Stuff I read:

What I think:

The theme for this weeks reading response is “the world is a flipped classroom“. My reason for choosing this as a theme is the readings for Week 5 have made me feel great. They have confirmed my understanding and support for implementing participatory culture into classroom lessons. More specifically, the texts have demonstrated to me the following points: Effective learning is participatory in nature and education will only succeed on a larger scale if we (educators) take an active roll in encouraging affinity spaces both in and outside the classroom.


For any readers that did not click the link in the first sentence of “What I think”, a flipped classroom is an educational tactic in which the students watch a video/lecture at home and work on projects based on what they’ve viewed in the classroom. Instead of the typical “lecture in class, project at home” model, many educators have found success by reversing (or remixing) this format. It encourages participation and collaboration much more than it’s predecessor.  Examples of this are mentioned in the chapter by Jenkins and the article on one-shot library instruction. In his discussion of communities and the practices that draw them together (Otaku, Hip Hop, etc), Jenkins points out that affinity groups (like the ones he describes) encourage learnign and skill development by encouraging participants to expand and even change their roles.

For example, Hip Hop culture combines many different skills such as music, dancing, producing, and technology that are all united by a common identity under “Hip Hop” itself. As young people become involved, some researchers have found that participation directly motivates the acquisition of new skills and the cultivation of preexisting ones (i.e. overcoming digital divide). Another example of this in the chapter by Jenkins is the discussion of Project New Media Literacies at MIT and the example of teaching Moby Dick. This project is a group of professionals with the goal of bringing the “ethos” of participatory culture into the classroom. In cases such as the Moby Dick example, there has been tremendous success. Instead of the typical “top down” or “read and regurgitate” model of teaching literature, the instructor emphasized the importance of engagement on a personal level. Specific examples of this include the students blowing up a page and adding marginalia as well as imagining it as a contemporary tale of a drug deal. Student enthusiasm for learning increased when they were given personal incentives and motivations to learn. By being encouraged to find their own relevance and make their own unique contributions, the students were simultaneously collaborating while following their own paths.

In the library research article on the “one shot” (i.e. the single librarian visit to a class), the flipped classroom technique is shown as an effective means of collaborative topical and technological learning.  However, the researchers also found that students require the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned to practical examples. Students were given a Learning Management System assignment for learning information literacy techniques. By absorbing the content before class, the students were able to use class time for “hands-on” activities and collaborative learning. Unfortunately, the results revealed that the students did not necessarily apply what they’ve learned to research assignments. In other words, they fell into old habits when trying to locate articles for academic papers. Despite the discouraging tone of these results, it proves to me that education must be ongoing and have a clear application to the real world.

The articles by Jeremy Dean further confirmed by belief in the effectiveness of collaborative, engaging, ongoing education. In the “Letters to the Next President 2.0”, it is apparent that the kids who participate are successful in developing their literacies. By using hypothesis, they collaborate and improve their understanding.


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