Join the uCreate Working Example AND Worked Example Conversation

As many of you know, our work on a range of Edge Projects, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, supports civic and cultural institutions to more effectively use digital media for learning (DML). It trains the youth educators to work on the edge or, more to the point, on their edge.

These edges are explored after each project in a new technique called Worked Examples. There are now two sites, still in development, offering examples. One is more focused on the lead up to the final piece and about connecting projects with each other - called Working Examples - while the second is like a final report - Worked Examples. Of course, these Examples are not reports at all - they are more like works in progress to understand a DML intervention from the inside out: pick one programmatic design decision then explore what that decisions can tell us about how digital media can be used for learning. Something like that.

Here is a brief overview of the questions being asked in our first Edge Project Worked Example:

In October, 2006, Henry Jenkins and colleagues helped shed light on the new hidden curriculum, powered by the informal use of digital media, creating a new divide between youth prepared with the skills required to succeed in the new century and those being left behind. The report Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century defined a participatory culture as one in which there are “relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.”

This Worked Examples explores questions raised through the creation of a participatory learning culture within two youth jails. More specifically, how can a participatory culture be created within an institution where self-expression is discouraged, where the idea of collaborating with adults and fellow incarcerated youth in other jails challenges key assumptions and structural components of the institution’s culture and practices? This worked example will explore how one collaboration, within and among youth at two youth jails, sought to create a participatory culture while negotiating the edge point where the potential of digital media and learning ran into conflict with existing cultural practices and norms.

Please go check out first the Working Example for uCreate, then the Worked Example, and leave comments on both sites along the way! We look forward to your joining the conversation.