Change culture. That’s what it’s all about. In her article, “Brazil: Kids Using Digital Media to Teach Each Other, Change Culture“, Raquel Recuero writes, “According to Ludemir, [a writer and producer,] the ‘small steps’ craze is an example of how youth can be protagonists in creating and changing culture.” The key catalyst: the Internet. These impoverished dancers in the city of Rio are changing their culture by creating it, and they’ve got the attention of the world because of YouTube. To take their Dance Dance Revolution to the next level, professionals such as Ludemire invest their expertise in this movement.
What if the originators of the ideas need to produce and promote their own work on the Internet? Brennan, et. al point out in their article, “Making projects, making friends“, that, “It is sometimes expected that because they have always been surrounded by interactive media, young people have inherent understandings and use these artifacts and technolo-gies effortlessly.” Wrong. We cannot with any accuracy make this assumption.
Scratch, created by the MIT Media Lab, is an example of how to instill digital natives with the tools they need to create their own interactive media. Programming is vastly useful skill, but few people who are not techies know languages such as C++, Java, or iOS. Scratch introduces learners to the logic and problem-solving of programming. Actual coding can be learned as the student grows older. The main point is that Scratch gives them a head start, gives them a taste, a foundation on which to drive future learning. Programming is difficult, intimidating work to non-technical individuals. Yet, the skill is nonetheless relevant to the modern era of creation.