This week my interest and involvement with social media in education granted me another invitation to participate as an “interaction facilitator” by twittering the Roda Viva interview with Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia founder), together with Pedro Markun (communicator and social activist) and Pedro Valente (journalist). It also led me to the WikiBrasil event in the evening, featuring well-known figures of the São Paulo intelligentzia , who gathered to share their experience and debate open and participatory media in diverse areas.
I am also taking part of the II ABCiber Symposium (Brazilian Association of Cyberculture Researchers) at PUCSP, covering a variety of related themes, studies and propositions on how these new technologies are impacting our daily lives, uses, best practices and threats.
Though severe brainfry has set in after listening to so many people speaking, I am also having some difficulty in following the tempo of this generation C – (connected, creative and click). So, I have forced myself to sit down this morning, set some time aside, concentrate and focus on some of the common traits I have noticed during these events:
- the possibility to join the debate, witness knowledge being constructed openly and being shared (from many and with many) through social tools and platforms like mobiles, Twitter (+ all mashups), Flickr, blogs, livestreaming, tagging;
- a tendency of academia and traditional journalists to monopolize the conversation, engage in a navel gazing monologue instead of encouraging and partaking a dialogic relation with the guest speaker and audience.
- a contradiction between innovative theoretical discourse and conventional institutional practice;
- a difficulty in bridging the gap between hope and happening, structure and agency, the material and the ideational;
As Jimbo mentioned at some point, the challenge does not really come from the technology itself, which is continuously being improved to facilitate connections, networking and working together. The real obstacles to an open culture of collaboration are deeply imbued economic/social/educational processes, practices and the need to control, which hamper these conversations and the possibility of exchange and sharing.
Off to one more afternoon and evening at ABCiber and tomorrow a whole day with Práxis members at BIT (Bradesco Institute of Technology) in Campinas for a meeting and lunch with Mitchel Resnick, from the MIT Media Lab, with whom Bradesco partners.