New Learning Institute - Civic Engagementhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog-topics/civic-engagement enPolitics and Civic Engagement: Interview with Joseph Kahne, Part IIIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-iii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-x2dc0V90W9I/TV7HuQqq_8I/AAAAAAAABc4/Mq8HJ6rvDDI/s1600/kahne.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-x2dc0V90W9I/TV7HuQqq_8I/AAAAAAAABc4/Mq8HJ6rvDDI/s1600/kahne.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5575112986293108674" border="0" /></a></p><div><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A few weeks ago, <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview.html">we interviewed Mills College Professor Joseph Kahne</a> about his research, trends in political engagement and civic participation, equitable digital media learning opportunities, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. In Part III, he discusses the importance of equitable distribution of digital media learning opportunities and the future of civic engagement.</em></div><div> </div><p><strong>Professor Kahne, discuss the importance of equitable distribution of digital media learning opportunities. </strong></p><div> </div><div>Since more and more civic and political life is carried out online, it is especially important to pay attention to the degree to which the digital media opportunities are equitably or inequitably distributed. There are a couple different dimensions of this that I think are worth attending to. Often we focus on the digital divide, which is generally understood to be assessments of the degree to which access to digital media is equitably distributed. Some people have broadband at home and other people don’t. Some people have computers and other people don’t. We have found that there is some inequity in access that is highly related to socioeconomic status; the more money people have, the more likely they are to have computers – the more likely they are to have broadband access, etc.; but one thing we’re finding that’s interesting is that, when it comes to some forms of access, (for example, smart phones), we may not see as much inequality as we might expect in relation to other dimensions. That’s the access question.</div><div> </div><div>It is also important to attend to the “participation gap.” Some people enter into participatory cultures and online communities while other people don’t? There is some evidence that the online participation gap may be smaller than it is in some other spheres of life. In our study – and we drew on data that Cathy Cohen collected, using a nationally representative dataset – we found that students of color and low-income students were just as likely to participate in participatory cultures and online communities as kids of higher socioeconomic status and as white kids. When it comes to explicit political participation, there’s some inequality, but it is perhaps less than inequality in offline political participation. At least, that’s what the indications are from a new study by Kay Schlozman and colleagues that was done by the Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project.</div><div> </div><div>There’s also a third form of potential inequality related to the distribution of digital media learning opportunities. The things that we were just talking about are more about what young people have in their home or in their out-of-school life. But it’s also fundamentally important to see to what extent there is equitable distribution within school in terms of digital media learning opportunities. We know that civic learning opportunities are inequitably distributed. We did a study that found that young people were far more likely to get opportunities to debate with one another or to do service learning, or to engage in simulations, if they were white, if they were of higher socioeconomic status, or if they were higher achieving (in tracked classes with higher-achieving kids). We don’t know, whether digital media learning opportunities in school are equitably distributed. That’s something we really need to study.</div><div> </div><div><strong>How do you envision civic engagement in the future? Political participation? For instance, if online networks become the norm for civic and political engagement, how could this online participation differ from geographic participation? </strong></div><div> </div><div>There’s no doubt that there’s already been a massive move, especially by young people, to engage civically and politically in ways that utilize and draw on digital media. I think we would expect that to continue, and more and more people will be getting their information in those ways, participating in discussions through digital media, etc. It seems likely that geography will still be very important but, it does seem important to imagine that we may need to broaden and redefine what it means to be local – that it’s possible for there to be online forms or visions of localism. This is something that my colleague Ellen Middaugh and I wrote about recently. We discussed ways in which people can be part of online communities that share the features of being in a local community in some important ways, even though they’re not geographic locales.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Special thanks</strong></div><div><div> </div><div>We’d like to extend a special thanks to Professor Joseph Kahne for taking the time to talk with us.</div></div><div> </div><div><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Kahne's Work:</strong></div><div><ul><li><a href="http://www.civicsurvey.org/CERG_Network.html">Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College</a></li><li><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/">Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a></li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-8056460499075778032?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 18 Feb 2011 19:17:00 +0000Sarah Davis132 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-iii#commentsPolitics and Civic Engagement: Interview with Joseph Kahne, Part IIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-ii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TVQ6_1kQjZI/AAAAAAAABcw/K502WzN50xk/s1600/kahne.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TVQ6_1kQjZI/AAAAAAAABcw/K502WzN50xk/s1600/kahne.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5572143507349474706" border="0" /></a></p><p> </p><div><em>This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A couple of weeks ago, <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2011/02/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview.html">we interviewed Mills College Professor Joseph Kahne</a> about his research, trends in political engagement and civic participation, equitable digital media learning opportunities, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. In Part II, he discusses how educators can teach civics through digital media use.