Using Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture for Staff Development

Henry Jenkins at MIT May, 2009

Henry Jenkins at MIT May, 2009

This post is long overdue, but it’s an important one for me.

Last summer, during our technology class, Bob Sprankle told me about the article Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century by Henry Jenkins. The premise of the paper is that “digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, think, socialize, and participate in civic life.” (p9). so, if we have handed the technology to our students, then how are we leveraging that in our classrooms? How are teachers understanding the new technologies and their impact on the student in their classroom?

I work in 1:1 laptop environment and have seen the exciting learning that has been going on, but something has been missing. I was so excited about the white paper, I thought it would be a great way for the staff in the high school to begin to think about other literacies and their impact on student engagement. The quote from the authors  on page 9 particularly stood out for me “Participatory culture is reworking the rules by which school, cultural expression, civic life, and work operate.”  I shared it with my fellow learning area team member, and she agreed. We decided to use our scheduled staff technology time to read and discuss the white paper. 78 pages was too long, so we decided to break the paper down in to two activity periods.

Period 1: Three Levels of Text Protocol (Article: ConfrontingActivity1)

Purpose: To deepen understanding of a text and explore implications for participants’ work.
Facilitation: Stick to the time limits.  Each round takes up to 5 minutes per person in a group.  Emphasize the need to watch air time during the brief “group response” segment
Roles: Facilitator/timekeeper (who also participates); participants
Process:

  1. The facilitator will be the timekeeper.
  2. Participants read/skim the text and identify passages (and a couple of back-ups) that they feel may have important implications for their work.
  3. Take about 15 minutes to read.
  4. 3. Begin the discussion following these steps:

• One person uses up to 3 minutes to address three levels:

  • LEVEL 1: Read aloud the passage she/he has selected
  • LEVEL 2: Say what she/he thinks about the passage (interpretation, connection to past experiences, etc.)
  • LEVEL 3: Say what she/he sees as the implications for his/her work.

• The group responds (for a TOTAL of up to 2 minutes) to what has been said.
5. After all members have gone, the group will develop 2 – 3 questions and 2 – 3 insights from the reading that seem the most important.
6. Please email your group’s questions and insights to Alice. We will consolidate all responses and post them on the  Leadership blog.

Period 2: Questions and Insights (Article: RethinkLiteracy). Each teacher chose 1 of 4 skills (Play, Appropriation, Collective Intelligence, and Networking) that they wanted to learn more about. Each discussion group was based around a skill and each skill had 2 – 3 pages of reading. We were most interested in the “what might be done” section as suggestions for classroom activities.

Purpose: To deepen understanding of a text and explore implications for participants’ work.
Facilitation: Stick to the time limits.  Each round takes up to 5 minutes per person in a group.  Emphasize the need to watch air time during the brief “group response” segment
Roles: Facilitator/timekeeper (who also participates); participants
Process:

  1. The facilitator will be the timekeeper.
  2. Participants read/skim the text. Take about 15 minutes to read.
  3. Participants read the skill. Take about 10 minutes to read.
  4. Begin the discussion following these steps:

One person uses up to 5 minutes to address three levels:

  • LEVEL 1: Come up with 2 questions and 1 insight about the article.
  • LEVEL 2: Come up with 1 insights and 2 questions about your skill .
  • LEVEL 3: Narrow your questions and insights down to a list of 3. Post these on the leadership blog.
  • LEVEL 4: Decide if there should be any next steps based on your list.

I was also lucky enough to attend the May conference on New Media Literacy at MIT. The Learning Library and a community of practice has been started. I look forward to participating in these and learning more.

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One thought on “Using Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture for Staff Development

  1. Pingback: 21 Steps to 21st Century Learning by Bruce Dixon #ok1to1 » Moving at the Speed of Creativity

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