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Blog by
Joe Dillon
Oct 07 2017

What motivates the engagement and participation of young digital activists? An invitation to participate in "Writing Our Civic Futures" #marginalsyllabus

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As part of the collaborative, online annotation project, “Writing Our Civic Futures,” a reader created the following note in the digital margin of Henry Jenkins’ post, “How Young Activists Deploy Digital Tools for Social Change”:

At the time of this writing, it was the last in a string of 27 notes left by a handful of educator-participants, including K12 school teachers, and researchers in higher education who study connected learning. It also provides a vital entry point for participation from other educators who want to join in this equity-focused project but may be unsure how to start. 

What is this note? 

Most simply, it is a punchy note written by the hypothes.is user “amalthea13” highlighting a key phrase in Jenkins’ call to action at the end of his piece. The way she excerpted his writing in this note we can see the question, “(W)hat motivates (young activists’) engagement and participation”? Her addition to the text is “let’s start here.” 

How does an educator interested in equity and digital tools for learning respond? 

Joining in the Writing Our Civic Futures project could be as simple as logging into hypothes.is and adding your questions about the engagement and participation of young activists. Even better, it could be as simple as logging into hypothes.is and responding with what you’ve noticed as an educator actually motivates real live young people to engage in civic action. Unlike the too small margins of your favorite book that might have prompted your engaged thinking in the past, he affordances of this digital margin are such that there is no real limit to how many teachers could respond to amalthea13’s note. My hunch is that the thoughtful responses of teachers in the Educator Innovator and DML networks would interest amalthea13, Henry Jenkins, and most other readers engaged in this collaborative reading and writing project. I know they would interest me. 

Click here to see the note on its own.

Click here to see the note alongside Jenkins’ post among other notes.

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