Can’t make them passive, can only make them pirates.

16 10 2009

“-they’ve been there before — but they aren’t going to stop creating.”

-Henery Jenkins

“Corporations have a right to keep copyright but they have an interest in releasing it.”

-Henry Jenkins

Convergence culture has no better friend than George Lucas.  Think the relationship of convergence media was good only for pop culture.  Fair use and collaborators are continuing to sell the Lucas trademark Star Wars films in ways that Lucas nor his high paid Hollywood allies ever dreamed.  In return, the fans have gained a generation worth of myths and tales (Jenkins, 2006).  This is a culture where everyone wins.  New and emerging artist take their stab at telling their own tales using the Lucas fantasy.  These new editors and filmmakers, armed with tools like Youtube and today’s wide range of cameras and editing software, now participate with an audience, engaged and interactive.  These are today’s storytellers communicating in creative voice to spread previous fantasies and myths of heroes and villains.  These new films push the original ideas into a new realm of interaction and engagement.  Communities of filmmakers learn from watching each other and furthering their own skills.

DJ’s have understood this since the 70’s when they started sampling beats, scratching records, and using vocals tracks to create what is hip-hop.  The original mash up culture may in fact be hip-hop.  The very nature of the DJ, MC, Break Dancers and graffiti artwork all feed off each other in a participatory fashion.  These elements started in the underground and drove quickly to the top.  Bringing with it, hip-hop inspired millions world wide, gave a voice to people of all types, and made billions of dollars in music sales, concerts, fashion, and film.   Even though people thought hip-hop would be a quick fad, it is here to stay 30 years later.  Suppose we criminalize hip-hop.   Would it go quietly back underground?

If societies are to progress, freedom has to be guarded.  The mind develops a memory of the tales of our time.  Once the tales begin to guide us, they cannot leave the psyche.  In the same way, though copyright exists to protect investment and self-preservation, it should not exist to limit the tales we tell or the way in which we tell them.  Nor will it ever be able to stop the new media entrepreneurs from building on solid foundations.  Collaborators will not be prohibited.   Literacy is advancing.  The forms in which our stories exist are being reinvented everyday.  There are no new stories, only new ways of telling them.  The people are speaking and speaking to audiences like never before.  The evolution of democracy is happening.  Billy Joel put it best, “We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning, since the world’s been turning.”


Jenkins, Henry.  2006.  Convergence Culture.  New York.  New York University Press.


Wake Up Call!

14 10 2009

With all this talk of Web 2.0 tools, cellphones, and innovative teaching through increased technology, what connections can we draw to the health attributes of increased Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMFs)?  Just went out and bought the latest iPhone?  Looking to stay in touch with the kids with a network family mobile cell plan?  Attempting to bring cellphones in the classroom as a learning tool?  Before you jump to any rash conclusions, think about the biological impacts that EMFs are already playing in our world.  Although there are a lot of folks who still think the jury is still out on this topic, there are many who think cellphones and EMFs are increasing brain tumors and cancers world wide.

With all this information out there, what do you think?  Are we headed towards a new national health care crisis?  Are the effects of EMFs real?  Are we just waiting in purgatory for the final judgment?  Or is this whole thing just the latest scare designed to get us to go back to nature, give up our technologies?  Or even more, is this a ploy to get us to buy new devices to eliminate or filter a possible but not certain threat of cancer?  Should teachers be requiring young kids to use cellphones in class knowing about EMFs?  Should parents give their students cell phones knowing about EMFs?

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Cooperative Learning Structures & Google Docs

11 10 2009

Cooperative Learning Structures:

First developed in the late 1980’s by Spencer Kagan, Cooperative Learning Structures were designed to go beyond the typical group work to provide more structure and support of group development and content mastery.  The organization structure allows for increased holistic teaching.  The focus allows students to master individualized cognitive skills, team building, and student centered communication.  Increased levels of expertise, creativity, and concept development are attained through a specific task designed approach to group work (Kagan, 1989).

Cooperative Leraning Structure in Seann Goodman’s Classroom:

Peer Editing with Google Docs:

The group will need to elect one (1) Web Master.  This person is responsible for group communication and organization.  This person will also take an editing responsibility.  4 members per group, each with a self chosen role.


1)   The Historian:  focus on research, details, evidence, dates, quotes, and citations.

2)   The Mechanic:  focus on writing mechanics, grammar, punctuation.

3)   The Spelling Guru: focus on spelling, word usage, no excuse words.

4)   The Organizer:  focus on paper organization, intros, conclusions, transitions.

Example of this structure on a Google Doc.  Each color represents a different role:

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Kagan, Spencer.  (1989-1990, December-January).   “The Structural Approach to Cooperative Learning.”  Educational Leadership, v47 n4     p12-15.

Katie Bridging the Tech Divide; Engage Me!

11 10 2009

The following come to you from Katie Krueger-Hirt, Masters student at Full Sail University.  This brings out an interesting question of who is leading the way in this new media driven culture.  See my comments below:

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