Recognizing the Gift:
New Media & Learning for the 21st Century
Dr. Gardner Campbell
How long will it take before we see the
gift for what it is—a single new medium
of representation, the digital medium,
formed by the braided interplay of
technical invention and cultural
expression at the end of the 20th
Janet Murray, “Inventing the Medium,”
The New Media Reader (MIT, 2003)
ON THE WAY:
1080p video playback
10 x today’s web surfing speed
20 megapixel camera
130 hours of audio playback
on a mobile device.
“Millicomputing,” Adrian Cockroft 5
Brian Arthur’s 3 Definitions
• A technology is “a means to fulfill a human
• A collection of technologies is also a
technology, a “body of technologies.”
• The “technium” (Kevin Kelly) is the ecology of
technologies in our world.
Sarah Groman | Staff Photographer
At Waco's Homestead Heritage, the residents are almost entirely self- sufficient. Here, a
local seamstress produces fresh yarn from real sheep's wool by hand.
My large argument
• Technology uses natural phenomena “for
• School is a technology that uses our brain’s
natural phenomenon of wanting-to-learn.
• The purpose of school is faster and better
– Faster means one can learn more in one lifetime
– Better means that one can learn more effectively
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Game released end of October, 2008.
One million levels by end of July, 2009.
Two million levels by end of February 2010.
Hofstadter: Generalization involves the ability to
internally reconfigure an idea, by
• moving internal boundaries back and forth;
• swapping components or shifting substructures
from one level to another;
• merging two substructures into one or breaking
one substructure into two;
• lengthening or shortening a given component;
• adding new components or new levels of
• replacing one concept by a closely related one;
• trying out the effect of reversals on various
conceptual levels; and so on.
“Roughly half the class continued
to work after the semester was
over, and roughly half of those
were seniors who had graduated. I
believe this is evidence of genuine
Dr. Steven Greenlaw, “Teaching as modeling
Modeling good practices
• Laptops are more than just electronic
• Wireless is more than access to FB
• The class hashtag and its subtle benefits
• The model of “conference tweets” applied to
stream during mini-lectures, discussion,
• Archives for further reflection
Toward Full Fluency
• Information Literacy
• Digital Fluency
• Meta-Medium Fluency
• A Personal Cyberinfrastructure
• Digital Citizenship
How do we get there?
• Heroic enthusiasm
• A strong network
• A continuum of innovation
• A renaissance of wonder
Marco Antonio Torres is a 10-year high school teacher, media coach, and
education technology director for San Fernando High School, one of the nation's
largest urban schools in Los Angeles. He is also a professional filmmaker and
photographer who uses these digital storytelling skills to add value to his
Two Kinds of Technology
“To have no technology is to be not-
human…. Technology is part of the
deeper order of things. But our
unconscious makes a distinction
between technology as enslaving our
nature versus technology as
extending our nature…. We should
not accept technology that deadens
A new way of knowing
“We do not speak of isolated clever tricks that
help in particular situations. We refer to a way
of life in an integrated domain where hunches,
cut-and-try, intangibles, and the human ‘feel for
a situation’ usefully co-exist with powerful
concepts, streamlined terminology and
notation, sophisticated methods, and high-
powered electronic aids.”
Douglas Engelbart, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A
Conceptual Framework,” 1962
If the doors of
would appear to man
as it is, infinite.
The task is the same now as it ever has
been, familiar, thrilling, unavoidable: we
work with all our myriad talents to
expand our media of expression to the
full measure of our humanity.
Janet Murray, “Inventing the Medium”
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