecraft server that is moderated, friendly, and populated by Minecraft tech experts. It’s people, not a game that inspires kids to reach for new heights.

Looking beyond the game

One of the first major creations that popped up in the Connected Camps Minecraft server was a gallery of pixel art featuring Pokémon and other beloved characters. Kids love to connect the dots between different interests, and this amplifies enthusiasm and creative energy. Pokémon fans will labor over massive and perfectly scaled Pokémon pixel art.

It reminds me of when my son decided he wanted to create his school projects in cake. After an orange buttercream California Mission model came a strawberry shortcake Mt. McKinley, and a quarry made with with chocolate cake and blue jello. In other words, Minecraft is just like cake! It can make anything a little bit more appealing.

[image]
A gallery of my son’s cake creations

Kids who might not be otherwise motivated to engineer complex creations might be inspired to build a TNT cannon, submarine, or trap doors as part of an imaginative role playing scenario or video they are creating. On our Connected Camps servers, our counselors are constantly inviting kids to connect to a wide range of interests, like books, super heroes, roller coasters, and sports. And if they do pick up some tech skills, they can be applied in Minecraft, like when my son picked up some coding and realized he could bring it to Minecraft. The key is to always be building connections between what can be done in-game and skills and interests in the wider world.

Projects with purpose

Games are engaging because they have clear goals and constant challenge. Minecraft has these gameplay elements in Survival mode, but they don’t necessarily lead kids to develop tech and other skills. If kids are going to engage in an engineering or building challenge, it’s much more motivating for them if there is a goal and some rules or guideposts. You might have one of those rare kids who will sit by themselves and decide to create something awesome, but most kids need to be motivated by competition, connecting with others, or being recognized. As a parent you know what motivates your child—getting the the gold star, looking cool to their friends, feeling part of a community, or having their work celebrated.

When my son realized he could give back in Minecraft by teaching younger kids, and receive volunteer hours on top of it, it rekindled his interest in leveling up in the game. Minecraft became connected to a higher purpose. In our Minecraft coding camps and courses, we help kids program turtles to do useful things that are value to the community, like sweeping up trash, or delivering mail. Another way we motivate kids is through friendly competition through collaborative build challenges, like when kids formed groups to build submarines using a particular set of materials. Very few kids want to learn coding for coding’s sake, or to get a job ten years from now. They aren’t motivated unless there’s a more immediate point to it.

Build challenges on our Minecraft server

Could a teacher be impressed with a school assignment in Minecraft? Could you delight family and friends with a Minecraft video? Is there a fun family activity that you all can do together? Can you bring together some Minecraft friends for a build competition? The best kind of learning happens when kids are socializing or pursuing something they care about and don’t even realize they are learning.

Need some inspiration?

Here are a few place you can look for Minecraft activities and challenges for your family:

Minecraft craft and party ideas for families from Minemum:
http://www.minemum.com/crafts-parties

Family-friendly Minecraft activities and challenges designed by Connected Camps staff and counselors: https://blog.connectedcamps.com/category/activities/

Minecraft themed projects created with the Scratch programming tool from the MIT Media Lab:
https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/443932/

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences unleashing learning in Minecraft in your family. Any stories to share of challenges and successes? Sources of inspiration or motivation?"
2016  mimiito  minecraft  gaming  parenting  learning  education  informallearning  games  social  socialmedia  homago  making  connectedlearning  interest-drivenlearning 
february 2017 by robertogreco
Mimi Ito - Weblog: How Dropping Screen Time Rules Can Fuel Extraordinary Learning
[also here: https://blog.connectedcamps.com/how-dropping-screen-time-rules-can-fuel-extraordinary-learning/ ]

"Last fall, the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) finally backed down from their killjoy "screen time" rules that had deprived countless kids of the freedom to pursue their interests and explore digital worlds. No screens in the first 2 years, no more than 2 hours a day. After pushing their famous 2x2 rule for almost two decades, now they advocate against a one-size-fits-all approach and suggest that parents can be “media mentors” and not just time cops. But damage has been done.

For almost as long as the AAP 2x2 rules have been in place, I’ve been studying how multimedia, digital games, and the Internet can fuel extraordinary forms of learning and mobilization. Young people are growing up in a new era of information abundance where they can google anything and connect with specialized expert communities online. However, our research also indicates that most kids are not truly tapping the power of online learning. In part I blame the 2x2 guidelines for holding kids back, and putting parents in the role of policing rather than coaching media engagement.

By focusing on quality over quantity, families can move away from fear, maintain a healthy balance, and seek out extraordinary learning.

Screen Time is an Outdated Concept

The idea that screens are bad for kids has gotten deeply entrenched. Parents worry about video game addiction, are plagued with guilt when they park their kid with a tablet, and judge mothers who bring Pokemon Go to “the sanctuary of the playground.” Many parents pride themselves on following the old AAP guidelines; clocking screen time, believing this will lead to healthy kids. It’s natural to hope that controlling access to a device might make our kids smart and well-adjusted, but if only it were that simple. Maybe it made more sense when TV was the only screen, but given the wide range of activities that screens are part of these days, a focus on screen time is too blunt an instrument.

My daughter taught me this lesson when she was twelve. One summer, I was irritated with the hours she was spending watching TV shows on YouTube. After I started clocking her screen time, she quickly developed a strategy. She would use her limited screen time on what I considered the most inane uses of the computer and I would inevitably give her more time for more “productive” screen activities like learning new skills or creating digital media. I eventually backed down and we installed Rescue Time on her computer, which tracks time on specific applications and websites. Rather than simply clocking time spent with screens, we started reflecting together on productivity and time management, a conversation that continues to this day even as she has left home to study overseas.

Quality over Quantity

Based on an extensive study of digital parenting, Alicia Blum-Ross and Sonia Livingstone conclude that instead of quantity, parents needs to focus on “context (where, when
and how digital media are accessed), content (what is being watched or used), and connections (whether and how relationships are facilitated or impeded).” Here are three ways to put this recommendation into action by letting go of fear, maintaining balance and hunting for extraordinary learning.

