One of the key themes that have been impressed upon students engaged in the Master of Education Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation course (MedKNDI) is that learning in the digital age involves understanding and participating in digital cultures.
Throughout these studies, I have also been introduced to some expert educators and researchers discussing the idea of participatory digital cultures. Some researchers that appear regularly in my reference lists include Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, Danah Boyd, John Seely Brown, Doug Johnson, Howard Rheingold, Christine Greenhow, Mike Ribble, Helen Haste, Will Richardson, Selen Turkay and James Paul Gee.
The challenge these thought provokers pose to those of us teaching in schools is:
How can we embed opportunities for participation into our programmes, curriculums, pedagogies, and spaces so that our students may “develop the cultural competencies and social skills” for full involvement in society (Jenkins, Clinton, Purushotma, Robison & Weigel, 2006, p.4)? The key it is suggested, is to consider how students can learn, participate, create and produce within and beyond the classroom.
As we complete the course and engage in the colloquiums on offer, it is my goal to consider my professional practice as a teacher-librarian and my responsibility to prepare students to participate and thrive in the constantly evolving landscape of the digital age.
A useful guide for this reflective investigation is the 2016 standards for students recently produced by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). I have used this publication to develop goals for enhancing my professional practice during and beyond the studies undertaken in INF537: Digital Futures Colloquium.
Jenkins, H.,Clinton, K., Purushotoma, R., Robison, A., & Weigel, M. (2006). Confronting the challenges of participatory culture: Media education for the 21st Century. Paper presented at MacArthur Foundation, Chicago. Retrieved from http://wheatoncollege.edu/president/files/2012/03/Confronting-Challenges-of-Participatory-Culture.pdf
International Society for Technology in Education. (2016). THE 2016 ISTE standards for students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/standards/for-students-2016