Convergence Culture

The Ypulse Mashup has turned into a much better event than I had previously thought. I think that it makes sense to continually question the theory of why kids are so drawn to online, mobile, and collaborative environments. Henry Jenkins is one speaker who has gotten me thinking.

His research into fan fiction has helped him to think about online communities that create mentorships and opportunities for continual advancement. He talks about how kids start writing harry potter fan fiction one day and then two years later they are helping other writers to edit their work and get it ready for publication. This is an amazing process for creating mentors. Why aren’t our educational communities like this?

We need to create online mentorships between adults and students. This needs to not be a weird element that borders on child predator activity. How can we set up these connections so that the mentorships go both ways. The digital native/immigrant debate is counterproductive. It doesn’t allow these groups to blend and change. It doesn’t allow students to indoctrinate teachers. It doesn’t create the kind of hope that is possible when communities cross-pollinate.

How can we do this? I really want to know.

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