Fears about the negatives of media engagement are real, but only for a minority of families. When I give talks about learning with digital media, occasionally a parent will stand up and tell a gut-wrenching story about cyberbullying or video game addiction that strikes fear in the hearts of parents in the room. They speak passionately about how important it was for them to pull the plug or set strict limits to nurture their child back to safety and health.

These are deeply troubling, important, and unusual experiences. Even the conservative AAP puts “problematic” forms of Internet and gaming use at between 4%-8.5% of U.S. children and youth. This is a significant minority, and parents do need to be alert to warning signs. Some kids have a harder time setting limits to digital engagements, and the online world can also become a place for them to escape from problems in their face-to-face relationships. These families need to take a hard look at social media, games, and the Internet not because they “cause” these problems, but because they can amplify psychological and social distress. Solutions might include limiting gaming and social media, but should take into account the bigger picture which includes peer, family, and other psychological and social factors. Simply limiting screen time without addressing deeper problems is not likely to lead to positive outcomes.

Even for problematic digital engagement, strict screen time rules, monitoring and surveillance are not always the best strategies, which is why even the AAP has moved away from them. In fact, being fearful, restrictive and controlling of kids’ media use can backfire as it breeds a climate of mistrust, and kids learn to operate in secrecy. Teens generally describe parental surveillance as one of the biggest threats to their online privacy.

Recent research shows that most parents do not have major fears and concerns about their kids’ media engagement, and are heavily engaged in media themselves. Common Sense Media reports that parents engage with media at similar rates as their tween and teen kids (over nine hours a day!), and don’t have the right to call the kettle black. The same report indicates that the overwhelming majority of parents feel that they are good media role models, and that digital and online media play a positive role in education and skill development.

Based on their research with a wide range of families, Blum and Livingstone offer some questions families can keep in mind, rather than watching the clock:

• Is my child physically healthy and sleeping enough?
• Is my child connecting socially with family and friends (in any form)?
• Is my child engaged with and achieving in school?
• Is my child pursuing interests and hobbies (in any form)?
• Is my child having fun and learning in their use of digital media?

This approach is similar to what Common Sense Media advocates as a “healthy family media diet.”

Most parents I hear from are not only relieved, but enthused to find a youth development “expert” and parent who thinks the Internet can be good for kids, because it conforms to their own experience. After every talk I give, a parent or a teacher will share a story about how the Internet supported unique forms of learning for a child they know, whether that is a kid learning to write through online fan fiction, or how an online game exposed them to a new dimension of collaborative problem solving.

But why settle for a balanced diet when you can have an extraordinary meal? Balance is important over the long term but sometimes passion should rule the day--the state Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has described as “flow” when one loses track of time while being completely immersed in a learning challenge. In my research, I’ve marvelled over kids who are learning to code at younger and younger ages, have organized social media movements, or produce and distribute fan media for massive audiences. Check out this jaw-dropping video of an extraordinary young girl who mastered a niche form of dance by immersing herself in YouTube videos.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OgzdDp5qfdI

The Internet has helped fuel thousands of passionate learners like dubstepping Adilyn, an emerging new type of Internet-powered expert. We founded Connected Camps because Minecraft is a platform, like YouTube, where young people are connecting, creating, and learning from one another, tapping tools for digital creation and sharing, exploring new niches and nerding out in specialities that they would not otherwise have access to. I’m constantly awestruck at the massive artworks, role playing games, and organizations that young kids have built together in our Minecraft community. Just like the X-Games is an umbrella for a vast diversity of incomparable athletes in breathtaking specialties, Minecraft and the Internet are fueling highly idiosyncratic forms of creativity, expertise, mobilization and self expression.

Finding a groove isn’t easy, and not every kid will dive into something with a singular passion. But the potential is there for online media and digital games to support just about every interest and curiosity under the sun. Even if it is just an amusing meme, a factoid, or a coding with Minecraft, without exposure and parental support, kids will not have the freedom, wisdom, or courage to explore and savor the vastness of the networked world. So let go of fear and join the hunt for extraordinary learning."
mimiito  screentime  education  learning  2017  technology  informallearning  socialmedia  edtech  sfsh  parenting 
february 2017 by robertogreco
California Dreaming - The bankrupt Golden State (vpro backlight documentary) - YouTube
"California is a strong brand, the state of new beginnings, dreams and movie stars, of surfers and a wonderful climate. But the Golden State is bankrupt and the city of Los Angeles is running out of cash. Public services are being cut and unemployment keeps rising. At the same time, optimism, entrepreneurship and the belief in the power of America are stronger than ever.

In Los Angeles, we meet five people who are going through a transformation in their lives during this crisis. Justin and Christine lost their jobs and are now living in a van with their two young sons. Charles has gotten out of prison after fourteen years. Mizuko prepares her children for the future by making them at ease in virtual reality. Laura has taken advantage of the crisis by buying land cheaply and starting an urban farm and artists collective Fallen Fruit maps the abundant free 'public fruit' available in the city.

Who are the pioneers who are reinventing the new America and how do they see the future?

Director: Bregtje van der Haak"
california  2010  documentary  losangeles  homeboyindustries  mimiito  bregtjevanderhaak  greatrecession  fallenfruit  wendygeuel 
january 2017 by robertogreco
The Minecraft Generation - The New York Times
"Seth Frey, a postdoctoral fellow in computational social science at Dartmouth College, has studied the behavior of thousands of youths on Minecraft servers, and he argues that their interactions are, essentially, teaching civic literacy. “You’ve got these kids, and they’re creating these worlds, and they think they’re just playing a game, but they have to solve some of the hardest problems facing humanity,” Frey says. “They have to solve the tragedy of the commons.” What’s more, they’re often anonymous teenagers who, studies suggest, are almost 90 percent male (online play attracts far fewer girls and women than single-­player mode). That makes them “what I like to think of as possibly the worst human beings around,” Frey adds, only half-­jokingly. “So this shouldn’t work. And the fact that this works is astonishing.”

Frey is an admirer of Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel Prize-­winning political economist who analyzed the often-­unexpected ways that everyday people govern themselves and manage resources. He sees a reflection of her work in Minecraft: Running a server becomes a crash course in how to compromise, balance one another’s demands and resolve conflict.

