Reading Response Week 3

DIY Media and Digital Learning



When I began reading Lankshear and Knobel’s chapter on DIY media I was stuck on the do-it-yourself concept. Thankfully, it was all spelled out a few pages into the chapter after the purpose of this book was explained. This book was created with the goal of getting educators and caregivers immersed in media development and subsequent communities, in order to benefit their students. But, I was confused about why to include DIY. Wasn’t any creative endeavor on the internet DIY? Aren’t we all doing what we want to do online? What I had taken for granted was that people had created platforms so that we are able to do what we want to do. Of course, I can use film editing software and upload my video to a platform and share it with the world. How quickly I have forgotten that there was a time only special people with special skills were able to do this. But now anybody who has the desire can learn how to create and share media online. The DIY concept stems from ordinary people, like me, being able to learn and create what used to be too technical for me to understand.

I loved learning about the history of DIY in this chapter. I love the rebellious aspect of not having to be beholden to those in power in order to make and create. The authors celebrate the punk rock aspects of expressing yourself online with writing, music, video, etc., which doesn’t have to be a part of a larger societal system, yet can be shared with like-minded people. There is even a sense of this rebellious nature in Robin DeRosa’s blog post,  My Open Textbook: Pedagogy and Practice. As she discusses the logistics and pedagogy around creating her own textbooks with student participation she is expressing a revolutionary and dissident intention. DeRosa is rebelling against the high price of manufactured textbooks and the stagnant ideas that come with them. What is it about teachers that tend promote this dissent?

DeRosa brought up articles concerning the claim that reading digitally causes students less retention of information along with other negative reasons not to use online texts. I had actually read the articles she had linked and disagreed. But, then again, I read everything online. I suspect this will be an ongoing debate for a long time, which also hasn’t taken into account online annotation that DeRosa, and Remi Holden, in his blog post, Annotation in the Open: Part 2, tout as a game changer. The benefits of using annotation tools, like, as both DeRosa and Holden explain, have a variety of benefits including retention and community building. For my scholarship inquiry, I wanted to know what the latest on the debate was. After looking for some scholarly research I found this 2016 study, which was also mentioned in this Huffington Post article, How Reading this May Alter Your Thinking. This study claimed that reading digitally leads learners to grasp concrete details better than when reading on paper and abstract ideas are grasped better on paper format. The caveat is when digital learners are prepped from abstract learning they score the same. Once again, there are so many gaps in these arguments. In regard to both DeRosa and Holdens’ blog post, using online annotation may change the results of both abstract and concrete learning when used in collaboration.

On a final note, there were a few other things I enjoyed about this chapter I wanted to mention. The new terminology of a “produser”. “He (Axel Bruns) explains how conventional distinctions between produc-ers and consumers no longer hold within an online, networked economy and argues instead for recognizing a new hybrid:  the produser.” (p 10) Which is exactly what we are doing in this class. And, the concepts of “push and pull” in education. Push meaning that content is anticipated and then pushed out to students and the pull model being that material is created in a participatory environment which is shared and used with interest. Here’s to pulling for education!

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