Welcome the New Culture of Participation

Participatory culture?? Say whaaaat

^ My thoughts exactly before the inspiring and incredible Alec Couros popped his head into our online class and taught us what the new culture of participation is all about.

I am very ‘technologically illiterate’ if that is how you would want to put it. Just the fact that I am participating in an online class where we can all see each other regardless of where we are in the world and that my professor can share her screen with us?? blows my mind. Let alone all of the amazing tools that I have been exposed to learning about so far. After learning about this term, I felt a little silly that I didn’t know what it was all about when in reality I am contributing to it everyday! The culture of participation is when everyday people (like you and even the technically challenged folk like me) are participating in the movement from being simple consumers to acting as more of a contributor or producer. Who better to produce your life than yourself anyways, Am I right? The ever growing use of YouTube as showcased by Mike Wesh and frequently talked about by Alec is taking the world by storm! Over 9232 of YouTube videos are being uploaded per day!! ( Mike Wesh’s introduction to YouTube) That is both insane and incredible. Alec had made the point of ‘if you can google it, why teach it’ which is fair to an extent. As we saw many examples of children successfully teaching themselves from the internet (little girl dancing and boy making a rap), I think that too many people pick and choose what they would like to learn from internet and from what resources, whether they are valuable or not. Education should most definitely include this culture of participation. but the internet should not be doing the teaching, it should only be enhancing or expanding the learning.


The huge realm of the internet and social media can be a bit overwhelming at times and even I feel discouraged but the key to my success with technology is being shown how to properly engage with it and having time to explore the endless options. I think that this directly relates to using technology in the classroom with students. There will be some students who know more about this world than I do, but there will also be students who do not have access to the internet outside of school and who may not be up to date on all of the apps that are out there. Interning in a 1/2 classroom, I was not able to incorporate free use of technology a lot and when I did, they needed a lot of instruction and guidance. To benefit everyone, I think that learning about the use of technology as a whole is a great place to start. Students go crazy for technology in the classroom (which I think directly relates to how technology based our society has become) and when used right, it can enhance students’ learning a great deal. However, I think that students also need to be educated on the dangers of technology, especially at a young age because, especially now, once something is put out into the internet, it is almost impossible to take it back. Learning about how Alec got his identity stolen from so many different people actually made me sick! Thinking about how naive children can be in their innocence, it is very important than they are aware of the dangers that can be out there and how to properly use the technology that they are working with. Not only is this important for students to learn, but educators as well.

As we all know, students have VOICES that like to be heard and I think that in a safe, controlled environment, they should absolutely be able to experiment with technology in doing so. YouTube offers so man incredible opportunity to share REAL stories, cultures, new learning for us to connect with. Building a positive digital identity with my students is a goal of mine and I am beyond excited to take my forever improving technology database and share it with my students. The culture of participation is truly inspiring and it brings so much joy to many people.

YAY for technology!





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