Henry's story is pretty incredible (and I'm sure having his father be a developer helps as well!). This reminds me of 6th grader Thomas Suarex who made two iOS apps (Earth Fortune and Bustin Jieber). Check out Thomas on TEDx here: http://tnw.co/vIh7WLThese are just two examples of how digital is increasingly permeating our lives. These digital natives are not even old enough to have Facebook accounts, but are creating and designing applications and experiences that are available for purchase in the marketplace. Youtube is also filled with youth stories and narratives. These young participants are taking part in the digital revolution by producing, curating, and remixing content. It's pretty amazing when we stop to digest this shift.
I enjoyed your video suggestion Sylvia, it is a great example to support Henry Jenkin’s points in his video Your Kids On Social Media video (http://to.pbs.org/11585Dx). Jenkin’s says we need to be ok with flipping the roles and letting kids teach us to see this new digital world and to let them feel a sense of expertise. Young Thomas points out that a lot of parents have experience to pass on in many areas to their kids, but building apps and similar technology adventures not so much. He took the initiative and had support to do so. Building his club and its ongoing vision is a beautiful example of participatory culture. Our kid’s crayon box is increasingly digital, but not for everyone. Henry was lucky to have a Dad that was an app developer to help him realize his creativity in that medium. Thomas makes a joke about how young people know more about technology than their teachers, and with the average age of teachers in the Alberta public school system at 42 that’s a fair bet. There is not a level playing field with mentors and technology. Thomas and Henry were fortunate. The challenge is to provide these mentorship opportunities to more kids. It is what the MacArthur funded research by Jenkins et al speaks to (http://bit.ly/2bnWVo). It would be fantastic if all kids could find a mentor or peer group who can support them in developing their interests, and giving them a sense of purpose. I like how Rheingold begins his classes by asking the students what questions they have and what they want to learn. Maybe we will get to a point that students will let us know what their assessment strategy will be and they will be so engaged by that approach that we won’t know what hit us.
Q1. After spending weeks reading about new media and participating in the new media environment how has the telling of your own narratives changed? There is no question that this course has expanded both my transliteracy skills and my awareness of innovative digital publishing works and authors. The course did exactly what I hoped it would, exposing me to new platforms and giving me new ideas and confidence as a result. I did dust off my own blog when I began this course and I have been using it as a sandbox to practice skills and play with things like pixel sizes of images and layout on posts. As this course has transpired, I have been tucking away ideas to incorporate new assessment strategies for my own classes. After having completed Assignment 1 and having made a podcast on AudioBoo and again on Garage Band, and posting it to SoundCloud I decided to add this as another component on one of my class assignments. Instead of the usual script/text approach to the class Public Service Announcement assignment in their not-for-profit media kit I asked they produce it via podcast (using AudioBoo/or Soundcloud). It is more entertaining than a text based approach to the assignment. I see the potential for Pinterest as a collection and assessment strategy for current events assignments which I use daily in my class. Personally, I love hands-on courses, and coming away with solid skills and ideas that I can apply in my life.
Q2. Chris Anderson is concerned with apps making us a passive audience again and Jeff Jarvis says they don't interoperate as they block links and search. What does this move from online to (almost) offline mean to writers and publishing?A recent Wired article featuring an interview with Tim O’Reilly points out that within five years it is predicted there will be more mobile internet users than computer based ones. Smartphones don’t work as well for web browsing so the growth in apps will continue as their small screens, and peoples lack of time and concentration make self-contained apps that bypass conventional browsing attractive. Their offer everything from local restaurant recommendations to interactive maps, sophisticated games, to news, etc. . . there is likely “an app for that” or if not someone is working on it http://bit.ly/VbfzmJ. It is telling that Facebook is now the number one app, Comscore data shows that in the US 23.6% of time spent on a mobile device was on that app, followed by iTunes at a distant 8.6%, it also talks of rapidly rising apps like Snapchat and Vine for short text and video sharing apps, which really demonstrates constant flux and innovation (http://on.wsj.com/10aCU9K). It would be interesting to see how much time we are spending within the apps – this data is not released by app suppliers Google or Apple.With respect to what this means to writers and publishing – it means adopting new platforms to express what you do and not sticking to one way. Tim Reilly says the user interface for publishing (like the e-book) will continue to change and that authors and publishers who embrace all the ways to express what they do and how they think will be the stars, not those who stick with one form of expression (http://oreil.ly/1028up3). The Three Little Pigs Book by eight-year-old Henry Dewey is an app after all. Additionally, Jarvis and Anderson should take comfort in the fact that time spent on the internet and active engagement continues to increase. Canadians spent 41 hours per month on their computers last year – the 2nd highest ranking in the world behind the US (http://bit.ly/13CarNW).
Great insights on the shift from web publishing to apps Teresa. I really appreciated your comments as I found this question somewhat difficult to answer. I am a Blackberry user, and have found my devices to be web page and app unfriendly. Due to a small screen size, and slow internet connection, I found it extremely irritating to pull up articles. Visiting sites, and reading pages on that device was taxing since the page would not fit well on the screen, not to mention the difficulty in navigating. As a Blackberry user I found it difficult to get apps (compared to iPhone users), and that deterred me from doing so. I recently got a Blackberry superphone and found a big difference in my online participation because I could interface more effectively. If O'Reilly's prediction holds true, then publishers of online content will be compelled to improve pages, sites, and even platforms for users of smart and superphones making them as attractive as apps. Facebook has definitely been a successful model of an app with great maneuverability. With so many users that demand accessibility from any device, they appear to have formula that web publishers can use to deliver their own content via mobile device.
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to experience narratives in a variety of formats and platforms throughout this course. The telling of my own narratives has evolved, and will continue to be shaped by sites like Blogger, Flickr, Prezi, Pintrest, slideshare, and LinkedIn. I have found blogging in NMN really enjoyable, and interactive. It's been a great way to share ideas, and provided a wealth of additional information with my engaging classmates posting exciting links in their seed question responses. I have certainly become a lot more conscious of my transliteracy throughout this course. Exposure to narratives such as "The Book after the Book", "Inanimate Alice", "Cruising", "The Whale Hunt", "A Million Penguins", and Andy Campbell's works have contributed to reshaping the experience I have had with digital narratives. I am still drawn to many forms of print. High gloss fashion magazines can still grab my attention, and I love looking at (and holding) fascinating pictures from National Geographic magazines. But as Jeff Jarvis says "Glossy paper is expensive. Pixels are cheap." I guess there is a place for everything, and that variety in traditional and digital print appeal to different senses. I think that Jarvis makes a number of excellent points in his article about the demise of magazines. The costs associated with publishing can really be seen as wasteful with such a strong digital market presence. I also agree that the interactive and immediate nature of the internet is far more functional for readers, and advertisers, but definitely not publishers. Interactive magazines can invite readers to immediately blog or even open chat forums, compared to print where a reader waits a month for letters to the editor to be published in a small corner relating to out dated content. I think Jarvis also makes an excellent point in enabling community by allowing content to be driven by users and not publishers, unchaining users from premiums for access, but most importantly, enabling advertising at the local levels. Most importantly, the shift from print to digital magazines means far less waste and trees harvested for paper.