One sentence that really stood out to me in L&K’s chapter 7 talked about “a version of social learning as a process of proactivity for desirable outcomes” (2011 p.210). This to me, in relation to social media, appears to be a sort of anticipation of what others say, or how they will react to a post for example. I cannot say that I have ever viewed social media in that way. When thinking of how this could apply to Twitter or Facebook this suggests that a person is posting looking for a reaction. At first glance I think that sounds pretty self absorbed but it does make sense because typical posts are about babies, engagements, or what “fun” things a person might be doing that weekend. How news or interactions bounce from person to person at such a rapid pace is essentially social media.
“If we want to learn deeply, we need to access the means, contexts and tasks that are integral to generating knowledge,” not just the usual regurgitation of facts or the proof of understanding by rote memorization (L&K, 2011 p. 212). This is more of the new age approach to education that appears to be growing. When I was in college, Facebook and social media in general were just starting to gain popularity. I couldn’t imagine how individuals in high school and college have adjusted to the constant exposure to ridicule and judgment from their peers because of these open sources of communication. Now instead of writing a 20 pages paper a person is designing a fully functional web page. The difference in education has taken a drastic turn in recent years.
The idea of ‘guided participation’ in an assignment or class emphasizes the openness of possibility. This level of engagement is paving the way for the new future. For the first time in this book the foreseeable future of technology and of education was explored. I am hoping that L&K have expanded upon what their initial idea’s were the next chapter. The blank slate design leading to a deeper understanding of the material does come full circle when considering this class. You start with a basic frame work and a blank canvas (or in this case a blog) and build.
Achieving long term goals when working on projects that are finite is something that may be difficult to gauge. For example, how can I (a person who has never used social media) be compared to a person who has 1,000 Facebook and Twitter followers? No one is a blank slate because every person comes with various experiences and backgrounds. The need for a full spectrum of learners in every classroom is necessary for a more well rounded experience but determining levels of self improvement would be in my mind extremely challenging to determine.
When exploring the push and pull models of education I can’t help but wonder what happens to the traditional classroom. As text books go digital and classes turn to online ones, what business will remain under the brick and mortar state? By giving students both young and old the tools they need without ever having to leave their house, it seems that the eventual elimination of the old school eduction system may vanish. With less interactions in person, how will people build their identities? There is an endless array of questions that have no concrete answers. Only time will tell if in ten years homework, classrooms, and school will even exist in the physical world (aside from being online).
New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning Ed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. McGraw-Hill Education 2008.