http://www.gardencom.com/freepics 2nd March, 09
I have been browsing for inspiration. Web 2.0, or participatory media as I prefer to call it today, in itself is inspirational. My new hobby is puppeteering my Second Life avatar. I need to be able to manipulate her movements better, and I would like a more extensive repertoire of “gestures”, but it is great fun. I have vague ideas of the many ways this instrument might be applied to instruction and interactive learning. Part of me wants to let this emerge, intuitively. The other part (the boring left brain, most likely) wants me to find a valid, pedagogical use for it – you know, to prove I haven’t been just mucking around! We all know about necessity and invention and the importance of play, but I like it so much that I can’t help feeling guilty. And I’m not even Catholic!
So, to appease the stupid, logical part of my brain, I will try to list what we have discovered so far about PLEs:
The recalcitrant user of Web 1.0 technology may, like Echo in the legend of Narcissus, feel unsure in a context of unfeeling logic. Like Narcissus, technology is self-contained and without empathy for its users. The personality types who thrive in an interactive pedagogical environment (probably those who would score highly on the extrovert/ feeling/ intuitive indicators of the Myer/Briggs test – though I have not tested this. I just have a hunch about it in a feeling/ intuitive sort of way) are uncomfortably estranged by technology. They may resent that it doesn’t care what they think. It is inflexible and will not easily yield to new ways of doing things. It is passively aggressive and it refuses to discuss it. Yes, I think it’s called anthropomorphization. But there goes the stupid left brain compensating with labels for that which it cannot understand.
· Participatory media is different. It welcomes in the unpredictable and the creative. It is inspirational.
I would like to know if these findings relate directly to the learning style of the participator (or student). I suppose I could begin some extensive surveying, but priorities are being pressured by time. Perhaps for now it is enough to know that Web 2.0 engages a new cohort of learners who could not easily relate to predictable “old” technology?