</em></div><div> </div><div><strong>Professor Kahne, how can educators teach civics through the use of digital media? Does the content matter, or is it more about how students interact with each other? Discuss how friendship-driven participation compares with interest-driven participation.</strong></div><div> </div><div>There are a variety of ways that digital media can support civic and political development. First, clearly, more and more people are doing core acts of civic and political life online. They’re expressing their opinions online, they’re getting their information online, they’re entering into discussions with others online, they’re being mobilized and mobilizing other people online; they might create a website tied to the issues they care about. Fundraising goes on online. There’s a huge number of ways digital media is embedded in civic and political life. One thing that educators can do is to help young people develop the skills needed to participate in those contexts. How do you tell whether the information you’re getting is credible? What are productive ways to get into a dialogue online that doesn’t lead to flaming and disrespectful interaction? Media literacy skills are very important.</div><div> </div><div>And, we found in our studies that when teachers give young people opportunities to develop those skills – when, for example, they require that young people go online to get multiple points of view on an issue, or to create a website that communicates a perspective, or to discuss how to judge the trustworthiness of sources of information – those experiences lead young people to be more likely to do those things in their discretionary time. So we have some evidence that teaching those digital media literacy skills, and especially those skills that relate to civic life, is productive in terms of promoting more engagement.</div><div> </div><div>Another thing found is that interest-based engagement with digital media can be quite valuable. When young people enter into online communities, or are a part of what Henry Jenkins calls a “participatory culture,” they frequently get a set of experiences that it appears (from our studies) promote or build a bridge to broader civic and political engagement. They learn skills of how to be part of community, which is key, and an appreciation of those norms; they get a sense of the possibility and value of collective efforts; they probably get exposed, unintentionally, to information about opportunities to get involved, and about issues they might care about.</div><div> </div><div>What are the implications for educators? Many interest-based communities can be things that young people can engage with in out-of-school/afterschool programs. So it’s important for us not just to think of this as something schools deliver. In addition, many of the features of those communities, those participatory cultures, can be connected to academic content. If, for example, educators could use social media to create ways for peers to comment on one another’s work, or on each other’s perspectives on various issues, that can create a context that is more authentic and more compelling for young people; and through which they can learn a great deal about the issues they’re engaging.</div><div> </div><div>Games that focus on civic and political life can also be helpful. Games can provide simulations where young people get a sense of what it is to be a leader of a community, to be a mayor or to be part of an organization; they can simulate courtrooms, legislative bodies…they can do all sorts of different things.</div><div> </div><div>These interest-driven participatory communities differ somewhat from friendship-driven participation. We found that when young people are engaged with their interests, like in hobbies or fan culture, we see increases in those individuals’ participation. We have a longitudinal study that we did where we followed over 400 kids over time, where we could see that if you were involved in those interest-driven communities, they became more likely to participate. But we did not find that friendship-driven participation had any effect, either positive or negative. So, for example, if youth email their friends or socialize on Facebook or through social media, we didn’t see that had an impact one way or the other.</div><div> </div><div><strong>To be continued...</strong></div><div> </div><div>What is the extent to which digital media opportunities are inequitable and how might inequities be addressed? In the future, how could online participation differ from geographic participation?</div><div> </div><div>Next week we will publish Part III of our interview with Professor Kahne, focusing on his thoughts on the equity of digital media opportunities and the future of types of civic and political participation.</div><div> </div><div><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Kahne’s work:</strong></div><div><ul><li><a href="http://www.civicsurvey.org/CERG_Network.html">Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College</a></li><li><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/">Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a></li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-7348480196522404286?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Thu, 10 Feb 2011 19:19:00 +0000Sarah Davis136 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-ii#commentsPolitics and Civic Engagement: Interview with Joseph Kahne, Part I.http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-i <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TUxo-DTpdhI/AAAAAAAABco/ncYg7kIhVgk/s1600/kahne.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AJz3zglnLrs/TUxo-DTpdhI/AAAAAAAABco/ncYg7kIhVgk/s1600/kahne.JPG" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: pointer;" class="feature-top" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5569942254399354386" border="0" /></a><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is part of a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Last week, we interviewed Mills College Professor Joseph Kahne about his research, trends in political engagement and civic participation, equitable digital media learning opportunities, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. In Part I, he discusses his current research.