Peer Participation and Software

Author: David R. Booth
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262266563
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Firefox, a free Web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation, is used by an estimated 270 million people worldwide. To maintain and improve the Firefox browser, Mozilla depends not only on its team of professional programmers and managers but also on a network of volunteer technologists and enthusiasts--free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) developers--who contribute their expertise. This kind of peer production is unique, not only for its vast scale but also for its combination of structured, hierarchical management with open, collaborative volunteer participation. In this MacArthur Foundation Report, David Booth examines the Mozilla Foundation's success at organizing large-scale participation in the development of its software and considers whether Mozilla's approach can be transferred to government and civil society. Booth finds parallels between Mozilla's collaboration with Firefox users and the Obama administration's philosophy of participatory governance (which itself amplifies the much older Jeffersonian ideal of democratic participation). Mozilla's success at engendering part-time, volunteer participation that produces real marketplace innovation suggests strategies for organizing civic participation in communities and government. Mozilla's model could not only show us how to encourage the technical community to participate in civic life but also teach us something about how to create successful political democracy.

Peer Production and Software

Author: David Booth
Publisher: Mit Press
ISBN: 9780262514613
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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An examination of Mozilla's unique approach to software development considers how this model of participation might be applied to political and civic engagement. Firefox, a free Web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation, is used by an estimated 270 million people worldwide. To maintain and improve the Firefox browser, Mozilla depends not only on its team of professional programmers and managers but also on a network of volunteer technologists and enthusiasts--free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) developers--who contribute their expertise. This kind of peer production is unique, not only for its vast scale but also for its combination of structured, hierarchical management with open, collaborative volunteer participation. In this MacArthur Foundation Report, David Booth examines the Mozilla Foundation's success at organizing large-scale participation in the development of its software and considers whether Mozilla's approach can be transferred to government and civil society. Booth finds parallels between Mozilla's collaboration with Firefox users and the Obama administration's philosophy of participatory governance (which itself amplifies the much older Jeffersonian ideal of democratic participation). Mozilla's success at engendering part-time, volunteer participation that produces real marketplace innovation suggests strategies for organizing civic participation in communities and government. Mozilla's model could not only show us how to encourage the technical community to participate in civic life but also teach us something about how to create successful political democracy.

The Future of the Curriculum

Author: Ben Williamson (Educator)
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262518821
Format: PDF, Docs
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An examination of curriculum innovations that are shaped by new ideas about digital media and learning. Although ideas about digital media and learning have become an important area for educational research, little attention has been given to the practical and conceptual implications for the school curriculum. In this book, Ben Williamson examines a series of contemporary curriculum innovations in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia that reflect the social and technological changes of the digital age. Arguing that the curriculum is always both forward- and rearward-looking, Williamson considers how each of these innovations represents a certain way of understanding the past while also promoting a particular vision of the future. The curriculum initiatives are all examples of what Williamson calls "centrifugal schooling," expressing a vision of education and learning that is decentered, distributed, and dispersed, emphasizing networks and connections. In centrifugal schooling, a curriculum is actively assembled and improvised from a heterogeneous mix of people, groups, coalitions, and institutional structures. Participants in curriculum design and planning include local governments, corporations, foundations, charities, and nongovernmental organizations. Among the curriculum innovations Williamson examines are High Tech High, a charter school network in San Diego that integrates technical and academic education; Opening Minds, a "competence-based" curriculum used in 200 British secondary schools; and Quest to Learn, a "school for digital kids" in New York City (with a sister school in Chicago). He also describes two major partnerships: the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, which advocates for "21st century readiness" for American students; and the Whole Education Alliance in Britain, a network of "third sector" educational organizations.

We Used to Wait

Author: Rebecca Kinskey
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262526921
Format: PDF
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Music videos were once something broadcast by MTV and received on our TV screens. Today, music videos are searched for, downloaded, and viewed on our computer screens -- or produced in our living rooms and uploaded to social media. In We Used to Wait, Rebecca Kinskey examines this shift. She investigates music video as a form, originally a product created by professionals to be consumed by nonprofessionals; as a practice, increasingly taken up by amateurs; and as a literacy, to be experimented with and mastered. Kinskey offers a short history of the music video as a communicative, cultural form, describing the rise and fall of MTV's Total Request Live and the music video's resurgence on YouTube. She examines recent shifts in viewing and production practice, tracing the trajectory of music video director Hiro Murai from film student and dedicated amateur in the 1990s to music video professional in the 2000s. Investigating music video as a literacy, she looks at OMG! Cameras Everywhere, a nonprofit filmmaking summer camp run by a group of young music video directors. The OMG! campers and counselors provide a case study in how cultural producers across several generations have blurred the line between professional and amateur. Their everyday practices remake the notion of literacy, not only by their collaborative and often informal efforts to impart and achieve literacy but also by expanding the definition of what is considered a valuable activity, worthy of dedicated, pleasurable pursuit.

