Culture of Participation

On May 25th our ECMP 355 class had a guest lecture, Dr. Alec Couros. While our class was only an hour and a half long we discussed many things to do with technology such as online presence, digital identity, and the culture of participation. I would define the culture of participation, in a technological context, as the interactions/relationships one builds through online connection/communication. Thus, this culture of participation creates community. Michael Wesch’s YouTube Video:

Throughout this video, Wesch talks about his experience with his relationships and technology. He stresses that at the center of our mediascape (which are things like YouTube, blogs, email, Facebook, Myspace, etc.) that surrounds us is in fact us. He explains that media is not content but rather media is mediating human relationships. As a result, when media changes so do human relationships. Which is where the whole idea of cultured participation comes in. The world is changing. It already has. For example, look at the advances of these technological devices below:

Change is not always bad. It is simply different. Technology has changed the way in which we participate in the world, in our culture. During Alec’s lecture, he talked about how in previous years people lived in smaller communities, shopped at local stores, or when they wanted to talk to someone you either had to physically go and see them or call them up on the telephone. It is participating in examples such as these that had created a sense of community, culture. Today, you see more people living in larger centers, driving the extra hour to go to Walmart instead of local stores, and connecting online in multiple ways. This shift from then to now has impacted the ways in which we interact with one another. Thus, how we participate in the culture of the technological age.

Now, what does this mean for future classrooms you may ask? ALOT. The possibilities are neverending from using apps that help children learn to spell and write cursive to communicate with parents and so much more! Follow me on Twitter at @kplacatka to find more information on how you can integrate technology purposefully into your classroom!


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