</span><br /><br />Joseph Kahne is Chair of the Youth &amp; Participatory Politics Research Network (YPP) and is the John and Martha Davidson Professor of Education at Mills College, where he was previously Dean of the School of Education. His research focuses on ways that school practices and new media influence the civic and political development of youth. He also studies urban school reform. Together with Ellen Middaugh and Chris Evans at Mills and Amanda Lenhart, Alexandra Rankin Macgill, and Jessica Vitak at the Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project, Professor Kahne recently completed the first nationally representative survey of youth that examined the civic potential of video games. He also recently completed a longitudinal study with Sue Sporte of how opportunities in schools, homes, and communities influenced the civic outcomes of 4,000 students in Chicago’s public schools.<br /><br />Currently, he is writing up findings from a panel study of the impact of new media participation and civic education on students from 19 districts across California. His work has been published in leading education journals including the American Educational Research Journal, Phi Delta Kappan, and the Harvard Educational Review. Professor Kahne sits on the steering committee of the National Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools and on the Advisory Board of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). With Cathy Cohen, he is Co-Principal Investigator on YPP's quantitative research component – Mapping Youth Participatory Politics.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Professor Kahne, can you tell us about your current research?</span><br /><br />We know that new media are increasingly central to many aspects of political participation. New media are used to get information, to discuss issues with others, to share one's perspective (with individuals, with elected officials, with groups), to recruit others for activities, and to raise funds.<br /><br />The impact of participation is uncertain. For example, new media may expand access to both information and misinformation. In addition, individuals will have access to an unprecedented array of views – but individuals can choose to only seek out those who share their perspectives. There will be many more ways to participate, but this may also widen the gap between those who do participate and those who do not.<br /><br />I'm particularly interested in studying how youth participation with new media will impact the quality, quantity, and equality of participation and in ways to intervene (through education, mentoring, software design, etc.) to better tap the potential of new media while minimizing the risks.<br /><br /><strong>How do you define and discuss political engagement and civic participation? What are the variables you use to measure them, and why do you choose these variables? </strong><br /><br />In our work, we tend to look at a range of different variables because all people, and young people in particular, participate in a wide variety of ways – both traditional and nontraditional.<br />We look at traditional political participation – such as voting, working on campaigns, fundraising, mobilizing and issue-oriented participation. We also look at traditional civic participation: volunteering, giving money for charities, raising money for charities, working with others on community problem-solving, or being on a PTA or a board for a group.<br /><br />Then we also look (and this is increasingly important with the digital media) at expressions of public voice and efforts to influence the opinions of others. That can take the form of protests or petitions, but it can also show up in newer forms such as blogs or in poetry slams or remixes. There are a lot of ways to have public voice, depending on the context, that can be understood as civic and political forms of life.<br /><br />Another relatively newer and growing form of civic and political participation is what we might call “expressions of consumer or lifestyle politics.” For young people especially, there’s a somewhat diminished focus on the state as the primary institution one needs to change. In other words, often there is a focus on trying to elicit change through consumer preferences or either buy-cotting or boycotting; people sometimes understand their lifestyle – what clothes they wear or what foods they eat – to be a political statement. Those are important.<br /><br />There are also cognitive forms of engagement – for example, having conversations with people about civic or political life and analysis of issues that you do through interactions with family and friends.<br /><br /><strong>To be continued...</strong><br /><br />How can educators teach civics through the use of digital media? Does the content matter, or is it more about how students interact with each other?<br /><br />Next week we will publish Part II of our interview with Professor Kahne, focusing on his thoughts about teaching civics through digital media.<br /><br /><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Kahne’s work:</strong></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://www.civicsurvey.org/CERG_Network.html">Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College </a></li><li><a href="http://www.pewinternet.org/">Pew Internet &amp; American Life Project</a></li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4914992698053851495?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 04 Feb 2011 16:37:00 +0000Sarah Davis137 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/politics-and-civic-engagement-interview-joseph-kahne-part-i#commentsDigital Dispatch: Digital Youth Leaders Program in Los Angeleshttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-digital-youth-leaders-program-los-angeles <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_DOyueg3VhQA/TUhT8kP2leI/AAAAAAAABNE/cFQipIpeX1g/s1600/FKHS%2BInterns.egg_e9f84.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_DOyueg3VhQA/TUhT8kP2leI/AAAAAAAABNE/cFQipIpeX1g/s400/FKHS%2BInterns.egg_e9f84.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 400px; height: 299px;" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5568793239231043042" border="0" /></a></p><p class="MsoNormal">The <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/real-world-learning-at-frida-kahlo-high.html">Digital Youth Leaders Program</a> has officially launched! The Digital Youth Leaders Program provides high school students from Frida Kahlo High School in downtown Los Angeles with an opportunity to develop their skills and share their expertise as digital media interns at Nightingale Middle School. Interns will work (1) with teachers to integrate digital media as innovative, engaging learning tools in their classrooms and (2) with students to develop creative media artifacts, including blogs, mobile video, and podcasts, that enhance their connection to learning.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Working in pairs, interns met with the teachers that they will be working with and visited the classrooms that they will be advising.