Participatory Culture as a Model for How New Media Technologies Can Change Public Schools

WCER Working Paper No. 2016-7

Rich Halverson, Julie Kallio, Sarah Hackett, and Erica Halverson

October 2016, 23 pp.

ABSTRACT: This paper describes how the idea of participatory culture can provide a robust model for how to think about the emerging practices of learning in digital media spaces in and out of schools. Although schools implement technologies intended to improve achievement, technologies in the wild aim to improve engagement. This gap between achievement and engagement means that schools often struggle to take advantage of the tools that are transforming learning in everyday life. The participatory culture framework helps to make sense of learning in and out of schools, and points toward viable paths to integrate the best of new media experience into contemporary school design.

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keywords: Learning technologies; new media; participatory cultures; accountability; data-driven decision-making