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Helping Digital Natives Not to Fall into Captivity

Posted Dec 20 2008 5:49pm
Empowering your students, is the right thing to do, was the title of a post we wrote last week in support of a group of 9th grade students in Georgia. They've stepped forward to keep working with media and also designing videos where they show what is Lively like. They have created a Facebook group that you can join to promote Keeping Lively Alive.

To understand better what these students are doing, we want you to read and article appeared today, written by Evgeny Mozorov of the Herald Tribune. The author refers to a recent three-year study by the MacArthur foundation. This study found that the Internet helps young people to become " competent citizens in the digital age", which in turn, techie junks are labeled as Digital Natives.

American and Western Europe experiences don't always work elsewhere. What's going on in other societies?, says the article.

Are they [Digital Natives] the "digital renegades," ready to leverage the power of social networking and text messaging to topple their undemocratic governments? Or are they "digital captives," whose political and social dissent has been significantly neutered by the Internet, turning them into happy consumers of Hollywood's digital marginalia?

The digital natives were expected to be in the avant guard of this movement; Facebook was supposed to make the Little Red Book irrelevant...To the dismay of most policymakers and technology enthusiasts, this has not happened...

Mozorov's post is about politics, but we can extrapolate it to what these students are doing at Digiteen Dream Team. They've mastered skills to be present in the internet, dissent and make activism a tool, so they are able to bring Google to its knees, fighting their Lively petition.

We are not so sure they can get Google to change their decision. The company may have good reasons to shut down Lively. What we are completely sure is, these teens are changing the way students can make themselves heard. Use of classroom technologies bring new dimensions to the administration of schools and teacher's ethics. Don't you think?

Again, if you are for educational reform and empowering students go over Livelyzens, to see what students can do with their Lively citizen project.

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