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Model for our essay?

Though Jenkins may have a different audience and different goals in mind in his Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, the structure of his essay seems to be a good model for what we’re trying to do with our own collaborative essay. Jenkins seemed to echo many of the authors we’ve read thus far, organizing their theories in such a way to argue for schools’ support of participatory culture. Jenkins touches on many different topics, separating each with subheads and clear transitions. We can learn from this.

It’s important for us to see how Jenkins first defined literacy, then explained why it must be modified.

“A definition of twenty­-first century literacy offered by the New Media Consortium is “the set of abilities and skills where aural,
visual, and digital literacy overlap. These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and
use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new
forms.”36 We would modify this definition in two ways. First, textual literacy remains a central skill in the twenty-first century. Youths must expand their required competencies, not push aside old skills to make room for the new. Second, new media literacies should be considered a social skill” (28).

I like the mention of his two modifications: Textual literacy remains a central skill, and to participate in new media literacies requires social skills, as well as technical skills. Before students can engage in participatory media, they must first be able to read and write.

Anthony, I think maybe we could add this to your introduction.

Also, we were asked to think about how we will organize and outline our essay to include each of the theories and themes we’ve dubbed salient.

Here are some of the topics I saw reappearing in Jenkins’ essay:

  • Web 2.0 ethics – or lack thereof. Jenkins notes that participants feel empowered by their anonymity. The lack of a watchdog in casual settings is causing questionable behavior.
  • Creativity operating differently in an open source culture, such as sampling (Vaidhyanathan)
  • Multitasking and multimodality (Kress)
  • Coupling pedagogical use of new media technology with a greater focus on media literacy (Selber)

Jenkins covers all of these topics that we’ve already discussed in different sections of his essay. What does everyone think about sectioning our essay similarly? It would certainly be easier to divide the work up.

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