Donnerstag, 12. April 2012

"Net Smart" - neues Buch von Howard Rheingold zu digital literacy

Foto: Joi Ito (Fotopedia)
Mit Howard Rheingold hat sich ein Urgestein des Internet-Zeitalters zu Wort gemeldet. Und es lohnt sich (wieder mal), zur Kenntnis zu nehmen, was er zu sagen hat. "Net Smart. How to Thrive Online" (MIT Press 2012) heißt das neue Werk. Unprätentiös benennt er das Ziel des Buches:

"I’ve been asking myself and others how to use social media intelligently, humanely, and above all mindfully. This book is about what I’ve learned" (S. 1).


Ihm geht es um den bewussten Umgang mit den neuen und neuartigen Möglichkeiten, die das Web 2.0 bietet. Nicht die Technologie darf im Vordergrund stehen, sondern der sinnvolle und informierte Umgang damit:

"My own stance toward media literacy—the reason I wrote this book—is based on the same conclusion Baron reached: that human agency, not just technology, is key. What you and I know, think, and do at this moment of technology-initiated yet human-centered change matters" (S. 56).

Rheingold teilt digital literacy in fünf Kategorien ein, liefert Grundinformationen zum Verständnis der jeweiligen Besonderheiten und zeigt in Umrissen, wie diese literacies gelehrt werden können (und sollten):

"I want to introduce you to new know-how (and how to know in new ways) by sharing what I’ve learned about five literacies that are in the process of changing our world: attention, participation, collaboration, the critical consumption of information (aka “crap detection”), and network smarts" (S. 5).

Einen besonderen Akzent des Buches macht die erste dieser fünf literacies aus: attention (bzw. mindfulness):

"Attention is a literacy that can thread all the other literacies together and hence is fundamental to the others in several ways" (S. 9).

"When it comes to interacting with the world of always-on info, the fundamental skill, on which other essential skills depend, is the ability to deal with distraction without filtering out opportunity" (S. 41).

"...mindfulness is “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose.” That awareness, which even tentative direct experimentation can grant to some noticeable degree, is the power tool that all the other literacies depend on. Mindfulness is what connects your attention to skills of digital participation, collaboration, crap detection, and network smarts. Deliberately exercised, continually strengthened, and judiciously applied, mindfulness is the most important practice for anyone who is trying to swim through the infostream instead of being swept away by it" (S. 64).

Für unsere Seminare und Fortbildungen zu verschiedenen Themen rund um Web (2.0), politische Bildung und Medienerziehung bietet Rheingolds Buch hilfreiche Ergänzungen, und seine Gliederung in fünf literacies bildet einen interessanten Versuch, den ausufernden Stoff unter Kontrolle zu bringen. An der Bedeutung des Lehrens und Lernens von digital literacy lässt der Autor keinen Zweifel:

"...knowing how to make use of online tools without being overloaded with too much information is, like it or not, an essential ingredient to personal success in the twenty-first century" (S. 2).

"...those who understand the fundamentals of digital participation, online collaboration, informational credibility testing, and network awareness will be able to exert more control over their own fates than those who lack this lore" (S. 2).

"Knowing that you have a printing press, broadcasting station, community hall, marketplace, school, and library of all knowledge in your pocket—and knowing how to use it for your own benefit—is what makes the difference between a consumer of electronic gadgets and an empowered citizen" (S. 18).

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