(read pictures from top right to bottom left)
In Mon Shiro High School, not many students do so well. Some exceeds in grades while others...not so much. Shinigawa, who got an 18, is one of them. Mimi Ito, in her book "HOMAGO", gives us four key concepts that are involved in today's learning environment. We will be discussing about the first three.
When students are not learning or when they are learning, they got nothing to do. Some louche around and snooze off while others find ways of having fun. Some may do things because others want them to, aka peer pressure.
Parents find peer pressure to be a bad thing. When parents think of peer pressure, they relate it to drugs, alcohol, and gangs. Parents do not want their children to get into fights and come home with serious injuries or in a body bag. Shinigawa's parent believe peer pressure is negative based on their son's past experience
However, peer pressure is not always bad. Through peer pressure, students participate more in activities related and non-related to learning. Many do not participate because they do not think they will have fun or might get the question wrong. Shinigawa has never participated in any activities; he is forced to work with another student on a school project.
When in social groups, however, participation is high. "By shifting focus away from the individual and to the broader network of social relationships...social groups become key sites of analytic interests" (Ito 14). If a student did not know anyone in his/her class, he/she will most likely not participate because they are afraid they will make a mistake and be made fun of.
In a classroom full of peers, the student will most likely participate because they know their friends will not mock him/her for making a mistake. On some occasions, however, mockery can encourage one to participate. Genre of participation is the first key concept in Mimi Ito's HOMAGO.
Networked public is the second concept. "Engagement with media is a constitutive part of how we learn to participate as culturally competent, social, and knowledgeable beings" (Ito 18).
Sites such as Yahoo! and Wikipedia provide answers for several problems given to students. Whether it be social problems or academic problems, homework, there is always an answer out there in the web. Forums are always the best way to go. There are topics for almost everything; if there is a topic about it, then there will be several people there to talk about it.
One of the most popular public network used by students is Facebook. Status update is sometime used to ask questions that will be open to others in their news feed. Sometime the question is a little personal so message and wall post is also an option. These group of students are trying to find Shinigawa's Facebook profile to help him with his studies.
One of the easiest and hardest thing to do is peer based learning. Not many students want to go out for help. They rather work alone and try to find the answer themselves. Asking for help is the first step which is what Shinigawa is doing.
Tutoring is available to everybody. There is always someone out there who knows everything you do not know, your friends especially. "A growing body of ethnographic work documents how learning happens in informal settings...rather than in an explicit instructional agenda" (Ito 21).
Students always learn from others; peers provide new knowledge everyday. Shinigawa is surrounded by friends who are there to help him in his time of need...whether he wants it or not.
When all three concepts are put into place, learning will be easier than it usually is. When others learn about the key to your success, they will want to follow in your footsteps. This group of students is seeking help just as Shinigawa did.
Working on this mini project was fun. It was time consuming but it helped me learn more about Mimi Ito's ideas. I thought about a way to provide a visual to Mimi Ito's ideas in HOMAGO. Talking about it does not always help. In books and novels, visualization is not always provided. When the novel is turned into a film, everybody gets excited about it because they can see the words in action. I thought adding pictures and providing an example would help others better understand Ito's ideas. Randy thought it was a good idea, so I went with it. I spend the two recent workshop working looking for visuals online which saved me a lot of time to work on calculus. After finding several images, about fifty, I had to go through em again and again to find the best ones in the batch. That took forever; I even had to cut panels from one page and find another panel that can go with it on another page.