Friday, December 12, 2008

Digital Environments Influencing Kids…

Photo by Jim Sneddon on Flickr

There is an interesting interview at ZDNet from Henry Jenkins, a media scholar at MIT, who is studying how digital environments influence children. Here is one of the thought-provoking quotes:

“(Research has shown) that 57 percent of teens online have produced media and about a third of them have produced media that they shared with people beyond their immediate friends and families. A good chunk of those produced media by remixing it, so this is a generation that is not just consuming media, but producing media.” ~ Henry Jenkins

This goes back to an earlier point that I made in a blog entry about the growing digital divide, not just between students, but between students AND teachers. What percentage of teachers can boast that they have produced media and posted it to the Internet? Created podcasts? Blogs? Incorporated any of these methods into the classroom?

Students are using the Internet to find information and to publish information that they have created, whether it’s at MySpace, YouTube, or Facebook. My sister, who was in 9th grade at the time, uploaded a video she created in school to YouTube. Uploading to YouTube was not part of the class assignment, although her group decided to do it on their own time.

My point is this: students are creating and publishing to the web all the time. How can educators take advantage of this in the classroom? How can we teach students to ethically be responsible for the material they post to the Internet? If kids are producing this kind of technology, how can we change the way we teach to motivate them further?

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