Three years ago, the public library in Darien, Conn., decided to host its own Minecraft server. To play, kids must acquire a library card. More than 900 kids have signed up, according to John Blyberg, the library’s assistant director for innovation and user experience. “The kids are really a community,” he told me. To prevent conflict, the library installed plug-ins that give players a chunk of land in the game that only they can access, unless they explicitly allow someone else to do so. Even so, conflict arises. “I’ll get a call saying, ‘This is Dasher80, and someone has come in and destroyed my house,’ ” Blyberg says. Sometimes library administrators will step in to adjudicate the dispute. But this is increasingly rare, Blyberg says. “Generally, the self-­governing takes over. I’ll log in, and there’ll be 10 or 15 messages, and it’ll start with, ‘So-and-so stole this,’ and each message is more of this,” he says. “And at the end, it’ll be: ‘It’s O.K., we worked it out! Disregard this message!’ ”

Several parents and academics I interviewed think Minecraft servers offer children a crucial “third place” to mature, where they can gather together outside the scrutiny and authority at home and school. Kids have been using social networks like Instagram or Snapchat as a digital third place for some time, but Minecraft imposes different social demands, because kids have to figure out how to respect one another’s virtual space and how to collaborate on real projects.

“We’re increasingly constraining youth’s ability to move through the world around them,” says Barry Joseph, the associate director for digital learning at the American Museum of Natural History. Joseph is in his 40s. When he was young, he and his friends roamed the neighborhood unattended, where they learned to manage themselves socially. Today’s fearful parents often restrict their children’s wanderings, Joseph notes (himself included, he adds). Minecraft serves as a new free-­ranging realm.

Joseph’s son, Akiva, is 9, and before and after school he and his school friend Eliana will meet on a Minecraft server to talk and play. His son, Joseph says, is “at home but still getting to be with a friend using technology, going to a place where they get to use pickaxes and they get to use shovels and they get to do that kind of building. I wonder how much Minecraft is meeting that need — that need that all children have.” In some respects, Minecraft can be as much social network as game.

Just as Minecraft propels kids to master Photoshop or video-­editing, server life often requires kids to acquire complex technical skills. One 13-year-old girl I interviewed, Lea, was a regular on a server called Total Freedom but became annoyed that its administrators weren’t clamping down on griefing. So she asked if she could become an administrator, and the owners said yes.

For a few months, Lea worked as a kind of cop on that beat. A software tool called “command spy” let her observe records of what players had done in the game; she teleported miscreants to a sort of virtual “time out” zone. She was eventually promoted to the next rank — “telnet admin,” which allowed her to log directly into the server via telnet, a command-­line tool often used by professionals to manage servers. Being deeply involved in the social world of Minecraft turned Lea into something rather like a professional systems administrator. “I’m supposed to take charge of anybody who’s breaking the rules,” she told me at the time.

Not everyone has found the online world of Minecraft so hospitable. One afternoon while visiting the offices of Mouse, a nonprofit organization in Manhattan that runs high-tech programs for kids, I spoke with Tori. She’s a quiet, dry-­witted 17-year-old who has been playing Minecraft for two years, mostly in single-­player mode; a recent castle-­building competition with her younger sister prompted some bickering after Tori won. But when she decided to try an online server one day, other players — after discovering she was a girl — spelled out “BITCH” in blocks.

She hasn’t gone back. A group of friends sitting with her in the Mouse offices, all boys, shook their heads in sympathy; they’ve seen this behavior “everywhere,” one said. I have been unable to find solid statistics on how frequently harassment happens in Minecraft. In the broader world of online games, though, there is more evidence: An academic study of online players of Halo, a shoot-’em-up game, found that women were harassed twice as often as men, and in an unscientific poll of 874 self-­described online gamers, 63 percent of women reported “sex-­based taunting, harassment or threats.” Parents are sometimes more fretful than the players; a few told me they didn’t let their daughters play online. Not all girls experience harassment in Minecraft, of course — Lea, for one, told me it has never happened to her — and it is easy to play online without disclosing your gender, age or name. In-game avatars can even be animals.

How long will Minecraft’s popularity endure? It depends very much on Microsoft’s stewardship of the game. Company executives have thus far kept a reasonably light hand on the game; they have left major decisions about the game’s development to Mojang and let the team remain in Sweden. But you can imagine how the game’s rich grass-roots culture might fray. Microsoft could, for example, try to broaden the game’s appeal by making it more user-­friendly — which might attenuate its rich tradition of information-­sharing among fans, who enjoy the opacity and mystery. Or a future update could tilt the game in a direction kids don’t like. (The introduction of a new style of combat this spring led to lively debate on forums — some enjoyed the new layer of strategy; others thought it made Minecraft too much like a typical hack-and-slash game.) Or an altogether new game could emerge, out-­Minecrafting Minecraft.

But for now, its grip is strong. And some are trying to strengthen it further by making it more accessible to lower-­income children. Mimi Ito has found that the kids who acquire real-world skills from the game — learning logic, administering servers, making YouTube channels — tend to be upper middle class. Their parents and after-­school programs help them shift from playing with virtual blocks to, say, writing code. So educators have begun trying to do something similar, bringing Minecraft into the classroom to create lessons on everything from math to history. Many libraries are installing Minecraft on their computers."
2016  clivethompson  education  videogames  games  minecraft  digitalculture  gaming  mimiito  robinsloan  coding  computationalthinking  stem  programming  commandline  ianbogost  walterbenjamin  children  learning  resilience  colinfanning  toys  lego  wood  friedrichfroebel  johnlocke  rebeccamir  mariamontessori  montessori  carltheodorsorensen  guilds  mentoring  mentorship  sloyd  denmark  construction  building  woodcrafting  woodcraft  adventureplaygrounds  material  logic  basic  mojang  microsoft  markuspersson  notch  modding  photoshop  texturepacks  elinorostrom  collaboration  sethfrey  civics  youtube  networkedlearning  digitalliteracy  hacking  computers  screentime  creativity  howwelearn  computing  froebel 
april 2016 by robertogreco
From Writing to Gaming to Writing | inpoints
"Tal is a 6th grader who likes to write and draw, and who socializes with a close-knit group of cousins about her same age. One of the cousins goes to the same school and is a sometimes-gamer. His current game of choice is a videogame called Minecraft. Tal’s cousin found out about the game from one of the adults that works at his school and quickly fell in love with it. The game is played on a computer and is primarily about creativity and building.

