Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century by Henry Jenkins

     In the article “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” by Henry Jenkins, a new perspective is given about the new media generation. What Jenkins did was separate the pros and cons of having a generation that is dependent on not just social media, but computer and technical skills in general. There is a certain expression that today’s generation has that no other generation has had before. Jenkins calls this “participatory culture”; which can be described as, “a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices” (Jenkins, pg 3). Continuing with this definition, Jenkins states, “Also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created)” (page 3). What he is saying here is that there are formal and informal ways to having media education and living in an era where having a certain set of skills is not only required but recommended.

     Two of the pros to having media education and knowledge is, “diversification of cultural expression” and “the development of skills valued in the modern workplace” (Jenkins, page 3). Out of the list of pros that were mentioned, these two I found to be the most important. This generation is usually labeled as being self-centered and not cultured enough. However, with having a “diversification of cultural expression” allows young people to learn about other cultures without having the need to travel. There is freedom to learn about other cultures without barriers such as money to travel and learn. The second pro, having skills that is valued in the workplace, places this generation at an advantage to grow faster in the workplace than any other generation. Developing these skills allows new workers to be well-rounded in any field they work in. Even though these pros seem to be the more obvious advantages, one of the cons puts a set back on this new media education.

     “The Participation Gap”, is what Jenkins describes as, “the unequal access to the opportunities, experiences, skills, and knowledge that will prepare youth for full participation in the world of tomorrow” (pg 3). Sticking to Americans for now, not everyone in this country has access to new technology that allows them to have media education compared to students who go to a school with smartboards and computer labs. Those students, unfortunately, will not be hired or considered to be educated enough because of their lack of developed skills needed as I stated previously. However, those students can accomplish the same success, it will just take more work to each that point. “Fostering such social skills and cultural competencies requires a more systemic approach to media education in the United States” (Jenkins, pg 4).

     Along with new media education, Jenkins discusses “New Media Literacies”. He describes it as a combination of old and new literacy. “New media literacies include the traditional literacy that evolved with print culture as well as the newer forms of literacy within mass and digital media” (Jenkins, pg 19). This method will allow students to not completely disregard the advantages of using print culture to replace digital media. After reading this article, I came to the understanding that there needs to be a balance between having paper and print skills and having technical skills. This was an interesting article that gave a new light on how this generation takes media and applies it to every part of their life.

Writing in High School/ Writing in College

Writing in High School / Writing in College: Research Trends and Future Directions: Joanne Addison and Sharon James McGee Response

The opening of the article summarizes what the reader is going to be analyzing and reading. “This article synthesizes and extends data from some of the most prominent and promising large-scale research projects in writing studies while also presenting results from the authors’ own research. By juxtaposing these studies, the authors offer a complex understanding of writing practices at the high school and college level. Future directions are suggested in light of these research findings” (147). What truly drew me to this article was how thorough it was. I was able to view the research and data closely and come to my own conclusions about the importance of college and high school writing. The article started out by talking about the main points of the research, which were identifying large-scale research data about writing studies of students and faculty in high school and college and moving in a different direction when it comes to literacy studies amongst high school and college students.

There were many points made throughout the article that I agreed with. The first one was how important the study of writing has become. “Now more than ever, there is an urgency to demonstrate the value of writing across the curriculum at local and national levels” (148). Writing is now considered a subject to be just as important as psychology or even religious studies. Without studying writing the most effective way, students who move from high school to college and then post-college will have fewer chances at succeeding the best way that they can. My reason for saying this is because they would have had the disadvantage of not learning writing compared to a school whose students and faculty were excelling. However, this could cause a hindrance in the new learning process. On the same page, the article discussed how school districts were starting to overwhelm students with more loads and larger class sizes. “The current fiscal crisis facing school districts and universities across the United States is leading to increased class sizes, increased teaching loads, and even the elimination of core requirements as we all scramble to balance budgets that are not expected to improve in the near future” (148). The reason why this is important is that it would be difficult to have a better future for students as they become writers if the system is dangerously flawed. Without room for improvement, the expectancy for great writers will be diminished.

From my high school academic experience, writing research papers were considered to be important and also a subject that could make or break my writing career in college. However, I do not believe I was taught how to form a good research paper. My reason for saying this is because my freshman writing professor gave me constructive criticism concerning my writing. Going into the class, I thought my writing was good since I received good grades in high school English. Even the article stated that from their research that students think more highly of their writing skills than their teachers or professors. In order to change this, I believe deep learning is what the curriculum needs to incorporate in order to reteach the writing and research process at a high school and college level. The article does make a valid point by saying, “While student may never need to write an ‘academic’ research paper in the workplace, many faculty members see the experience of doing so as benefiting students immensely when it allows for the opportunity to entertain an idea, follow its intellectual trajectory, and engage in its debate” (165).  I believe we need to start a new trend by taking writing research papers more seriously even though most students will not conduct a paper in their work field. It does give future workers a foundation from their educational experience in order to grow past the collegiate level.   


Addison and Sharon James McGee
College Composition and Communication
Vol. 62, No. 1, The Future of Rhetoric and Composition (September 2010), pp. 147-179

Limited Spaces and Research Identity

Kaveena Bullock

Dr. Nelson

English 5002

5 February 2018

“Limited Spaces and Research Identity” by: Purdy and Walker Response

This article discussed the various methods and ways students can go about developing research skills. What the article suggests is that students learn new habits when it comes to research. The new generation has developed a different way of research because of online research and technology. Since there is no way of turning back, this article suggests a new way for students to research without losing credible sources. The internet and online websites can be a distraction when it comes to finding plausible articles and websites to use for a student’s paper. The article mostly talks about students who are at a university level. They are the students who have been geared towards the wrong direction when it comes to researching a topic online the most effective way.

I agree with what the article when it said, “Students need to be able to make their own investigations into these practices and to understand the complexities and contradictions in the ways that academic research practices create knowledge” (Purdy and Walker, 34). Along with learning a new skill when it comes to doing research, it is also important that the student keeps their own mindset and understanding of their research. Teachers and professors want students to reconstruct what their idea of research is. However, at the same time, they want the student to keep their individual ideas about their research. What they could do is use that and combine it with skills such as brainstorming and topic decisions, which are terms and ideas that the article suggested.

I have always struggled when it came to doing research at the university level. Even when it was something that I enjoyed. The problem is that the internet has so much information that typing a few words can become overwhelming. What this article has taught me is that it is better to brainstorm and write ideas down fully before doing research. By doing this, I can have a better knowledge of the topic I am researching resulting in better results when it comes to writing my paper. At the same time, I can do this method without losing my individual mindset as a student. It is better that we have different research from students, instead of having different students do the same type of research. The reason I say that this is because we would have a better variety of knowledge and practices when it comes to academic research at a university level.

Welcome to this piece of cloud

Hi human, nice to meet you here. I want to say congratulations to you for discovering this area. Have you ever seen red clouds? There are plenty of them in the sky at dusk — although they exist just for a moment. Do you know the tale of the clouds? It is widely acknowledged that grey clouds contain rain, snow or lightenings, but I doubt you know that colorful clouds contain all kinds of dreams, including those of animals.

Red Cloud is a place where I share my daily life with creative writing and cosmetics. Before looking into my dreams, I guess you would like to know a little about me. I’m a Sophomore student in China. My major is English. I like watching movies, reading novels, hiking, writing, and singing. You will gradually know about my personalities and style as you read more in Red Cloud.

Enjoy your journey now.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. —— Leonardo da Vinci