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Week 2: Culture of Participation

Week 2: Culture of Participation


Photo by Namroud Gorguis on Unsplash

This week we will be focusing on the impact technology has on our social interactions and the nature of communications. As a child, I used to make mixtapes consisting of a mashup of radio songs that I liked. I would record them, add my own DJ voice, and then share them with my friends. This is an example of how I was curating, remixing, and creating in a 1980’s participatory culture.

A lot has changed since the days of the mixtape. The birth of the internet and social media networks have given rise to totally new ways of communicating and even larger networks of people to share with. Mixtapes are no longer made on boom boxes, but now sophisticated online sharing communities like SoundCloud. Allowing creators to share their own works, as well as remixed versions of others.


“Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement.”  ~Henry Jenkins


YouTube, one of the most popular platforms on the planet, gives people of all ages the ability to create their own content and become an “expert” in their chosen area of interest. Children and teens today have “more power in their hands than in any previous generation.” This can be both a positive thing and a negative thing, as many of us have often considered. As teachers, I’m sure many of us have seen how popular YouTubers can have a huge influence on students. YouTube has become so prevalent in children’s lives that it is “helping to shape the ways that young people form their sense of themselves and the world around them.” To dig more into the concept of participatory culture check out this TedTalk where Henry Jenkins outlines the concept of participatory culture in society. 



This week you’ll be exploring how technology continues to impact the way we create and communicate. Some of the questions you will reflect on in your blog post will be:

  • How is the way your students communicate with their friends similar to the way you connected with your friends when you were a child/teenager? And as an adult?
  • What did you previously think about students and social media? What do you think now?
  • How and why are social interactions and communication changing?
  • How do you use social media in your classroom? How do students learn to communicate in digital spaces in your class?


Speaking of Participatory Culture…

During the week of April 1-7 Eduro Learning of celebrating learning with a Twitter Slow chat called #Spring Into Learning. Take some time to participate with the @EduroLearning community and add to the chat!




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