MSM #54 Families and Media Ecology, What is the Future of Education? NMSA Wrap Up continued.

Items & Events

  1. The Michigan Association of Middle School Educators (MAMSE) Annual Conference will be held in Saginaw Township on March 12 & 13 at White Pine Middle School.
  2. The Ohio Middle School Association’s Annual Conference will be held at Kalahari February 19-20.
  3. The National Middle School Association’s Annual Conference will be November 5-7 in Indianapolis, IN.  The theme will center around globalization and service learning.
  4. The Middle Level Essentials Conference will be held at the Red Rocks in Nevada April 23-34.  Tell your high school colleagues about the special “conference in a conference” on ninth grade teams.
  5. The MacArthur Foundation is spending $50 million dollars on a 5 year study seeking to understand digital life and youth.  Three years of the study are reported out in Living and Learning with New Media:  Summary of the Findings from the Digital Youth Project.  Read about the study here in the New York Times article.  We might pull this for discussion in a future podcast.
  6. A link to Will Ricardson’s featured presentation at NMSA ’08.
  7. The LEAGUE’s Knight Scholarship Competition:
    The KNIGHT scholarship is a national scholarship competition where 3 students will receive $5,000 each for their writings or reflections on civic experiences in one of three categories: Persuasive Essay (building awareness and inviting action for change in your school, community or the world), Personal Narrative (experiences with service and volunteerism), or News Story (creating newspaper articles that reports acts of service and volunteerism by young people). The scholarship is open to high school seniors from all over the country, even students who are not part of a LEAGUE classroom can apply!

    The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation ( promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities. Since 1954, the foundation has given more than $300 million in journalism grants. Applications will be posted at beginning January 5th.  Students must submit their applications before the March 6th deadline. For more details about The LEAGUE and the KNIGHT scholarship please visit

  8. Virtual Pioneers invite you to their website:  VP conducts virtual social studies trips in Second Life.
  9. See the folks who attended NMSA08 this year and left a message on the virtual wall at SchoolTube! Videos are posted for you to either relive the experience or get a taste of the convention from the folks who attended.
  10. Congratulations to Lorri MacDonald who was honored by the State of Michigan as the Michigan Virtual University Teacher of the Year! MacDonald (PR Newswire) Dr. MacDonald talked about the future of learning in virtual spaces at this year’s Michigan Virtual University symposium.

Top Ten Signs You are Addicted to the Internet

  1. You find yourself typing “com” after every period when using a word
  2. And even your night dreams are in HTML.
  3. All you daydreaming is preoccupied with getting a faster connection to the net: 28.8… ISDN… cable modem… T1… T3…
  4. You spend half of the plane trip with your laptop on your lap… and your child in the overhead compartment.
  5. You finally do take that vacation, but only after buying a cellular-modem and a laptop.
  6. You refuse to go to a vacation spot with no electricity and no phone lines.
  7. You find yourself brainstorming for new subjects to search.
  8. Your eyeglasses have a web site burned in on them.
  9. Your bookmark takes 15 minutes to scroll from top to bottom.
  10. You kiss your girlfriend’s/boyfriend’s home page.

Scientists: Is technology rewiring our brains?
What does a teenage brain on Google look like? Do all those hours spent online rewire the circuitry? Could these kids even relate better to emoticons than to real people?

Shawn has an Announcement.  It’s official!  I’m a Friend of Jack!  (FOJ)

Is Second Life in decline?  Forbes thinks so.  Reuters pulls their full time reporter from Second Life.

Heather A HorstFamilies and Media Ecology
The MacArthur Foundation sponsored a study which we talked a little about in last week’s podcast.  The link is in the Items & Events section if you would like to read the entire document (pdf).  Part of the entire report is a section written primarily by Heather A. Horst covering the adoption of media by families.  Several case studies are cited and worth the read as examples of the class distinctions and their differences in approach to adoption of new media.  Key points worth mentioning from the study:

  • “… a large share of young people’s engagements with new media-using social network sites, instant messaging, and gaming-occur in the context of home and family life.”
  • Computers, video cameras, related software and associated training are considered an investment in their child’s future.
  • New media is leveraged for good behavior.
  • Parents are a little nervous about this whole thing while learning to embrace it with their kids.
  • “We begin by concentrating upon the spatial and domestic arrangements that shape new media use in the home, such as the placement of computers. We then turn to the creation of routines and other forms of temporality, including the amount of time and textures of kids’ media usage. In the final section, our analysis centers upon parents and kids’ rules and the creation, bending, and breaking of rules. We conclude by considering how parents and young people transform, negotiate, and create a sense of family identity through new media.”
  • Parenting in the New Media Ecology
    • Along with broader social changes comes the uncertainty of a parents role and parenting since the 1960’s.
    • Parents feel aware and accountable to society at large for their parenting decisions:  “reflexive parenting.”
      • Working class parents:
        • believe in informal play in and around the house.
        • use a laissez-faire approach to parenting.
        • believe that kids will grow and develop naturally as they navigate the world.
        • value respect for authority and prefer to give children the autonomy to navigate their own relationships with peers.
      • Middle class parents:
        • believe that it is their responsibility to develop their children through outside school activities (sports, music, etc.).
        • cultivate activities and interests in their children.
        • organize their student’s daily schedule and get involved in the inner workings of their activities at school or other school type settings.
        • advocate for their students in institutionalized settings.
    • These attitudes towards parent reflect what kind of media is selected for their students in the home.  (Externalizing those previous values).
  • Crafting Media Spaces at Home
    • Public Spaces:
      • Creates a sense of ownership and inherent control over all media devices.
      • Creating Media Rooms within the house as shared media controlled spaces.
        • Wealthy families created entirely new spaces for computers.
        • Other socioeconomic groups “multi-tasked” space for new media to coexist with existing purposes (e.g. the computer is in the kitchen because that’s where the kids do homework while parents make dinner.)
    • Private Spaces:
      • Creates that sense of anxiety in parents’ mind akin to the Dateline reports.
      • Students realize that their bedrooms become partial public space if media are accessible in their rooms (both tv and computers).
  • Mobility and Other Media Spaces
    • Students will explore other media experencies, even ones their parents don’t allow at home, when they visit their friends’ homes.  They “work the rules” in each place to experience media.
  • Making, Taking, and Sharing Media Time
    • Families that structured their media time viewed it as a bonding and relaxing time together.
    • Some families come together to produce their own media as a form of bonding and staying involved with their kids.
      • Transmission of values
      • Gives the kids ownership and some control over their role within the family.
  • Routines & Rhythms
    • Parents use of controls on the computer help kids develop media habits.
      • In single parent homes where there is access at both homes, the parents negotiate a schedule together so the rules are the same in both locations.
      • In nuclear and extended families, it falls to the mother to be the upholder of morality and new media standards.
  • Growing up
    • Parents change and adapt the rules as the student grows chronologically.
    • Cell phones tend to be given at middle school levels and represent a type of freedom.  Its also an easy way to restrict and rein in when students cross the line.
  • Making, Breaking, and Bending the Rules (examples:  AskMeanMom, Cell Phones for Kids?, Mayor Blumberg!, cell phone contracts)
    • Rules end up as intentions and actual practice turns into a negotiation.
  • Plans, Minutes, and Cards
    • What consequences are established for going beyond the boundaries set by parents?
    • Students that have to purchase their own phones and plans tend to be more discerning about their usage.
    • Some parents feel it improves communication with their student if they learn how to text on a phone.
  • Going Online:  Bandwidth, Passwords, and Privacy
    • In lower income families, internet usage is a matter of having the equipment and what level of bandwidth the family can afford in the home.
      • Not part of the study directly:  Thinking about the intense preoccupation with the social domain as transescents, can you imagine the frustration created by a slow connection to a social active student?
    • Some parents restrict it all together based on negative reports on internet usage and social networking.
      • Some parents take the modem with them if they leave their student at home alone for a period of time during the day.
      • Some parents restrict it to the single use it was intended:  homework or schoolwork.
    • While parents control access, students are largely responsible for structuring their online worlds.
      • Redefining privacy:  Parental viewing of a Xanga or MySpace is considered by teens as an invasion of privacy, yet the rest of the world can see it.
        • Think the “Diary” experience:  should parents pick the lock and read the precious pages?
  • Conclusion:  ” …the need to balance independence and dependence, parents’ values and beliefs, and parenting style shapes participation.”
  • Observation:  Perhaps we as educators should be designing experiences like open houses for parents as a way for them to gain experience using the net and social networking.

Session #4
2191 Web 2.0 Is the Future of Education
Steve Haradon

(You can also catch his presentation on SlideShare).

Information is changing:
Who produces it
What it costs to produce
How it is filtered
How it is distributed
How we find it
How it finds us
How we manage it
How we evaluate it

What is Web 1.0? Traditional
Content is

Web 2.0

No only ha

The Go-Giver (book) and a blog.
The printing press broke more industries than it fixed.
Christian Science Monitor no longer prints a paper copy- web only.

Trend #2 – A tidal wave of information.

The answer to Content overload is to create more content. Analogy of a cocktail party. You don’t try to talk to everyone, or worry about every conversation, but to be a good participant.

Trend #3 – Culture of Openness

Clay ShirkeyHere Comes Everybody.


Craig’s list only charges for job listings. Everything else is free to attract interest. The cost of everything else is so low that it works to get them the job listings market.

Trend #4 – Participation

Changing how we do things:

Trend #5 – Long Tail (Chris Anderson’s Theory)

Trend #6 –  An Explosion of Innovation
Pro/Am Culture
ProSumer Culture

Trend #7 – Age of the Collaborator
Historical periods favor specific traits.
Picture of Microsoft founders from 1978 – would you invest?
Is the age of the resume over? IS it being replaced by your online presence?
The wisdom of the group trumps the expert.

Trend #8 – The world is flat and getting flatter.
Trend 9 – Web is becoming a conversation

First came blogs…
Then came Wikis…
a web page with an edit button.
Level 1 – Publishing

Trend 10- Social Networking
Read /Write
No talent needed. No skill set needed.

Classroom 2.0 Social Network.
the aggregation of web tools for Building Content.

Analogy of building materials. You could use the building materials to build a casino or a school. It is the use of the tools not the tools themselves.

Learning Tools:
Profile Page =Personal Portfolio
Forum= Announcements, Assignments, And Asynchronous discussions.
Photo/Video = Content repository
Directory = Learning network
Groups= Learning Teams
IM/Chat = Personalized Attention

We face becoming irrelevant.
Intellectual Isolationism
RIAA & Music = Schools & Learning? (will be become like the RIAA and be in the way).

We must harness the built in capabilities of web 2.0.

email Steve for slides.

Medline Plus- learning surgery online.
GlobalLearner – tutors

Wikipedia – allows for the dissemination of information that previously wouldn’t have previously been available.