Tal started playing Minecraft at her cousin’s house. They decided to help form a Minecraft club at school, and soon many more students had joined. Lunchtime was spent sharing building tips, playing each other’s levels, and talking about what they were going to do in the game when they got home. The adult who had originally told them about the game set up a school Minecraft server that the club could access, and the community of players continued to grow and diversify to include younger and older siblings, friends from other schools, parents, and even some teachers.

Tal got the idea to write scripts for her and her friends to film as animated plays in the game from a post on a Minecraft online forum. She got support for doing so from her social studies teacher, who had noticed Tal’s interest in creative writing. While the teacher wasn’t a Minecraft player herself, she did recognize that the game created a socially rich and creatively driven context for nurturing Tal’s writing interests. Tal was allowed to share her Minecraft-inspired stories during class and was interviewed by other students as part of an online newspaper club. The status and recognition she gained from these outlets fed her confidence and supported her burgeoning identity as a creative writer.

Tal started writing more frequently and found that the practice paid off in her writing for class assignments, mostly because her teacher challenged her to develop her own voice, no matter what the topic. She still went to the Minecraft club at school, but usually spent the sessions working on her scripts and getting ideas for new stories from the levels created by other players on the server. By the end of the school year, Tal was writing every day and sharing her work with teachers, family, and peers in the community that had developed around the school’s Minecraft server. She also became interested in enrolling in a summer program for writers so that she could continue to write with support over break.

The case of Tal illustrates the ways in which a school can provide the key scaffolds to connect a gaming interest to academic achievement. By providing an afterschool space for exploration of an interest with peers, and drawing this activity into a classroom context, teachers at Quest to Learn provided the connections for Tal to make her Minecraft play a pathway to developing creative writing interests and skills."
mimiito  2016  minecraft  gaming  videogames  writing  learning  education  quest2learn  creativewriting 
march 2016 by robertogreco
How wealthy kids’ use of social media sets them up for a more successful future - The Washington Post
"In this digital age, we have assumed that smartphones and apps are the new normal for youth. A recently released Pew Research Center report on teens and technology further corroborates this belief by showing that 88 percent of U.S. teens have access to a mobile phone. Of these, 73 percent have smartphones and 15 percent only a basic cell phone.

But it’s worth pausing to consider what online participation looks like for the 15 percent of teens with basic cell phones or the 12 percent who don’t have access to any form of mobile phone and what kind of a new “digital divide” might be emerging. In other words, low-income teens are unable to participate in the social media conversations of their wealthier peers.

Our team at the University of California, Irvine, has been conducting research and developing programs in coding and digital media for these less-connected youth. The nationally representative sample in the Pew data provides context for these populations of urban teens who we work with day-to-day in Southern California.

Teens use of social media

Last summer, we helped organize and conduct research on a digital storytelling course for teens in South Los Angeles. The 30 teens who participated all came from low-income households, were evenly split in gender and were predominantly Latino, with some black and Asian participants.

We designed one program around photo-sharing apps and mobile phone cameras, as we believed that was what teens would be most comfortable doing. It turned out, however, that none of them had an Instagram account and few had ever shared a photo online. We were struck by the contrast between the subjects of our study and those in the Pew study.

More recently, we conducted interviews with 14 teens in the same demographic, who were participating in a workshop using the Scratch programming platform, a creative online learning tool in which young people can develop and share their stories, animations and games. When we asked the teens participating in this program about their mobile and social media use, all of them said they texted to keep in touch with friends and family. Only half had a smartphone.

None of them used the photo-sharing tool Instagram. Only one used Snapchat, another photo messaging tool. They did have Facebook accounts, but none described themselves as active on the site. In a group interview, one of the boys called out the one boy who did use Snapchat: “We are all ghosts on social media except you. You have Snapchat.”

What’s notable is that these low-income teens do not use the social media in ways their wealthier peers do. One of our interviewees notes that she doesn’t use social media at all. “When I’m on my phone, I’m either reading or texting,” she said.

Peer groups will gravitate to the modes of communication that are most widely shared.

Income differences and smartphones

In low-income communities, fewer teens have smartphones, so texting is the most common mode of communication. It’s no fun being on Instagram and Snapchat if your friends are not. We’ve seen proclamations in the media about teenagers’ flight from Facebook and the growing hegemony of smartphone apps like Instagram and Snapchat. In other words, the shift to smartphones means low-income teens are shut out of the dominant communications media of their generation.

These observations are backed by the Pew survey data. Teens in wealthier households are more likely to have smartphones and to prefer Snapchat and Instagram. Compared to those in households earning less than $30,000 annually, twice as many teens in households earning more than $75,000 annually say they use Snapchat as their most visited website. For Instagram, the differences are less pronounced but the survey shows a slight tendency for teens in higher income brackets to prefer the app. That’s not surprising given the high cost of mobile Internet plans.

Contrast that with Facebook use, which is higher among lower income teens. While 51 percent of teens in households earning less than $30,000 use Facebook often, only 31 percent of the teens in the wealthiest households, earning more than $100,000, do so. Facebook can be accessed through a shared family PC or a public library computer, making it a much more accessible platform than those that rely on smartphone connectivity for an app.

An area of concern

Teens’ access to Snapchat and Instagram may not seem like something we should be terribly concerned about, but it is an indicator of deeper and troubling forms of digital inequity. Social digital and networked media use is where young people gain everyday fluency and comfort with the technology and social norms of our times. Whether it is managing a LinkedIn network or learning to code, young people who lack digital fluency and full access will always be a step behind their more connected peers.

In many ways, this emerging smartphone divide is more troubling than the digital divide we faced back in the 1990s. The digital divide at that time described the gap between those who had access to desktop computers and the Internet and those who did not. Public concern led to policies and community efforts to bridge the divide through public infrastructures. Schools and libraries emerged as important access points for children and youth who did not have access at home.

Today’s smartphone divide is potentially much more difficult to bridge as it goes hand in glove with expensive consumer technologies and private infrastructure.

