Education in the networked publics era

In questi giorni sono al convegno/seminario di confronto “New Media Art Education & Research: Always Already New” che ha come sottotitolo esplicativo Thinking Media, Subversing Feeling, Scaffolding Knowledge: Art and Education in the Praxis of Transformation.

E’ una bella occasione per discutere in un ambiente molto prossimo (art&tech) e spesso distante. Questione di linguaggi, di paradigmi o, forse, di una sottile disattenzione da parte di questo universo per la mutazione in atto. Spesso leggo paper che risentono un po’ troppo dell’eredità mcluhanniana, portano con sé un’idea di ambiente mediale che risulta limitata per capire quello che oggi avviene in termini di produzione/diffusione della conoscenza e della forma diffusa dell’arte (come scrive Laura).

Il mio intervento cercherà di delineare il framework che caratterizza la relazione education /media environment.

Ve lo lascio qui.

Education in the Networked Publics Era. Spreadable Knowledge from Virtual Classroom to Amateur Online Practices.

Giovanni Boccia Artieri (

Dept. of Communication Sciences, University of Urbino Carlo Bo

From a sociological and mediological point of view we must force an important challenge that deals with the Net and the introduction of new possibilities for the communication and for the “mass personal” connection (blogs, social networks, etc.). In other words we are nowadays the witnesses of a dramatic mutation.

It’s a qualitative and quantitative change. Individuals feel they’re not anymore the object (as audience, users,  citizens, consumers, etc.) of a conversation, but they could be the subject of it (Boccia Artieri 2009). Both individuals and organizations could also communicate in a simple and personalized way with a very wide networked audience. This is a fundamental step to change the general audience/consumers/citizens into “networked publics” (Kazys 2008).

A few things change: 1. the sense of position in communication – the perception that we have as individuals of our communicative role in the society and 2. the ways we listen or watch and elaborate what’s happening.

We’re facing an accumulation of occasions in which individuals “play” with some self-representation forms and construct a “media attitude” (become media) thanks to a) the spread of reproduction and production technologies in daily life, from digital photocameras to editing softwares, allowing people to give life to media forms similar to the ones found in mainstream media, b) the growth of systems for disintermediation and contents sharing, from the web platforms to the social networking systems, and c) the acknowledgement of logics for the construction of contents and languages similar to mass media ones, but used in an environment where each individual is connected to each other.

This is what blogs and social networks are teaching us.

The reality of the web 2.0 represents a networked space where the reality of the “networked publics” can be produced and observed. In the social networks sites, inside the conversational reality of blogs, besides the video of everyday life posted on YouTube, we may observe ourselves while we’re constructing and sharing knowledge in a different way. The experience is networked trough the friendship languages of Facebook or trough the references system of the blogosphere: the reflexivity and the networked practices come into resonance in the reality of the world wide web. Here even the forms of hetero-representation generated by media products – movie, tv fiction, anime, etc. – become an opportunity for the self representation providing us the tools and the raw material for the production of new meaning in the UGC form: remix, mash up, etc.

These networked practices (re-production, sharing, conversations) trigger the mechanisms of the reflexivity that link an individual to a collective reality and produce new forms of learning.

In these context the learning environment has changed through a paradigm shift: from a culture of ownership and originality to a culture of sharing; from a knowledge economy that favors the building of stocks of knowledge to the need to continually update our inventory by participating in relevant “flows” of knowledge i.e. interactions that create knowledge or transfer it across individuals (Hagel, Brown and Davidson ); from top-down and informational forms of education to conversational and reciprocal ones.

We are facing a participatory culture (Jenkins 2008), including opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception of citizenship.

This paper will introduce some  example of the new educational environment were live networked publics:

– virtual classroom: from Facebook group to social learning network (e.g. edmodo) to Second Life experiences (e.g. UnAcademy, Unconventional Academy of Digital Culture);

– spreadable education: projects that combine WYSIWYD ,open-source and widespread creativity,  building collaborative learning environments (e.g. the ‘pedagogical suitcase’ designed to ‘react’ to various environmental stimuli and to establish different types of interaction which can be used to produce artwork, performance, and research on urban and social transformation).

“Changes in the media environment are altering our understanding of literacy and requiring new habits of mind, new ways of processing culture and interacting with the world around us.”

3 pensieri riguardo “Education in the networked publics era

  1. Tra l’altro è interessante, per chi come me ha fatto studi artistici prima di questo passaggio, riflettere su queste relazioni proprio perché riguardano quella soglia su cui proprio l’arte si mette: individuo (vita soggettiva) e comunicazione. Lì arte, educazione, tecnologie aprono spiragli importanti. Che ai miei tempi erano del tutto sconosciuti nella teoria, of course :-), e nella pratica, ahimè.


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