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Want to hear more about the interns’ experiences?</p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Check out these blog posts from the Digital Youth Interns</strong>:</p><p class="MsoNormal"><em><strong>Erika</strong>: Today I was given the opportunity to visit the class I would be helping, and I can sum up in one word my experience: "AMAZING." I really enjoyed walking around watching the kids really becoming engaged and having so much fun. I really love the fact that all the students already know so much about movie production. I am here to teach but I can also learn from them as well. These kids love what they were doing. Not only was it actually said, but their actions show that as well.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em>Never was I given the opportunity to construct my own video when I was in middle school. Therefore, I let the students know that they are very fortunate.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em>Ms. Mason is a spectacular teacher. It's quite evident she loves what she does and loves working with kids. I only spent an hour with Ms. Mason and can tell she is a very patient, outgoing, fun, exciting teacher. I anticipate working with her each week.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong><em>Kelly</em></strong>: <em>Today I got to meet the teacher that I am assigned to. At first, it was a bit scary and I think I was nervous. But, it was a great experience to meet Mr. Carrillo. He seems to be a real hands-on teacher and is very passionate about his job. . . He invited us to sit down to talk about our project and our goals. . . Mr. Carrillo also asked me about what I want to do when I graduate. I told him that I am looking forward to teaching American Sign Language and that I’ve know my alphabet in sign language since I was small. I also mentioned that I have a boyfriend who is deaf and he has inspired me to learn more and teach others. Mr. Carrillo was shocked in a way, and he said that I should invite him to teach the students a bit of sign language. I was very happy at the end of the meeting. I didn’t feel nervous anymore. I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Carrillo and Jaira.</em></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: Verdana; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">And, finally, click </span><span style="font-size: 10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: Verdana;"><a href="http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=3302969&amp;height=267&amp;width=200"><span style="color: windowtext; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold; mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">here</span></a> to watch the avatar that <strong><em>Natalie</em></strong> made to describe her experiences today.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Keep an eye out for the Digital Youth Leaders Profile series to learn more about each of the interns!</strong></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="font-weight: bold;"> </p><p>{C}<!--EndFragment--></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1892410672858634211?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatwork" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/work_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Work-based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-literacy" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/community" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Mon, 31 Jan 2011 15:53:00 +0000Nancy Chou140 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-digital-youth-leaders-program-los-angeles#commentsParticipatory Culture and Civic Engagement: Interview with Henry Jenkins, Part IIIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-iii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15732305?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=e0b928" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is the first in a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A few weeks ago, </span><a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/participatory-culture-and-civic.html" style="font-style: italic;">we interviewed USC professor Henry Jenkins </a><span style="font-style: italic;">about his research, trends, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. Because Professor Jenkins answered our questions so generously and thoughtfully, we separated the interview into three parts. In Part III, he answers questions about the future of civic engagement.</span><br /><br /><strong>Professor Jenkins, how do you see trends of civic engagement changing in the future for young people?</strong><br /><br />To be clear, my concept of participatory culture is a relative one. It describes some aspects of the lives of some portion of American young people. We do not live in a fully realized participatory culture; we live in a culture which is more participatory now than it was ten years ago. We still have many battles to fight in order to make it possible for a broader and more diverse array of young people to meaningfully participate in the emerging media landscape, and we have even bigger battles to fight before more young people can move from the kinds of cultural participation and social engagements offered online to a richer, more robust political participation and civic engagement.<br /><br />Talking about participatory culture helps us to identify what we are fighting for, and what we are finding in studying these new kinds of political organizations will help us to identify new forms of political participation which might open up the public sphere to more potential participants. Part of what we are struggling against is the participation gap – the unequal distribution of the skills and knowledge, the sense of empowerment, which motivates civic participation. What we are observing suggests that these alternative tactics may help young people who may not have seen themselves as political before find their voice as political agents.<br /><br /><strong>If it were up to you, what would the “perfect” school look like? How would the school use digital and social media to meet the needs of its students?</strong><br /><br />To me, the perfect school would, like the ideal online community, offer many potential ways of contributing and participating. It would value the full range of young people’s knowledge, intellectual capacities, and creative abilities. It would bridge between what takes place in the classroom and the world beyond the classroom in ways which allow for a more integrated learning ecology and which will enable people to develop a sense that they can make a difference in the world.