Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century

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MIT Press, Jun 5, 2009 - Technology & Engineering - 145 pages

Many teens today who use the Internet are actively involved in participatory cultures—joining online communities (Facebook, message boards, game clans), producing creative work in new forms (digital sampling, modding, fan videomaking, fan fiction), working in teams to complete tasks and develop new knowledge (as in Wikipedia), and shaping the flow of media (as in blogging or podcasting). A growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these activities, including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, development of skills useful in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship. Some argue that young people pick up these key skills and competencies on their own by interacting with popular culture; but the problems of unequal access, lack of media transparency, and the breakdown of traditional forms of socialization and professional training suggest a role for policy and pedagogical intervention.

This report aims to shift the conversation about the "digital divide" from questions about access to technology to questions about access to opportunities for involvement in participatory culture and how to provide all young people with the chance to develop the cultural competencies and social skills needed. Fostering these skills, the authors argue, requires a systemic approach to media education; schools, afterschool programs, and parents all have distinctive roles to play.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning

 

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User Review  - paulsignorelli - LibraryThing

Henry Jenkins and his co-writers, in "Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture," engage us in a book-length exploration regarding "core social skills and cultural competencies" for anyone ... Read full review

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User Review  - davidloertscher - LibraryThing

What is a participatory culture? Jenkins defines it as the young people of the nation who have discovered content creation such as those creating music and putting it on YouTube, video creators ... Read full review

Contents

The Needed Skills in the New Media Culture
1
Enabling Participation
5
Three Core Problems
15
What Should We Teach? Rethinking Literacy
28
Core Media Literacy Skills
35
Who Should Respond? A Systemic Approach to Media Education
105
Notes
119
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About the author (2009)

Henry Jenkins is Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism and Cinematic Arts at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. He is the coeditor of From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games (MIT Press, 1998).

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