It is my great pleasure to invite all of you to join the HASTAC Scholars (led by Scholar Joshua McVeigh-Schultz) and Howard Rheingold as we dive into discussion about that hottest of topics (well, we'd like to think so, at least since it was named as the theme of the 2008 HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media & Learning Competition) - PARTICIPATORY LEARNING.
Who better to speculate on this topic than social networking pioneer Howard Rheingold (whose Social Media Classroom Co-laboratory was one of the winners of the 2007 Digital Media & Learning Competition), our HASTAC Scholars (who are out there experiencing, creating and defining "participatory learning" every day), and all of you HASTAC users and readers (who collectively have such an incredible wealth and breadth of experiences and expertise)?
In our attempt to see what affordances new technologies have to offer to discussions like this, the discussion is taking place both "vertically" in a traditional text-based discussion forum, and also "horizontally" in a vlog to vlog format using Seesmic, a new interactive video technology that allows anyone with a web cam and a microphone to add a vlog in response to the ongoing discussion. Registering with Seesmic is quick and painless, and accounts are free. There are instructions in the forum for how to add a vlog in response. Horizontally, or vertically, we hope you will join in the discussion! You can do so here.
I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the incomparable Howard Rheingold and to our brilliant HASTAC Scholar Joshua McVeigh-Schultz for all the time, expertise, considerable insights and thought-provoking questions they have poured into starting this discussion!
While you're on HASTAC, I also invite you to come check out the HASTAC Scholars section of the site. You can meet all the scholars, see what they have been up to, and I hope you'll take a moment to appreciate our beautiful HASTAC Scholars logo, designed by HASTAC Scholar Ana Boa-Ventura, a Fullbright doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. Thank you for all your work and creativity, Ana!
I would like to close with a few final thank yous, to Sheryl Grant, Cathy Davidson, and all of the HASTAC team who have helped to put this program in place; to the HASTAC Scholars who have been busy organizing behind the scenes; and an especially big thank you to Mark Olson, for his time, creativity, expertise and astounding ability to remain calm during the storm, no matter how many deadlines loom!