We need to address this new divide head-on before it becomes entrenched in the experiences of this rising generation."
2015  crystlemartin  mimiito  teens  youth  technology  snapchat  facebook  socialmedia  smartphones  mobile  phones  communication  instagram  digitaldivide  inequality 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Education’s war on millennials: Why everyone is failing the “digital generation” - Salon.com
"Both reformers and traditionalists view technology as a way to control students — and they're getting it very wrong"



"In addressing the hundreds of thousands who watch such videos, students aren’t the only ones in the implied audience. These videos appeal to many nonacademic viewers who enjoy watching, from a remove, the hacking of obstreperous or powerful systems as demonstrated in videos about, for instance, fooling electronic voting booths, hacking vending machines, opening locked cars with tennis balls, or smuggling contraband goods through airport x-ray devices. These cheating videos also belonged to a broader category of YouTube videos for do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts— those who liked to see step-by-step execution of a project from start to finish. YouTube videos about crafts, cooking, carpentry, decorating, computer programming, and installing consumer technologies all follow this same basic format, and popular magazines like Make have capitalized on this sub-culture of avid project-based participants. Although these cultural practices may seem like a relatively new trend, one could look at DIY culture as part of a longer tradition of exercises devoted to imitatio, or the art of copying master works, which have been central to instruction for centuries."



"Prior to the release of this report, Mia Consalvo had argued that cheating in video games is expected behavior among players and that cheaters perform important epistemological work by sharing information about easy solutions on message boards, forums, and other venues for collaborations.

Consalvo also builds on the work of literacy theorist James Paul Gee, who asserts that video game narratives often require transgression to gain knowledge and that, just as passive obedience rarely produces insight in real classrooms, testing boundaries by disobeying the instructions of authority figures can be the best way to learn. Because procedural culture is ubiquitous, however, Ian Bogost has insisted that defying rules and confronting the persuasive powers of certain architectures of control only brings other kinds of rules into play, since we can never really get outside of ideology and act as truly free agents, even when supposedly gaming the system.

Ironically, more traditional ideas about fair play might block key paths to upward mobility and success in certain high-tech careers. For example, Betsy DiSalvo and Amy Bruckman, who have studied Atlanta-area African-American teens involved in service learning projects with game companies, argue that the conflict between the students’ own beliefs in straightforward behavior and the ideologies of hacker culture makes participation in the informal gateway activities for computer science less likely. Thus, urban youth who believe in tests of physical prowess, basketball-court egalitarianism, and a certain paradigm of conventional black masculinity that is coded as no-nonsense or—as Fox Harrell says—“solid” might be less likely to take part in forms of “geeking out” that involve subverting a given set of rules. Similarly, Tracy Fullerton has argued that teenagers from families unfamiliar with the norms of higher education may also be hobbled by their reluctance to “strategize” more opportunistically about college admissions. Fullerton’s game “Pathfinder” is intended to help such students learn to game the system by literally learning to play a game about how listing the right kinds of high-status courses and extracurricular activities will gain them social capital with colleges."



"However, Gee would later argue in “The Anti-Education Era” that gamesmanship that enables universal access and personal privilege may actually be extremely counterproductive. Hacks that “make the game easier or advantage the player” can “undermine the game’s design and even ruin the game by making it too easy.” Furthermore, “perfecting the human urge to optimize” can go too far and lead to fatal consequences on a planet where resources can be exhausted too quickly and weaknesses can be exploited too frequently. Furthermore, Gee warns that educational systems that focus on individual optimization create cultures of “impoverished humans” in which learners never “confront challenge and frustration,” “acquire new styles of learning,” or “face failure squarely.”"



"What’s striking about the ABC coverage is that it lacked any of the criticism of the educational status quo that became so central for a number of readers of the earlier Chronicle of Higher Education story—those who were asking as educators either (1) what’s wrong with the higher education system that students can subvert conventional tests so easily, or (2) what’s right with YouTube culture that encourages participation, creativity, institutional subversion, and satire."



"This attitude reflects current research on so-called distributed cognition and how external markers can help humans to problem solve by both making solutions clearer and freeing up working memory that would otherwise be tied up in reciting basic reminders. Many of those commenting on the article also argued that secrecy did little to promote learning, a philosophy shared by Benjamin Bratton, head of the Center for Design and Geopolitics, who actually hands out the full text of his final examination on the first day of class so that students know exactly what they will be tested on."



"This book explores the assumption that digital media deeply divide students and teachers and that a once covert war between “us” and “them” has turned into an open battle between “our” technologies and “their” technologies. On one side, we—the faculty—seem to control course management systems, online quizzes, wireless clickers, Internet access to PowerPoint slides and podcasts, and plagiarism-detection software. On the student side, they are armed with smart phones, laptops, music players, digital cameras, and social network sites. They seem to be the masters of these ubiquitous computing and recording technologies that can serve as advanced weapons allowing either escape to virtual or social realities far away from the lecture hall or—should they choose to document and broadcast the foibles of their faculty—exposure of that lecture hall to the outside world.

Each side is not really fighting the other, I argue, because both appear to be conducting an incredibly destructive war on learning itself by emphasizing competition and conflict rather than cooperation. I see problems both with using technologies to command and control young people into submission and with the utopian claims of advocates for DIY education, or “unschooling,” who embrace a libertarian politics of each-one-for-himself or herself pedagogy and who, in the interest of promoting totally autonomous learning in individual private homes, seek to defund public institutions devoted to traditional learning collectives. Effective educators should be noncombatants, I am claiming, neither champions of the reactionary past nor of the radical future. In making the argument for becoming a conscientious objector in this war on learning, I am focusing on the present moment.

Both sides in the war on learning are also promoting a particular causal argument about technology of which I am deeply suspicious. Both groups believe that the present rupture between student and professor is caused by the advent of a unique digital generation that is assumed to be quite technically proficient at navigating computational media without formal instruction and that is likely to prefer digital activities to the reading of print texts. I’ve been a public opponent of casting students too easily as “digital natives” for a number of reasons. Of course, anthropology and sociology already supply a host of arguments against assuming preconceived ideas about what it means to be a native when studying group behavior.

