A few weeks ago, Danah Boyd posted a short blurb about a visit to the Lucas Educational Foundation Skywalker Ranch where she had some discussions about schools and education in a networked world. It’s one of those teaser posts that I wish she would have developed more fully because I found the ideas she listed there intruiging and somewhat challenging. Here are the lines that caught me:
…a small group of us came to the realization that schools need to start serving the tension between ego-centered, personalized, individualistic society and globalized society.
Networked society is altering the relationships between people, and communities are suffering because of the lack of cohesion, social norms, etc.
When we think about education, we need to stop damning technology and start engaging with the shifts that have occurred in the architecture of sociality.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this of late, trying to sort out how I feel on a personal level by the ways in which these technologies have changed my life. I wonder if my online life is better or worse than the more offline life I used to live, or if it’s just different. That’s what I try to teach my kids, at least, that just because something is outside of the realm of their current experience doesn’t make it inherently bad or good…it just makes it different. That goes for skin color, music, clothes, sexual orientation, whatever. I think changes make us suffer when we immediately react negatively towards them because they simply aren’t what we are used to.
Which gets us back to our favorite topic these days: DOPA. It’s nothing more than an attempt to damn the technology instead of engaging the tensions of a globalized world. We don’t want to do the tough work of understanding what the changes mean, good or bad. We just want to resist.
These are interesting times.