Editor's note: Global Kids each month points us to their current favorite resources. Please take a moment and share some of yours, too, in the comments section. Also, we always value knowing what the knowledge-hungry leaders at GK are reading, watching and listening to, but in the spirit of full disclosure want to acknowledge (and appreciate) that two items in this month's list involve our research director, Mimi Ito, and our supporter, the MacArthur Foundation. Topping this month's list: "Are Virtual Worlds Over?" a provocative blog post by digital games guru Raph Koster, who provides a mostly pessimistic but insightful piece about the future of virtual worlds.
Often the emphasis in Digital Media and Learning is on K-12 education, and so social computing practices in higher education frequently receive less attention from researchers. A recently released five-year Mellon Foundation study on "Assessing the Future Landscape of Scholarly Communication," analyzed data from 160 interviewees in seven academic fields (and included data from an additional five disciplines from the research planning phase). The work spanned 45, mostly elite, research institutions, and ultimately concluded that not much has changed in faculty attitudes about where, and in what media, they publish scholarly articles and books, despite the perceptions of other instructional technologists that there have been radical transformations in digital reading and writing practices in the general population.
I recently had occasion to talk on the phone with someone whose posts on education and social media I follow with interest on Twitter. ToughLoveforX (his Twitter name) is a retired printer whose scan of the educational horizon in the digital age is as eagle-eyed as that of anyone I know. I follow him on Twitter because I know that, if I click through to one of the url’s he posts, I’m bound to find something good. When I asked him what he would do, if he could make one monumental change that would have an impact on the worlds of learning and social media, he said, “Scale John Seely Brown.” Perfectly to the point of my question. Perfectly Twitter. You cut right to the chase when you think in 140 characters or less. Scaling John Seely Brown is an awfully good idea.