<br /><br />Digital and social media are simply one set of tools which can be used to achieve these goals. They are not magically agents that transform bad schools into good. If new media is deployed without understanding and inspiration, then it can simply replicate the most deadening practices of traditional education. If you take a test on a computer, it is still a test. If you make a podcast rather than a book report, it may still be a book report by another name. On the other hand, if we embrace collaboration and appropriation in compelling ways, then it may not matter if they are being conducted using an online forum, a virtual world, or simply a group of kids talking face to face. If we encourage kids to think about themselves and the world through remixing existing media content, then it may not matter if they are doing so with a joystick or a pencil. If we encourage them to read closely and creatively, it may not matter whether they have a mouse or a book in their hands, and my ideal would be to raise a generation that is equally comfortable with books and iPads as long as they are learning to ask critical questions as they read.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">In the future, how do we see ourselves influencing young people to be more civically engaged in the classroom? </span><br /><br />We are still trying to identify best practices from the new kinds of activist groups we are studying which might be usefully deployed in changing how young people think about the political process. But, there are things we know about civic education through many years of established research.<br /><br />First, civic education should not be marginalized in schools, since it is one of the major factors which can change how young people understand themselves as political agents.<br /><br />Second, civic education works best when young people are free to engage in debates and discussions about real world political issues rather than dealing with the operations of the government in the abstract. Right now, schools are terrified of anything which may be controversial and as a result, they often run away from the kinds of open political debates which were part of the civic educations of previous generations. The effective use of digital tools allows us to bring authentic materials into the classroom, including providing access to real world political players as potential guest speakers in our classes.<br /><br />Third, civic classes may matter little if the school models a repressive political system rather than respecting the political rights of students and teachers, encouraging them to voice their concern, and granting them some material impact on the policies that impact them. And again, the research suggests that many schools do none of these things, encouraging students to think about civics as a set of ideals which are not honored in practice at even the most local level. Censoring the school newspaper, blocking YouTube, refusing to respect the student government give young people the wrong message about their place within a more democratic society. The online world often allows young people a much greater sense of empowerment (both as a fantasy and as a reality) as they often can produce and share media openly with others, as they can exert power over the management of virtual worlds, as they can form alliances with other young people through social networking sites, and as they can take politically meaningful actions which may be closed to them in their face-to-face school environment.<br /><br />So, to return to <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/participatory-culture-and-civic_28.html">your initial point</a>, clicking a "like" button on Facebook may not be the most meaningful political act ever imagined, but it is often much more meaningful than anything young people are allowed to do in schools as they are currently constituted.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;"> Special thanks</span><br /><br />We’d like to extend a special thanks to Professor Henry Jenkins for providing such thoughtful comments.<br /><br /><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Jenkins’ work:</strong></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://www.henryjenkins.org/">Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins</a></li><li><a href="http://sites.google.com/site/participatorydemocracyproject/">From Participatory Culture to Public Participation</a></li><li><a href="http://civicpaths.net/groupblog/">Civics, Popular Media and Participatory Culture Group Blog</a></li><li><a href="http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/">Project New Media Literacies</a></li><li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFCLKa0XRlw">Henry Jenkins’ Presentation at TedxTalks (March 6, 2010)</a></li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-7417797285807533624?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Tue, 04 Jan 2011 14:20:00 +0000Sarah Davis143 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-iii#commentsParticipatory Culture and Civic Engagement: Interview with Henry Jenkins, Part IIhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-ii <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15732305?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=e0b928" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is the first in a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). A couple of weeks ago, </span><a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/participatory-culture-and-civic.html" style="font-style: italic;">we interviewed USC professor Henry Jenkins</a><span style="font-style: italic;"> about his research, trends, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. Because Professor Jenkins answered our questions so generously and thoughtfully, we’ve separated the interview into three parts. In Part II, he discusses the depth of civic engagement among youth today.</span><br /><br /><strong>Professor Jenkins, how does the act of “liking” a cause relate to calling a senator? Does changing your Facebook photo to reflect a cause reflect an increased or deeper engagement than clicking and “liking” it?</strong><br /><br />For starters, I’d argue that an action performed online does not signal more or fewer levels of political engagement than the same action performed off-line. So, clicking “like” on a social network profile is more or less equivalent to signing a petition on a street corner, a political act you may forget ten minutes after you do it. Writing an email or a blog post may be no more or less politically engaged than sending a letter to the editor of the local newspaper or writing to a congressman. And so forth. There’s a bit more likelihood of the act having more impact online if only because you are performing it, most likely, in front of a somewhat larger number of friends. But its impact still rests on your ability to be persuasive rather than on which platform you are using to perform it. 

