A Bit of an Introduction

Welcome to my Instructional Technology Blog! This particular blog was initialized as a requirement of my EDUC2201 course. I'm very new to the concept of blogging, so I am looking forward to all that I will learn throughout this semester. I'm currently an Elementary Education major; however, I would ultimately like to teach education courses on a collegiate level. Whether I end up in an elementary or college class, I will need to have a good grasp on the technology available to me as an educator. I hope to gain that necessary knowledge from this course so that I will be more readily able to offer my students helpful technological tools to enhance their learning.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Convergence Culture

Convergence Culture, as Dr. Henry Jenkins explains, is a connection of every medium through ideas presented. It is not a replacement of old media with new, but rather an integration of the ideas presented in the old medium into the new--creating a type of symbiotic relationship. Dr. Jenkins claims that this process should not be considered purely technological. That is, the process should not be considered simply the combination of a telephone, television, and camera into one instrument, but rather a new medium serving as a catalyst to enhance the idea presented by an old medium. One example was presented in the video that helps visualize this process. Television produces shows that can be viewed on a TV set. If someone misses this episode, TV corporations have realized that they can use other sources of media, i.e. the internet/ipods to reach more viewers. Consumers can still get the intended product of a television show, but through different media device. This media of an ipod or internet site does not replace a TV, but allows further viewing of the same product--making entertainment easier and more convenient which is an ideal of our culture.

Convergence culture is very pertinent to education and classrooms. A variety of information can be accessed by numerous sources. The convergence of media allows teachers to enhance lessons with technology in countless ways. The potential for technology in classrooms seems limitless, but this requires some education of media literacy. This might shift the focus of required skills from those such as the three r's to include media skills and technological literacy. There is what Dr. Jenkins called a "participation gap" which limits children who do not get the chance to participate as much as other students with technology because they do not have access to it at home. Teachers need to be aware of this gap and attempt to bridge it by incorporating participation into daily lesson plans.

Schools are most definitely limiting students' access to digital tools for several reasons. Cell phones and ipods, however helpful and resourceful they may be, lead to distractions during instruction time and can be a great nuisance to a teacher trying to do their job. The same can be said for online sites such as youtube, facebook, and other social networks. While these sites can prove to be very useful in instruction time, they cause great distraction and are therefore restricted in many school networking systems. I agree that there needs to be some monitoring when using these forms of media in the classroom, but the advantages of they provide seem to outshine the negatives associated with them. There do need to be restrictions at certain times during certain situations, but these resources should not neglected. It would be doing students a disservice if they were not encouraged in a classroom setting.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent understanding of why schools and teachers should use new digital media tools for learning!