I am particularly suspicious of this type of language about so-called digital natives because it could naturalize cultural practices, further a colonial othering of the young, and oversimplify complicated questions about membership in a group. Furthermore, as someone who has been involved with digital literacy (and now digital fluency) for most of my academic career, I have seen firsthand how many students have serious problems with writing computer programs and how difficult it can be to establish priorities among educators—particularly educators from different disciplines or research tracks—when diverse populations of learners need to be served."



"Notice not only how engagement and interactivity are praised and conflated, but also how the rhetoric of novelty in consumer electronics and of short attention spans also comes into play."
education  technology  edtech  control  reform  policy  power  2014  traditionalism  traditionalists  plagiarism  pedagogy  learning  schools  cheating  multitasking  highered  highereducation  politics  elizabethlosh  mimiito  ianbogost  jamespaulgee  homago  betsydisalvo  amybruckman  foxharrell  geekingout  culture  play  constraints  games  gaming  videogames  mckenziewark  janemcgonigal  gamesmanship  internet  youtube  secrecy  benjaminbratton  unschooling  deschooling  collaboration  cooperation  agesegregation  youth  teens  digitalnatives  marshallmcluhan  othering  sivavaidhyanathan  digital  digitalliteracy  attention  engagement  entertainment  focus  cathydavidson 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Teaching in the Connected Learning Classroom | DML Hub
"This volume highlights compelling firsthand counter-narratives from educators engaged in solving an array of challenges in today’s classrooms. It draws together narratives from an inspiring group of educators within the National Writing Project—a collaborative network of instructors dedicated to enhancing student learning and effecting positive change—that contributes to our understanding of what “Digital Is” (DI). DI is a web community for practitioners with high levels of expertise and a deep commitment to engaging today's youth by fostering connections between their in- and out-of-school digital literacy practices. Furthermore, DI is about sharing experiences that offer visibility into the complexity of the everyday classroom, as well as the intelligence that the teaching profession demands.

The chapters in this volume represent a bold re-envisioning of what education can look like, as well as illustrate what it means to open the doors to youth culture and the promise that this work holds. While there are certainly similarities across these diverse narratives, the key is that they have taken a common set of design principles and applied them to their particular educational context. The examples aren't your typical approaches to the classroom; these educators are talking about integrating design principles into their living practice derived from cutting-edge research. We know from this research that forging learning opportunities between academic pursuits, youth’s digital interests, and peer culture is not only possible, but positions youth to adapt and thrive under the ever-shifting demands of the twenty-first century. We refer to this approach as the theory and practice of “connected learning,” which offers a set of design principles—further articulated by this group of educators—for how to meet the needs of students seeking coherence across the boundaries of school, out-of-school, and today’s workplace. Taken together, these narratives can be considered “working examples” that serve as models for how educators can leverage connected learning principles in making context-dependent decisions to better support their learners."

[From within: ]

“…Typically, publications about or for teachers highlight “best practices.” The buzzword-driven form of highlighting a superior approach, to me, ignores the cultural contexts in which teacher practices are developed. The best practice for my classroom is going to be different both from a classroom anywhere else and from my classroom a year down the road. Context drives practice. As such, this is not a how-to guide for connected learning or a collection of lesson plans. The pages that follow are, instead, meant to spur dialogue about how classroom practice can change and inspire educators to seek new pedagogical pathways forward…”

and

“…I remember distinctly thinking “those students are doing it wrong.” … I didn’t understand that I was naturally ascribing my own rules of use on a cultural practice that was not my own…As such “doing it wrong” is culturally constructed and important to remember when we think about how we will roll out sustained connected learning support for teachers nationally and globally.”

[See also: http://dmlcentral.net/blog/antero-garcia/teaching-connected-learning-classroom-new-report ]

[A Summary (source of those quotes): http://bwatwood.edublogs.org/2014/03/05/connected-learning/ ]

[PDF: http://dmlhub.net/sites/default/files/teaching-in-the-CL-classroom.pdf ]
anterogarcia  mimiito  connectedlearning  2014  bestpractices  teaching  pedagogy  emergentcurriculum  christinacantrill  daniellefilipiak  budhunt  cliffordlee  nicolemirra  cindyodonnell-allen  kyliepeppler  classideas  openstudioproject  tcsnmy  lcproject  interest-drivenlearning  learning  peer-supportedlearning  sharedpurpose  networking  production-centeredclassrooms  interest-basedlearning 
march 2014 by robertogreco
Syllabus | Technologies for Creative Learning
"This course explores how new technologies can engage people in creative learning experiences – and transform the ways we think about learning. Students will experiment with new learning technologies, discuss educational ideas underlying the technologies, analyze design strategies for creating new technologies, and examine how and what people learn as they use these technologies."

[Wayback: http://web.archive.org/web/20120808072239/http://mas714.media.mit.edu/syllabus ]
syllabus  learning  creativity  mit  constructivism  coding  children  technology  computing  computers  scratch  mindstorms  ivanillich  davidresnick  seymourpapert  mimiito  henryjenkins  barbararogoff  alfiekohn  caroldweck  mihalycsikszentmihalyi  sherryturkle  jamespaulgee  via:dianakimball  readinglists  education  teaching  programming  syllabi 
february 2013 by robertogreco
What Exactly Can You Learn on a Mobile Phone? | MindShift
"My conclusion: When it comes to the traditional definition of “learning” — studying a subject like chemistry or literature — mobile phones are not necessarily the best facilitators. Though kids are remarkably facile with phones — texting, researching, Facebooking, Tweeting — it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to focus on a complicated subject with any depth of thought using a four-inch device.

The potential magic of the smart phone when it comes to learning lies is its ability to provide instant access to facts and the ability to collaborate with others, as well as provide a fun, mobile platform for educational games."
mimiito  mobile  phones  mobilelearning  education  teaching  tcsnmy  technology  lcproject  collaboration  socialnetworking  socialmedia  2011  from delicious
june 2011 by robertogreco
Mobility Shifts
"MobilityShifts examines learning with digital media from a global perspective. It will foster diverse discussions about digital fluencies for a mobile world and investigate learning outside the bounds of schools and universities. The summit, comprised of a conference, exhibition, podcast series, workshops and project demos and a theater performance, will add a rich international layer to the existing research about digital learning. Building on disciplinary mobility, the summit will showcase theories, people and projects making connections between self-learning, mobile platforms, and the web.