<br /><br />This is not the model of activism we are studying. Contrary to what you may have heard about Facebook or Twitter activism, very few of these new groups work only online (or as those phrases suggest, work only through a single platform). These groups use new-media tools alongside more traditional kinds of face-to-face meetings as part of an array of resources through which their political activities are being conducted. They are making nuanced decisions about which platforms may offer the most promise to perform particular functions. The use of new media may allow them to expand the base of support for their activities, linking together efforts across local communities to expand their potential impact. Working online may allow them to lower the costs of soliciting support and may allow them to amplify their own voices as they tap in to the spread of messages through social networking sites. But in many cases, these efforts build on contacts made off-line, with people they know and work with face to face. These new-style politics are intended to expand rather than displace what can be done through more conventional channels.<br /><br /><strong>What constitutes meaningful engagement? Where do we draw the line in terms of its meaning? Is there a difference in how online and offline communities define meaningful engagement, and what effect is it having on civic matters today?</strong><br /><br />Whether we are talking online or off, meaningful engagement requires people to become informed about the issues, requires them to be connected with others and exerting an ongoing effort to make a difference in the world, requires them to find their voice and exert it in the cause of change-making. The tactics may be different for groups which leverage some of the affordances of the online world alongside more traditional activities. They may involve producing and spreading YouTube videos alongside designing and printing signs and buttons. They may involve participating in buycots (which use consumer power in support of particular groups and businesses) alongside participating in boycotts (which involve withholding purchases from groups one seeks to change).<br /><br />

Our work started with the recognition that fan organizations, for example, have had a long history of mobilizing their supporters in letter-writing campaigns to keep their favorite programs on the air. To be successful, they have to identify an issue and the pressure points which might change the outcome, educate and motivate their supporters to get involved, develop tactics for mobilization and outreach. All of this involves civic skills which can later be mobilized towards efforts in support of human rights and social justice. What’s distinctive is that these spheres of activity are merging. We are seeing fan groups seeking to change the world through putting pressure on media companies in regards to how they represent racial minorities or resisting constraints on fans’ use of intellectual property. And we are seeing groups like the Harry Potter Alliance using the fan infrastructure and the language of popular culture to educate young people about political involvement and to motivate them to try to take action in regards to issues that matter to them.<br /><br />

Ultimately, for me, what is new here is not the tools they use, but the cultural language and political models which shape their efforts. It’s interesting that these groups often team up with more conventional political organizations as they seek to move into the political arena, suggesting that, at the end of the day, both groups are willing to do what needs to be done to make a difference.<br /><br /><strong>To be continued...</strong><br /><br />How do you see trends of civic engagement changing in the future for young people? If it were up to you, what would the “perfect” school look like? How would the school use digital and social media to meet the needs of its students? In the future, how do we see ourselves influencing young people to be more civically engaged in the classroom?<br /><br />Next week we will publish Part III of our interview with Professor Jenkins, focusing on his thoughts about the future of civic engagement.<br /><br /><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Jenkins’ work:</strong></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://www.henryjenkins.org/">Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins</a></li><li><a href="http://sites.google.com/site/participatorydemocracyproject/">From Participatory Culture to Public Participation</a></li><li><a href="http://civicpaths.net/groupblog/">Civics, Popular Media and Participatory Culture Group Blog</a></li><li><a href="http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/">Project New Media Literacies</a></li><li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFCLKa0XRlw">Henry Jenkins’ Presentation at TedxTalks (March 6, 2010)</a></li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2325634129974942604?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Tue, 28 Dec 2010 16:27:00 +0000Sarah Davis146 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-ii#commentsParticipatory Culture and Civic Engagement: Interview with Henry Jenkins, Part Ihttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-i <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15732305?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=e0b928" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">This post is the first in a series of interviews highlighting leaders in the field of New Learning (what we call “NLI at Inquiry”). Last week, we interviewed Henry Jenkins about his research, trends, and his thoughts on the future of civic engagement in education. Because Professor Jenkins answered our questions so generously and thoughtfully, we’ve separated the interview into three parts. In Part I, he discusses his current research.