Let me start by saying I found the Stephen Downs article interesting and am glad to see many of the concepts he spoke about reflected in our #SOOC13. I did, however, diagree with the author in certain places. He says of Digital Natives (defined as people born after 1980)
“They absorb information quickly, in images and video as well as text, from multiple sources simultaneously. They operate at “twitch speed,” expecting instant responses and feedback. They prefer random “on-demand” access to media, expect to be in constant communication with their friends (who may be next door or around the world), and they are as likely to create their own media (or download someone else’s) as to purchase a book or a CD.”
I find it very hard to make such generalizations about a group based on the sole criteria of the year they were born. Of course, it is true that one had to chose a cut off date for the group of people who don’t remember the time before the internet, 1980 is probably a good place to start. This technically makes me a digital native. That being said, personally I know many more people who use internet resources more effectively than I do and are older than I am. There are many reasons why some people are more sophisticated in their online behavior than others. I would be interested in seeing hard evidence for the above claims.
“Sharing content is not considered unethical; indeed, the hoarding of content is viewed as antisocial.” I absolutely agree! There is a great TED Talk by Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls called “The Art of Asking,” in which she makes the suggestion that if we learn how to ask for things, in her case money for music, people will be surprisingly cooperative. Of course, some won’t, but I really think it comes down to the type of community one creates.
Further along in the assigned reading Stephen Downs writes, “It’s about enabling and encouraging participation through open applications and services.” I think that is essential and hopefully something we will experience in our little social experiment.
Another essential observation made in the this text is: “Students’ blog posts are often about something from their own range of interests, rather than on a course topic or assigned project.” I think the decision made by the administrators of this course for a couple of präsenz-sitzungen was very important. For me it really helped solidify the concepts and expectations behind the course. Meaning, I’m glad that a connection was provided between the “real” world and the virtual classroom.
The only thing I find disappointing about social media or web 2.0 in general, and probably the reason I don’t read the comments section on news articles, is that people tend to be very critical of one another even to the point of being nasty. Studies have shown this to be a pervasive trend among commenteers (nytimes “The Nasty Effect”). Hopefully, there won’t be too much of that.
Here’s to learning something new!