influence of media on education

I had no idea that the Harry Potter presence online was so huge and, furthermore, not just a presence revolving around the fetishizing or worship of the series’ characters. It amazes me how such young individuals are utilizing the internet – a phenomenon that didn’t even really occur when we were 13, 14, 15 years old. Heatehr Lawver was only thirteen when she launched The Daily Prophet  on the Web – I hardly remember using the internet at all when I was this age. That fan fiction has caused the active engagement of not just adult readers, but kid  readers is remarkable.  

Jenkins mentions an online user, by the name of Flourish, who published her first online novel at the age of fourteen, a somewhat amazing feat, to say the least. Interestingly too, most people assumed she was a college student. This indicates several things: the capacity for anyone with computer access to publish something; the potential for kids  to share their material and not have it immediately criticized because, after all, they are kids; and the idea that, on the internet, it is relatively easy to mask one’s identity (whether it be intentional or unintentional) – no one knows you’re a dog. I like the idea that Flourish was able to fool readers into thinking she was someone who had undergone higher levels of academia – indicative of her writing prowess as developed by her interest and engagement in fan fiction. The beta-reader service, for example, has helped people “refine the overall quality” of their writing, Jenkins asserts. That kids are able to attain this publishing experience at such a young age is great. Additionally, the promotion of creative writing should be welcomed, especially considering the fact that students are so often pigeon-holed into writing critically, analytically and about things that may not actually stimulate them or incite ideas.  

It is refreshing to think that “these teens are finding something online that schools are not providing them” – and perhaps something that schools cannot  provide them. Jenkins claims, and I think he brings up an excellent point, “We often act as if schools had a monopoly on teaching, yet smart kids have long known not to let schooling get in the way of their education.”

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