Rafi Santo – Hacker Literacies: Why Youth Should Know How to Revise & Reconfigure Technology

August 06, 2012
10:00am - 11:00am PST
By Educator Innovator

In an age of participatory media, it’s important for youth to see how technology embodies values, and be able to tweak (or “hack”) this technology when it doesn’t align with their values.

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (20:56) Why “hacking”? In other words–given that there is such as intense battle to get digital learning to be a priority in our formal learning environments–why associate digital learning and digital literacy with what many might regard as a form of transgressive behavior?
  • (22:42) I really try to think about school as a participatory medium, and how would that look if it was wide open?
  • (31:43) To what extent do you see hacker literacies–and the extent to which we can help promote and reproduce them–as an opportunity to help young people develop this critical engagement in the world around them?
  • (34:27) Is the term “hacker” that important, or are the inherent skills the important aspect?
  • (38:54) Rafi, how do you position yourself in this space? Is your entry into this conversation/space primarily as a researcher or someone who is trying to help create spaces where young people can be put in positions to develop these kinds of hacker literacies?
  • (42:15) Maybe others in the Hangout can talk a bit about your position where you are, your organization, and to what extent your work either promotes, leverages or helps to position young people to develop these kinds of literacies?
  • (47:55) From Mozilla’s perspective, as an organization and a movement that is about promoting webmaking, how do you think about the balance between a kid needing to know a specific HTML tag and this broader understanding of technology’s malleability?
  • (52:49) What about the kid in Second Life (an example from 10:30)? What gave him permission to achieve or move beyond the existing system? And was it any one thing in particular? From whence did this empowerment arise, or was it embedded in the tool?
  • (55:33) People were really learning CSS and HTML on a pretty wide scale when Myspace was going and we don’t really have that anymore? But I definitely want to hear some other people’s perspectives on how do we widen the opportunity set?

View the Conversation
During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.

Guests for this webinar included:

  • Rafi Santo: Rafi Santo is a researcher, educator, and activist currently pursuing a doctorate in the Learning Sciences at Indiana University. He is interested in learning, technology, democracy and participatory culture. Rafi’s current work involves using ethnographic approaches to understand diffusion of learning innovations in the Digital Media & Learning field, promoting systems thinking through digital design, and creating coordinated linkages between formal and informal learning environments. You can Follow him on Twitter at @empathetics and on his blog at empathetics.org.
  • S. Craig Watkins
  • Andrew Schrock
  • Chad Sansing
  • Chris Lawrence
  • Doug Belshaw
  • Erin Knight

Resources for this webinar:

Photos/ Mario Tama/Getty Images

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