Why Teens Don’t And Won’t Tweet

Teens' lives are entirely built around their actual friends. Quite simply, why would teenagers bother using Twitter when Facebook exists, and offers so much more? Teens want a platform that allows easy, fully-functional communication to an exclusive social circle. That is, solely to their friends and peers. Twitter is a platform built for inclusive broadcast (to everyone), and to teenagers it offers no obvious value.

Source: here

Book Review: You Are Not a Gadget – WSJ.com

But what Mr. Lanier is missing is the sheer fun of a lot of social-media interaction and the way it has brought non-geeks into the computer world. As I look at the social Web that he finds sterile and overly corporatized, I see Tea Party activists, "caveman diet" enthusiasts and model-rocketry devotees—among countless others—coming together and finding ways to collaborate, organize and socialize as never before. I see individuals and small groups acquiring creative power and the sort of organizational reach that only large companies or governments once had. Ordinary Americans are experiencing the same kind of buzz and excitement that used to be known only to the "digerati" elite in the halcyon days of the early 1990s.

Source: here

Jaron Lanier on the Internet: World Wide Mush

Youthful fascination with collectivism is in part simply a way to address perceived "unfairness." If everyone shares, then a young person arriving on the scene fresh will not have less than an older person who has been around for a while.

This is all harmless enough, but the pattern can be manipulated in dangerous ways. I don't want our young people aggregated, even by a benevolent social-networking site. I want them to develop as fierce individuals, and to earn their living doing exactly that. When they work together, I hope they'll do so in competitive, genuinely distinct teams so that they can get honest feedback and create big-time innovations that earn royalties, instead of spending all their time on crowd-pleasing gambits to seek kudos. This is not just so that they and their children will thrive, but so that they won't become a mob, which, as history has shown us again and again, is a vulnerability of human nature.

Source: here

Digital Open Winners: Australian Teen Crafts "Sneaky" Games – Boing Boing

Today, meet 16 year old Harry Lee of Melbourne Australia. He talks with us about his "Sneaky Card" game concept, which explores social interactions between people. He was inspired by ARG and indie projects like "Bite Me," by Gamelab, and Jane McGonigal's Top Secret Dance-Off, both of which we've covered previously on Boing Boing.

"I love index cards," says Harry, "And I was thinking — hmm, how can I incorporate them into a project?" So he designed and printed these game cards, and "spread the seeds of sneakiness and espionage" into the unsuspecting pockets, math books, binders and bags and jackets of his schoolmates.

Source: here

Digital Open Winners: Australian Teen Crafts “Sneaky” Games – Boing Boing

Today, meet 16 year old Harry Lee of Melbourne Australia. He talks with us about his "Sneaky Card" game concept, which explores social interactions between people. He was inspired by ARG and indie projects like "Bite Me," by Gamelab, and Jane McGonigal's Top Secret Dance-Off, both of which we've covered previously on Boing Boing.

"I love index cards," says Harry, "And I was thinking — hmm, how can I incorporate them into a project?" So he designed and printed these game cards, and "spread the seeds of sneakiness and espionage" into the unsuspecting pockets, math books, binders and bags and jackets of his schoolmates.

Source: here

New literacies

Interesting article @ Wired.  [Thanks Stephen for the pointer].

“Of course, good teaching is always going to be crucial, as is the mastering of formal academic prose. But it’s also becoming clear that online media are pushing literacy into cool directions. The brevity of texting and status updating teaches young people to deploy haiku-like concision. At the same time, the proliferation of new forms of online pop-cultural exegesis—from sprawling TV-show recaps to 15,000-word videogame walkthroughs—has given them a chance to write enormously long and complex pieces of prose, often while working collaboratively with others.

We think of writing as either good or bad. What today’s young people know is that knowing who you’re writing for and why you’re writing might be the most crucial factor of all.”

Explaining that this type of writing is valuable is the hard part.

Arthur Marshall and Peer-to-Peer Training

Arthur Marshall was an astonishing man. At lunch today, I was told about his novel approach to training pilots, and I wonder what sort of place it might have in a classroom.

“Marshall started giving flying lessons after completing only 70 hours himself, and he was made a master instructor by the Guild of Air Pilots in 1931. From his experience he became convinced that selected ab initio pupils would make the best flying instructors, in contrast to the accepted RAF practice that only the more experienced pilots could perform this role. Operating on this principle, Marshall’s flying training methods resulted in the company’s elementary flying training schools being the most productive in the country. His scheme was eventually adopted across the RAF, for which the Marshall flying schools trained more than 20,000 pilots and instructors during the Second World War.”

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Could that sort of approach work in the classroom? For instance, a lesson a week where a child from the year above teaches a child from the year below? Maybe have other kids as homework mentors? Tricky, I suppose, for practical reasons but there’s some real potential for modelling it digitally via the web 2.0 gamut …