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SXSW Notes: Opening Remarks w/ Johson & Jenkins

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Henry Jenkins MIT / Steven Johnson

Jenkins: Standardized methods of testing–usually based around encyclopedic knowledge of what’s in a text or book–doesn’t represent the way kids learn or work today. What’s more important is the ability to process information and share that with students and coworkers. 30 kids in a classroom have more knowledge than the teacher in front of the room–they need to be taught how to share their information.

Jenkins: Seeing new models where what people learn in online games, etc., usually take what they learn and apply it to more advanced subjects a short time later.

Jenkins: Obama campaign is a political representation of this: Instead of politicians saying “what can I do for you,” it’s “what can we do together.”

Jenkins: We’re not investing less in our social connections–we’re taking them with us wherever we go.

Jenkins and Johnson: Instead of parents watching and limiting screen time, parents should be interested in how much time kids spend either creating online or consuming online. And instead of constantly looking over their shoulders, parents should be watching their kids’ backs. Kids may not be ready for what situations they encounter, and parents should be ready and available to help out.

Q: What about Internet addiction: Jenkins: Addiction is a negative label — instead ask why are kids dropping their homework to play a video game all night. Ask what they’re learning? How are they engaged? China uses language of addiction to discourage young people’s access of the Internet and therefore trying to control information.

Q: Don’t smaller interactions result in more superficial relationships? Jenkins: That’s a social impact of the increased mobility since the 1950s, but the Internet is helping repair that damage, not exacerbate it.

Posted in SXSW,SXSW Panels at 3:01 pm

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