I love the quote from the Brennen article “Being a creator of interactive media enables broader understandings of how these artifacts are created and function, understandings required for full participation in and negotiation of a technologically saturated society.” I wholeheartedly agree with Brennen when she talks about our assumptions that students today come to us with an inherent understanding of technology use. What I see over and over again is that this is just not true, depending on the access and opportunity each student has, their familiarity can be vastly different.
What I’ve learned from all three texts is that all students need is the encouragement to seek out communities all their own. To find the help, support and inspiration they need online. Like Zywica stated in her article, learning networks can be used in various ways. From supplements to existing courses to encouraging participation in discussion groups, they can be both an enhancement to the real-world classroom and a place to exchange information with peers.
When I was growing up I found myself choosing the same hobbies as the kids in my neighborhood because that is where my support system was. If I needed to learn how to do something or to see if what I was doing was correct, I had to find an actual person that knew the answer. Now students need only turn to the internet, and while a glimpse will show you just how big the world is, it can also provide the close community you need. The great thing is that students are now able to anything and get help with just about anything, because there is someone else in the world that has the same hobbies as they do. This in turn can encourage them to experiment with creation because maybe their hobby doesn’t seem so “weird” and they know they’ll have an audience ready to accept them.