“Grounded Theory: A Critical Research Methodology” by Joyce Magnotto Neff was the first article of the two that I read in preparation of this response. We went over grounded theory in class briefly, and touched on what it meant to do that kind of research, but there was still so much up in the air about it in general. I feel like I have learned a lot about grounded theory from this article, but in no way was it enjoyable to read. However, as I began, I found it interesting that right in the beginning is where it is mentioned that research studies conducted during the 60s-80s fails to follow up with explanation in terms of the results that come from the data and the rhetorical decisions that went into the methodology. These are important things to think of, and always brings my mind back to a sentiment that my colleague, Katherine, is always alluding to: “How did they get to this?” and why researched didn’t do one thing over another.
I believe it is worthwhile to not only critique what’s happening now, but incite and suggest ideas for change, which is something that is not always present or encouraged. Candace Spigelman, as pointed out int he article, made not of this. Should this just be a given or a standard when it comes to this type of research? Moving along, I felt a little lost with certain theories and concepts presented in this work, especially when it came around to talking about the coding of data etc. (it was a lot to take in). However, I appreciated the “how to” feel of the article despite how overwhelming it was. Grounded theory, as I have learned from this article, is very much summed up as open ended or never ceasing because there is always something to go off of to get to the next thing.
In regards to the second reading, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” by Henry Jenkins, I felt myself drawn to the three problems that are alluded to as the article opens up. Before I get to those problems mentioned, though, I immediately went into the articles with questions as I began to read. I thought to myself if the article mentions or touches on the difficulties when it comes to those individuals who feel a little left out of the culture? This doesn’t necessarily have to be everyone 50 and over because there are student my age who have a hard time with technology (which made me think of the gap issue that is mentioned later as one of the problems). I like how my questions were answered.
I appreciated how Jenkins does not leave the role of teaching these new digital literacies completely to he parents or the school, but rather suggests that it should be distributed (I agree). Most of what a child knows starts at home, so why would this be an exception? Right? I also liked how to article pointed out the limitations when it came to the traditional school setting, and what can happen when students are reaching for more and the education system is sorely lacking in providing it. For as long as I can remember, some of the most powerful work in the world happened outside of the school walls and directly fought against the system. What does that say? It is all of our teacher’s faults, and neither is it the student’s fault.
Technology is at the forefront of almost everything that is done today, and that is evident from this article. What was definitely special was the point in the article where we are brought back to the discussion we hold in our classroom nonstop, and that is about creativity and how important it is in any instance that involves learning. This kind of unique expressions fosters individuals who not only think against the norm, but also challenge what they know to break barriers and discover more than they would have ever imaged. So, tell me why individuals are paying attention to this and trying to add it more to curriculums across the world? Oh right wait I forgot… we need to mass produce worker bees. In the article, it is mentioned that “it matters what tools are available to a culture”, but what is equally important and relevant to note is that it matters “what that culture chooses to do with those tools”. When the tools a system has handed out is now being used to fight that said system… there is probably an issue with the system and something needs to be done.
The participation gap is something that was taking about briefly in my professor’s other course “Digital Storytelling” and the lack of available resources someone has ABSOLUTELY plays a part in what is being seen in these cultures and communities. I don’t think enough attention is being paid to that. The ethical issue is definitely one to highlight, and in no way can I fit everything on this one blog, but with everything being much more open to the public one has to realize the challenges that poses for a group of participants who may not be trained properly for this sort of environment, and the instruction that usually comes from their elders is lost because the elders have no idea whats going on. Lastly, I am grateful for some of the practices that I have personally experienced in place that teach students about transparency online and the need to be more careful, but it is still a very relevant issue to bring up because it is not being enforced everywhere. This section in the article focuses heavily on this topic in relation to gaming, but some of the solutions given by others are a little fuzzy still. I look forward to researching more deeply about this and hopefully sparking more of a conversation outside of the classroom about this.
All in all, the two readings were definitely insightful and add much to responses needed to questions being asked for so long, but everything is a work in progress and all that can be done right now is to hope that conversations about these issues do not cease.