The power of information in participatory culture: Education and Marketspace

The book Participatory Culture in a Networked Era is a great collective work, pointing out the digital awareness about forming participatory cultures. Today’s  short discussion topics deal with the context of chapters 4&5:

  • connected learning which is often interest-driven
  • profit-oriented nature of the media ecosystem

With reference to participatory forms of education, cognitive scientists and behaviorists who research the process of learning and knowledge assimilation, construct theories and methods that end up to be examined and applied by educators, media theorists and educational software designers.

Why learning in the real world is less attractive/effective than the one taking place in a virtual or simulated environment?

First of all, the diversity of learners is the key to constitute well-balanced communities where students can interact and share knowledge. Along with the possibility to create their “digital selves”, their area of interests defines the subject of studies, improving the learning process, while standing for motivation and engagement. Furthermore, the pedagogical methods based on gaming and problem solving are likely to develop competition and offer a pleasant, entertaining experience towards well-formulated learning goals. Being a lifelong learning supporter, I would confess that my attention is mostly captivated when I interact with readings that represent my interests. In this context, I believe that learners may contribute to knowledge sharing through creative collaboration within networked learning. In other words, what if students and researchers edit Wikipedia entries related to their fields of interests, instead of debating on the accuracy of information found there or in Google results. At this point, I would like to refer to the misunderstandings concerning the free labor.

Why fans are engaged to sell out their creativity?

Well, in most cases media/internet users are not aware of the mechanisms of data extraction neither of the value of information. Students and researchers, activists and fans are the widest communities to be taken advantage of, along with the needs and trends of the current marketspace.

  • Educational institutions enrich their databases thanks to academic volunteers.
  • Companies and individuals using the mask of non-profit organization manage to form communities of activists to make profit.

Wouldn’t it be better and healthier to adopt ethical policies in the networked era?

Unfortunately, the digitization of information made it easy for us to share, ignoring the value of the shared content. This is why we should be more aware of the meaningfulness of participatory culture.

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