MobilityShifts is grouped around three major themes:

Digital Fluencies for a Mobile World
DIY U: Learning Without a School?
Learning from Digital Learning Projects Globally"
education  learning  technology  mobile  socialmedia  phones  mobilityshifts  mobility  teaching  pedagogy  nyc  newschool  mimiito  henryjenkins  cathydavidson  michaelwesch  rolfhapel  johnwillinsky  katiesalen  jonathanzittrain  saskiasassen  kenwark  fredturner  alexandergalloway  tizzianaterranova  digitalmedia  events  conferences  togo  digitalfluencies  diyu  unschooling  deschooling  autodidacts  autodidactism  digitalliteracy  digitallearning  self-directedlearning  self-learning  self-directed  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  informallearning  information  global  autodidacticism  from delicious
april 2011 by robertogreco
Full Show | Digital Media - New Learners Of The 21st Century | PBS Video
"Featuring the foremost thought leaders, innovators and practitioners in the field, Digital Media is a startling preview of a 21st Century education revolution."
education  pbs  digital  media  digitalmedia  mimiito  johnseelybrown  dianarhoten  nicolepinkard  katiesalen  from delicious
march 2011 by robertogreco
Mimi Ito: When Youth Own the Public Education Agenda
"YouMedia supports learning that begins with youth agency and voice, is socially connected, tailored to individual interests, and highly engaged -- properties that are absent from many young people's classroom experiences. The energy level and buzz in the space is similar to what I see when young people are with their same-aged peer group, immersed in online gaming, gossiping, or sharing YouTube videos, but this is an intergenerational space framed by educational goals--an open public space, an institution of public education, where learning and literacy are seamless with youth-driven activity.

If we think of the mission of public education as providing learning opportunities to all young people and not only about supporting public schools, YouMedia represents some of the best of what public education has to offer in the 21st Century."
mimiito  youmedia  chicago  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  teens  youth  education  learning  informallearning  libraries  library2.0  control  media  multimedia  thirdplaces  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Mimi Ito - Statics: Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age
"Today's young people are growing up in a radically different media environment from the one that we grew up in. It's a media environment that keeps them connected 24/7 to their peers, information, and entertainment. It's a media environment that captures kids attentions through visual media, participation and interaction, challenging educators to reconsider traditional models of instruction. It's a media environment that captures kids attentions through visual media, participation and interaction, challenging educators to reconsider traditional models of instruction."
mimiito  pedagogy  learning  education  disruption  socialnetworking  socialmedia  2010  social  tcsnmy  lcproject  informallearning  schools  academia  instruction  participatoryculture  participatory  attention  media 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Mimi Ito - Statics: New Media and Its Superpowers: Learning, Post Pokemon
"But I hope that I have managed to convince you that for those who are willing to experiment and to seize the opportunities that today's digital and networked world has to offer, there is tremendous opportunity to expand the learning potential for a new generation of kids. The technology itself has no power to transform learning. It is up to us to take that technology and do something new with it, something that doesn't just reproduce our tired old scripts that pits kids cultures in opposition with adult learning goals. These experiments and explorations won’t succeed, spread or scale without a dedicated network of educators, kids, and parents who are working together to build a new model for 21st century learning."

[see also: https://web.archive.org/web/20100712200702/http://annualconference.nais.org/FeatureSpeak/content.cfm?ItemNumber=153126&token=24294&userID=318570

"Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age"
http://www.itofisher.com/mito/publications/peerbased_learn_2.html ]
mimiito  education  learning  play  research  literacy  kids  pokemon  2010  infomallearning  formallearning  schools  lcproject  ethnography  networks  children  games  pokémon 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Formal vs informal education - Joi Ito's Web
"[My sister an I] were discussing formal learning vs informal learning & how I probably survived because I had the privilege of having access to smart people & mentors, support of an understanding mother, an interest driven obsessive personality & access to the Internet. I completely agree that improving formal education & lowering dropout rates is extremely important, but I wonder how many people have personalities or interests that aren't really that suited for formal education, at least in its current form.

