Stuff I Read:

What I Think:


The theme of this week’s response is “Us and Them to Us and Us”. This statement has significance in many ways when discussing the reading for week 3 of ILT5340. The discussion of the origins and current impact of “Do It Yourself” (DIY) in the required text for this week by Lankshear and Knobel, in combination with the optional readings on Open Educational Resources and, provided me with several profound insights into the current cultural landscape (especially education):

Us & Us: The emergence of DIY as a cultural value has transformed our roles. Prior to this societal shift, we were consumers whereas we are now “produsers”. Instead of passively absorbing and consuming content under the industrial model of the past, digital media and its many forms have given users power and agency by allowing them to remix and reuse preexisting content to come up with something original. Specific examples of this include composing and remixing music (Hip Hop, Jamaican Ska music), distribution (Punk Rock), creating videos and trailers for movies, and other media like podcasts.

Everyone is an expert: The context of education provides the perfect example for observing the impact of DIY values on culture. The availability of affinity spaces both in-person and online (meetup groups, tutorials, chat boards). This is especially apparent in the case of Open Educational Resources. These resources (textbooks, courses, other materials) are free and available for anyone to use and are not restricted by traditional copyright and notions of “ownership”. In many cases, the students take an active role in the ongoing development of textbooks and other resources by adding comments and providing feedback via programs like The process of asking the question of “who owns what” reveals the ways in which traditional notions of ownership and copyright fall short.

Involvement is improvement: In several of the readings, discussions of Open Educational Resources and Copyright provide examples of how participation is key to the future of education. In short, Open Resources and active participation (even from students and non-experts) make the materials and educational experiences better for everyone. In Robin DeRosa’s account of developing an open textbook, she describes the process of student participation via and how beneficial it was for the quality of the course and text. With the knowledge that they are contributing to the success of the course and future classes, the students took their roles very seriously and were given a strong sense of purpose. After all, who better than students to determine what works and what doesn’t? This sentiment is also expressed in Remi Holden’s discussion of annotating with in public. The more people can see and contribute to the ongoing discussion, the better the result. Involvement promotes better understanding across the board.

The texts by Audrey Watters provided an excellent case study for observing the conflict between a traditional understanding of copyright and ownership with the societal changes inspired by DIY values. After a student developed an impressive app, a school board decided that it “belonged to them” and received lots of backlash.

For my interest-driven reading, I selected an article about the concept of the “flipped classroom”. In this study, a librarian and two faculty members collaborated to deliver a flipped classroom experience to nutrition students at a university. The students were provided with a library study guide as well as many videos and activities to create a more active, “hands-on” learning environment. They were given the materials ahead of time so they could learn at their own pace and come to class ready to contribute. This involved a lot of group learning and self-directed work completion. In short, the students were given more agency in their roles as learners in order to take matters into their own hands by “doing” rather than “learning”. The assessment (pre and post testing, survey) results revealed that students felt better prepared to access relevant scholarly information (the original goal) and felt that their “active” role was particularly effective for learning. I selected this article because it reveals the “pull” as opposed to “push” model of learning. Instead of passively taking a predetermined “program”, students were required to display initiative and succeeded as the result.

The student has become the master:

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