</span><br /><br />Henry Jenkins is the Provost's Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the <a href="http://www.usc.edu/">University of Southern California</a>. He arrived at USC in fall 2009 after spending the previous decade as the Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. He is the author and/or editor of twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture, and From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. His newest books include Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. He is currently co-authoring a book on "spreadable media" with Sam Ford and Joshua Green. He has written for Technology Review, Computer Games, Salon, and The Huffington Post.<br /><br />Professor Jenkins has a B.A. in Political Science and Journalism from Georgia State University, an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.<br /><br /><strong>Professor Jenkins, can you tell me about your current research?</strong><br />For much of my academic career, I’ve made the study of participatory culture a central focus of my research. It is a topic I have come at from a range of angles over time, starting with work on fan communities (mostly offline) who were actively engaged in cultural production growing out of their intense engagement with media fictions. From there, my work has led me to map changes in how the creative industries understand and address these more active audiences and into work in education which examines what kinds of learning takes place through these practices and what schools can learn by deeply engaging with the kinds of informal learning that takes place in participatory culture communities. 

<br /><br />My work has now entered a new phase, which is seeking to understand how participatory culture is impacting young people’s civic engagement and political participation (broadly defined). It is work we are doing as part of a MacArthur Foundation research hub on Youth and Participatory Politics. Our part of this larger project is looking closely at new kinds of political organizations, many of which are adopting the practices and logics of participatory culture to try to get youth involved in struggles for social justice and human rights. Our research ranges from the <a href="http://thehpalliance.org/">Harry Potter Alliance</a>, which has emerged from the fan community, to the <a href="http://www.dreamactivist.org/">Dream Activists</a>, who are part of the larger immigrant rights movement in Southern California. 

<br /><br />Traditional research finds that the political lives of parents or the civic education offered by schools helps define our political identities at very early ages. However, these groups are attracting young people who may be active culturally and socially online but who have often not yet embraced political identities. They do so by redefining what constitutes the political, by adopting structures which allow multiple forms of participation, by transforming the language through which politics take place (away from policy wonkishness and towards something at once more playful and everyday), and by blurring the boundaries between cultural and civic participation. What they do will look like politics by almost any standards – fighting to change laws, to mobilize voters, to increase public awareness of issues, and to raise money towards literacy and disaster relief in the case of the Harry Potter Alliance; but it is not politics as usual, and this new model really appeals to young people who want to change the world but may not feel invited to participate in more conventional-style activism.<br /><br /><strong>To be continued...</strong><br />What constitutes meaningful engagement? Where do we draw the line in terms of its meaning? Is there a difference in how online and offline communities define meaningful engagement, and what effect is it having on civic matters today?

<br /><br />Next week we will publish Part II of our interview with Professor Jenkins, focusing on his thoughts about the depth of civic engagement.<br /><br /><strong>Additional Resources on Professor Jenkins' Work:</strong></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://www.henryjenkins.org/">Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins</a></li><li><a href="http://sites.google.com/site/participatorydemocracyproject/">From Participatory Culture to Public Participation </a></li><li><a href="http://civicpaths.net/groupblog/">Civics, Popular Media and Participatory Culture Group Blog</a></li><li><a href="http://www.newmedialiteracies.org/">Project New Media Literacies</a></li><li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFCLKa0XRlw">Henry Jenkins’ Presentation at TedxTalks (March 6, 2010)</a></li></ul><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-4396212142378734676?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/interview" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Interview</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/research/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Research</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/civic_engagement/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Civic Engagement</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog-topics/nliatinquiry" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatInquiry</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog-topics/digital-learning" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Tue, 21 Dec 2010 21:59:00 +0000Sarah Davis147 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/participatory-culture-and-civic-engagement-interview-henry-jenkins-part-i#comments