I wonder how many people there are like me who can't engage well w/ formal education, but don't have mentors or access to Internet & end up dropping out despite having a good formal education available to them. Is there a way to support & acknowledge importance of informal learning & allow those of us who work better in interest & self-motivated learning to do so w/out the social stigma & lack of support that is currently associated w/ dropping out of formal education?"
joiito  mimiito  formal  informal  informallearning  informaleducation  networkedlearning  formaleducation  tcsnmy  support  lcproject  learning  unschooling  deschooling  mentorship  apprenticeships  learningstyles  learningnetworks 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out - The MIT Press
"Conventional wisdom about young people's use of digital technology often equates generational identity with technology identity: today's teens seem constantly plugged in to video games, social networks sites, and text messaging. Yet there is little actual research that investigates the intricate dynamics of youth's social and recreational use of digital media. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out fills this gap, reporting on an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces. By focusing on media practices in the everyday contexts of family and peer interaction, the book views the relationship of youth and new media not simply in terms of technology trends but situated within the broader structural conditions of childhood and the negotiations with adults that frame the experience of youth in the United States."
mimiito  danahboyd  research  learning  internet  plp  technology  teens  youth  us  identity  socialmedia  digitalmedia  books  homago  hangingoutmessingaroundgeekingout 
november 2009 by robertogreco
virtualpolitik: Dumbest and Dumber
"Ito describes two kinds of youthful Internet users: 1) those who use social computing technologies to facilitate high school affinity practices such as gossip and status-checking and 2) those who seek out more advanced forms of expertise in specialized knowledge communities. Bauerlein totally dismisses the latter group in his attack on the former, but -- speaking as the parent of a teenager who has used the Internet to learn about film noir, contemporary French drama, traditional printmaking, and the ethnomusicology of the blues -- I don't think the existence of this demographic should be completely discounted without any critical reflection."
paulgraham  mimiito  danahboyd  teens  youth  generations  books  internet  intelligence  socialnetworking  add  adhd  henryjenkins  parenting  learning  education  tcsnmy  literacy  writing  reading  online  web  facebook  markbauerlein 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Spotlight on DML | Lange and Ito: Literacy and Creative Production
"Online spaces and in-person gatherings also provided opportunities for youth to interact with adults as peers, moving out of the age-segregated contexts of school. Engagement in specialized domains enabled kids and youth to explore new creative genres, experiment with kid-adult peer relationships, and interrogate cultural forms rather than reproducing existing ones. Their engagement with creative production demonstrated how media literacies change as youth shift from being consumers to media producers in social contexts that encourage their individual voices, creativity, and agency."
intergeneration  learning  education  informallearning  mentoring  unschooling  deschooling  change  engagement  lcproject  tcsnmy  online  internet  mimiito 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: "Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out": A Conversation with the Digital Youth Project (Part Two)
"danah boyd: Many of those who use these terms often do so with the best of intentions, valorizing youth engagement with digital media to highlight the ways in which youth are not dumb, dependent, or incapable. Yet, by reinforcing distinctions between generations, we reinforce the endemic age segregation that is plaguing our society. Many social and civic ills stem from the ways that we separate people based on age. If we want to curtail bullying and increase political participation, we need to stop segmenting and segregating."
technology  children  youth  teens  digitalnatives  age  digitalculture  anthropology  sociology  research  ethnography  danahboyd  mimiito  henryjenkins  media  games  online  internet  unschooling  homeschool  schooling  deschooling  education  learning  web  social  socialnetworking  collaboration  creativity  tcsnmy  lcproject  geekingout  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  ples  peers  homago  hangingoutmessingaroundgeekingout 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: "Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out": A Conversation with the Digital Youth Project (Part Three)
"I think it's our fault as adults--particularly adults who are parents, educators, and media makers--for not making an effort to understand the Internet from a kid's point of view and for preventing kids from having the time and space to mess around in ways that encourage them to learn to evaluate what they come across online." "If kids are doing things online that seem unproductive or problematic, we don't feel that the answer is to ban the media. Instead we think that it is important to look at and try to shape the underlying social issues. That may be the commercialization of online spaces, lack of connection between kids and teachers, or the fact that academic knowledge seems irrelevant to many kids. It is rarely something that is being driven by the technology alone."
digitalnatives  youth  internet  social  tcsnmy  newmedia  technology  teens  online  learning  literacy  henryjenkins  danahboyd  mimiito  geekingout  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  ples  peers  homago  hangingoutmessingaroundgeekingout 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: "Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out": A Conversation with the Digital Youth Project (Part One)
"You will get a sense of the dialogic nature of this research in the interview which follows, a conversation which involves nine members of the research team, sharing insights from their own specific research projects as well as expressing the rich synthesis that emerged from their collaboration."

[See also Part 2: http://henryjenkins.org/2008/11/_many_writers_talk_about.html
AND Part Three: http://henryjenkins.org/2008/11/hanging_out_messing_around_gee_1.html ]
henryjenkins  mimiito  danahboyd  socialmedia  youth  research  collaboration  interviews  online  web  socialnetworks  newmedia  tcsnmy  geekingout  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  autodidacts  self-directedlearning  learning  ples  peers  homago  hangingoutmessingaroundgeekingout 
november 2008 by robertogreco
FINAL REPORT | DIGITAL YOUTH RESEARCH
"Social network sites, online games, video-sharing sites, and gadgets such as iPods and mobile phones are now fixtures of youth culture. They have so permeated young lives that it is hard to believe that less than a decade ago these technologies barely existed. Today’s youth may be coming of age and struggling for autonomy and identity as did their predecessors, but they are doing so amid new worlds for communication, friendship, play, and self-expression. We include here the findings of three years of research on kids' informal learning with digital media. The two page summary incorporates a short, accessible version of our findings. The White Paper is a 30-page document prepared for the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Series. The book is an online version of our forthcoming book with MIT Press and incorporates the insights from 800 youth and young adults and over 5000 hours of online observations."
ethnography  socialmedia  elearning  digitalnatives  education  culture  internet  online  social  youth  media  research  danahboyd  mimiito 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Futures of Learning
"Futures of Learning is a collective blog dedicated to the topic of new media and learning. The members of the blog are part of a project, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, that is conducting an international survey of research in the field. We are focusing on two areas. One is an international review of research on how people are adopting digital and networked media. The second area is a review of learning institutions that are incorporating new media in innovative ways. We welcome suggestions for literature and programs that we should be looking at!"
education  networking  learning  newmedia  digitalnatives  elearning  onlinelearning  ethnography  mimiito  blogs  pedagogy  online  technology  digital  research  media 
october 2008 by robertogreco
I’m So Totally, Digitally Close to You - Clive Thompson - NYTimes.com - "ultimate effect of the new awareness brings back the dynamics of small-town life, where everybody knows your business"
"paradox of ambient awareness...Each little update — each individual bit of social information — is insignificant on its own, even supremely mundane. But...together, over time...coalesce into surprisingly sophisticated portrait of your friends’ & family members’ lives, like dots making pointillist painting...never before possible, because in real world, no friend would bother to call you up and detail the sandwiches she was eating...ambient information becomes like “a type of E.S.P.,”...invisible dimension floating over everyday life." ... "common complaint I heard, particularly from people in 20s...If you don’t dive in, other people will define who you are. So you constantly stream your pictures, your thoughts, your relationship status and what you’re doing — right now! — if only to ensure the virtual version of you is accurate, or at least the one you want to present to the world."
clivethompson  ambientintimacy  ambientawareness  tumblr  twitter  facebook  technology  relationships  co-presence  mimiito  messaging  sms  mobile  phone  online  dunbar  leisareichelt  danahboyd  caterinafake  flickr 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Shift6 » symbiotic relationships and the “full-time intimate community”
Blyk betting consumers will tolerate this presence [of brand/politician/institution in their intimate community] in return for free connectivity. Is this mutually parasitic relationship the only tenable one or are other mutually beneficial relationships p
blyk  mobile  phones  ambientintimacy  culture  japan  danahboyd  mimiito  misamatsuda  relationships  texting  networks  social  socialnetworks 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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