Friday, July 8, 2016

Become an active Participant, Week 5 Reading Reflection

             " People get tired from words" Shamisa Hassani

This week, I finally dove in, I mean all the way- It takes a lot, but as I read Jenkins, and participated in the 'flashmob annotation' of Jeremy Dean's Social reading and writing in the classroom there was just no other way. 

Both the Jenkins and Dean's article's address the ideas that one can not really critique without being an active participant, and I can fully agree. As a spectator to digital technology there are so many unanswered questions, I think that the same holds true for art, how can you really understand if you never try? 

For me this week Jenkin's spelled out all the things that I wanted to hear, there was nuances of social justice, a cry for educational reformation in the means of technology and it addressed the lack of digital training that teachers receive. At every corner, maybe unbeknownst by the author, reference to my beloved C.R.E.E.D standards was made, and I finally felt for the first time in ILT that 'these were my people'. 

Then I continued to read and participate, and this doesn't mean just liking things on Twitter, I began to leave comments, and started to build what I now know as a 'PLN'. Just as Jenkins' suggested, I had to put myself out there to really understand what was going on. Completely less threatening as the work of Hassani, I mean no one has sent any threats, there is only digital embarrassment (which I have not had any either- that I know of). These action are what changes our perceptions of the digital world. As administration continues to deny the use of phones as tools, while there is no technology otherwise, I say make them dive in, I doubt that they have, otherwise they would understand. 

Common Ground

It seems to be a common thought or feeling in all the readings including Maha Bali's Digital Citizenship, that there is a known factor missing; responsibility. This equates to lack if interest in the digital, teaching teaching digital technology and becoming a connected classroom, and social justice and equity in this digital age. So my question is who is doing anything about it? When will something be done about it? All this access to millions of like minded digital thinkers, great conversations, but I think there needs to be action. Teacher's need to have digital preparedness in their teacher ed programs, or through PD ( Even better, they should be exposed to building their own PLN) We need to press on, people. Hassani did not quit when the projects became to big or too dangerous, she now creates 'Dreaming graffiti' where she adds her graffiti to images of the walls rather than the walls were it would have been to dangerous for her to complete her work.throughout conversations in the readings, multiple people posted about the lack of technology,  I now feel inspired to go beyond what I have and find another way. 


The word stuck out in Jenkins reading, the digital realm is just a huge community. One that I previously had turned my head to , instead of looking at the possibilities. Part of building community is building relationships, relationships with people and the product that we are using. In Both readings this week, I was reminded that the digital community in that aspect is no different than my own teacher, life and family community. Why couldn't the work that I do exist in digital? It is simple, because I was not willing to dive in, to really understand and participate like an active member. 

Creating change is easy, it takes a single action. Hassani creates change by creating beautiful masterpieces of graffiti on the walls of her community and through images to build awareness and 'erase the bad' in her community. Her work touches people around the world, through digital media. What is your change, how do you use digital technology for positive?  

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