Quest to Learn

Author: Katie Salen Tekinbaş
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262515652
Format: PDF, Docs
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The design for Quest to Learn, an innovative school in New York City that offers a "game-like" approach to learning. Quest to Learn, an innovative school for grades 6 to 12 in New York City, grew out of the idea that gaming and game design offer a promising new paradigm for curriculum and learning. The designers of Quest to Learn developed an approach to learning that draws from what games do best: drop kids into inquiry-based, complex problem spaces that are built to help players understand how they are doing, what they need to work on, and where to go next. Content is not treated as dry information but as a living resource; students are encouraged to interact with the larger world in ways that feel relevant, exciting, and empowering. Quest to Learn opened in the fall of 2009 with 76 sixth graders. In their first semester, these students learned--among other things--to convert fractions into decimals in order to break a piece of code found in a library book; to use atlases and read maps to create a location guide for a reality television series; and to create video tutorials for a hapless group of fictional inventors. This research and development document outlines the learning framework for the school, making the original design available to others in the field. Elements in development include a detailed curriculum map, a budget, and samples of student and teacher handbooks.

What Counts as Learning

Author: Sheryl Grant
Publisher: BookBaby
ISBN: 0988725533
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This report is an early response to designing badge systems grounded in actual practice. It provides a building block for anyone interested in designing open digital badge systems, and also for educators, policymakers, technologists, humanists, scholars, and administrators who have a stake in how badge systems might impact learning, assessment, and opportunities for lifelong learners.

Digital Youth with Disabilities

Author: Meryl Alper
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262527154
Format: PDF
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Most research on media use by young people with disabilities focuses on the therapeutic and rehabilitative uses of technology; less attention has been paid to their day-to-day encounters with media and technology -- the mundane, sometimes pleasurable and sometimes frustrating experiences of "hanging out, messing around, and geeking out." In this report, Meryl Alper attempts to repair this omission, examining how school-aged children with disabilities use media for social and recreational purposes, with a focus on media use at home. In doing so, she reframes common assumptions about the relationship between young people with disabilities and technology, and she points to areas for further study into the role of new media in the lives of these young people, their parents, and their caregivers.Alper considers the notion of "screen time" and its inapplicability in certain cases -- when, for example, an iPad is a child's primary mode of communication. She looks at how young people with various disabilities use media to socialize with caregivers, siblings, and friends, looking more closely at the stereotype of the socially isolated young person with disabilities. And she examines issues encountered by parents in selecting, purchasing, and managing media for youth with such specific disabilities as ADHD and autism. She considers not only children's individual preferences and needs but also external factors, including the limits of existing platforms, content, and age standards.

Stealth Assessment

Author: Valerie Jean Shute
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262518813
Format: PDF, Mobi
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An approach to performance-based assessments that embeds assessments in digital games in order to measure how students are progressing toward targeted goals. To succeed in today's interconnected and complex world, workers need to be able to think systemically, creatively, and critically. Equipping K-16 students with these twenty-first-century competencies requires new thinking not only about what should be taught in school but also about how to develop valid assessments to measure and support these competencies. In Stealth Assessment, Valerie Shute and Matthew Ventura investigate an approach that embeds performance-based assessments in digital games. They argue that using well-designed games as vehicles to assess and support learning will help combat students' growing disengagement from school, provide dynamic and ongoing measures of learning processes and outcomes, and offer students opportunities to apply such complex competencies as creativity, problem solving, persistence, and collaboration. Embedding assessments within games provides a way to monitor players' progress toward targeted competencies and to use that information to support learning. Shute and Ventura discuss problems with such traditional assessment methods as multiple-choice questions, review evidence relating to digital games and learning, and illustrate the stealth-assessment approach with a set of assessments they are developing and embedding in the digital game Newton's Playground. These stealth assessments are intended to measure levels of creativity, persistence, and conceptual understanding of Newtonian physics during game play. Finally, they consider future research directions related to stealth assessment in education.

Kids and Credibility

Author: Andrew J. Flanagin
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262514753
Format: PDF, ePub
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Findings from a survey of youthful Internet users that was designed to assess kids' beliefs about the credibility of online information. How well do children navigate the ocean of information that is available online? The enormous variety of Web-based resources represents both opportunities and challenges for Internet-savvy kids, offering extraordinary potential for learning and social connection but little guidance on assessing the reliability of online information. This book reports on the first large-scale survey to examine children's online information-seeking strategies and their beliefs about the credibility of that information. This Web-based survey of 2,747 children, ages 11 to 18 (and their parents), confirms children's heavy reliance on the Internet. They are concerned about the credibility of online information, but 89 percent believe that "some" to "a lot" of it is believable; and, choosing among several options, they rate the Internet as the most believable information source for entertainment, commercial products, and schoolwork (more credible than books for papers or projects). Most have more faith information found on Wikipedia more than they say others should; and they consider an article on the Web site of Encyclopedia Britannica more believable than the identical article found on Wikipedia. Other findings show that children are appropriately skeptical of trusting strangers they meet online, but not skeptical enough about entertainment and health information found online. Older kids are more rigorous in their assessment of online information than younger ones; younger children are less analytical and more likely to be fooled.