I was reminded yesterday that I hadn’t blogged this blog in some time. 🙂 I am professionally scattered, which I love. I’ve been blogging more over at digitalparent.blogspot.com and recently creating content at ikidtools.ning.com. We’re back to producing our kids’ shows, this time on Internet lifebuilding, and are editing our first show.
Life is busy, as I’m shifting gears. I’ve been spending much of the past 3 years teaching, consulting, and speaking on digital media business model transformations. I have been shifting over to the educational realm of this space, first questioning the space around digital media for kids in the public arena through my work with Studio 4 Networks and Maremel Media, and then trying to get to be part of the discussion going around with children and the Internet and games in the home. There are lots of embedded parties there who are very East Coast biased who want to work with major names, organizations, programmers — and aren’t interested in independent voices. It is a world swirling with public policy concerns and public funding (or lack of funding) mandates.
I just returned from the Innovative Learning Conference 2008 in San Jose. It was an eye opener to me. It was also fascinating that many of the voices from the public policy sector were missing (except CA teaching and government agencies)! No public television, no family organizations. Instead, it was the voices of the teachers in the trenches, the early adopters who were being marketing pushed by gear and service vendors to adopt their systems. But there was a significant public creation movement afoot. Open Source, not just of hardware and software, but also of educational materials and thinking. Links to hundreds of websites were shared, much of the content free and much teacher or class created. It also was a world of both early adopters and the next batch of teachers, a little more wary and trying to fit this into the world of measurement, limited time, and NCLB.
Maremel is shifting gears into this space. We’re trying to figure out where to work. We are in fascinating conversations with companies, local districts, teachers, teaching experiments, and experts. We’re fascinated by this abundance of effort and as one of our mentors frames it, the rhizome theory of growth…little roots going out and sprouting other efforts.
We’ll be sharing here and at other blogs discussions about the next generation of technology for kids — learning, growth, teaching each other, wrangling with “media” versus creation, business models that thrive or struggle in this connected learning ecosystem. We’re fascinated and hope to grow the dialog around this space.
Holler back with questions, thoughts, ideas, and ideals.