Computer Clubhouse Learning Model

Danielle Martin just took on a new job as the director of knowledge management at the Computer Clubhouse.  I think their learning model:  has some relevance here.  I am wondering how this model can be added to to heighten social justice and political engagement outcomes.  It would seem that DERC is using this model.  How is this model different than positive youth development.   What does it need to be a social justice youth development.  I need to schedule times to chat with Danielle as well as Laurie Ross.

Enhanced Discovery Learning

Peter just posted this on the CESPOC Diigo group:

in the words of, ‘a “meta-analysis” of hundreds of others: It found that “direct instruction’ was a more effective instructional method than “unassisted discovery learning. “And it found that “enhanced discovery learning” trumped them both.” –

I think this is related to the idea of why open spaces may be so effective in building up the lessons learned in such environments. I should take some time and read more about these sorts of “enhanced discovery learning.” environments.  Ferlazzo also calls this sort of learning “inductive teaching.”  I’ll need to add this ideas to my literature search.

Open Space Ideas @ DERC

So part of my thinking regarding another research project has been around the idea of open spaces and self-organizing groups and how they link to ideas about personal empowerment and community change.  I just interviewed my third teen at DERC today and it is seem clear to me that this space has some profound impacts on the teens there.  All three have talked about the space being welcoming, like family and caring.  At the same time each has articulated a journey of growth as well as expressed some profound ideas about political agency — “I have a voice, ” “I am more tolerant of diverse settings,” and “I’ve come into contact with others I never would have.”

This space is pretty informal in the way it operates, but at the same time it has a lot of the same elements as the 119 Gallery space.  There is a space.  It is open and welcoming.  Individuals there create an atmosphere where you can try and explore.  The staff and space are responsive to individual needs and ideas, but at the same time express interest in the individual growth and development of each teen.  The staff share their own stories and struggles.  There are bonds built.  I need to explore this more, but it was an amazing “ah ha” to me.

Some other things that came to mind as I was driving back from DERC:

  • Programs should capture young people before they are of working age and create a bond for them — having fun things or volunteer “jobs” seem important.
  • There should be ladders of increasing responsibility
  • There should be centers close to the homes and / or schools of teens
  • There should be multiple opportunities — work, academic achievement, chill time, fun learning, etc
  • Duration seems to be key as well

Again the importance of family that engages with the news.  And this brought up an insight about the news:

  • news should link human interest to global problems

Some Research Questions & Possible Methods


What sorts of ownership and regulatory schemes best serve both the market and the the public? How do you ensure a range of public uses centered around free speech and access coupled with ownership concerns around innovation, privacy, profit, competition?

How do the market, the state, and the public interact within telecommunications policy in the US? And what space is created for CMT practices?

Do community media & technology practices contribute to stonger communities?

What are the community impacts resulting from CMT practices?

What is the role of media within a community setting?

What defines a meaningful community media practice?

Are communities with a diverse media landscape, including community media, better off than communities without such environments?

Are there ideal environments in which communtiy media thrive (i.e. certain size community, certain types of individuals and groups present)?

Rather than creating a positive enviornment, are strong community media pratices evidence of a civically engaged community?

What are the elements that comprise a strong community media practice?

What are the strongest community media practices (i.e. youth media, immigrant / ethnic media, local orgs, local gov, political / religious speech)?

Is there an indexing or evaluation system that can predict if a community will sustain a meaningful community media practice?

Would it be ideal to focus on public access, community radio, Internet, print, some or all?


GIS to map locations – compare against population, age, ethnicity, new american population, political culture, religious affiliation, income, home ownership, crime, race, voter registration, educaiton — are the set indicators of civic engagement?

Case studies of 3-4 different types of communities as a best practice for rural, urban, suburban, and mid-sized urban

Footprints Project

I’m working as a research assistant for Michael Johnson who has just transplanted himself from Carnegie Mellon.  One of the project he is collaborating on is “Footprints” which looks at how to use a co2 personal consumption / emission widget to enliven person change.  There seems to be some useful links and concepts on the site and certainly a project I’m interested in exploring more about:

Francis Hunger on Immaterial Labor

I’ve been skeptical against the Open Source Software producers community since years, skeptical against this white, middle-class, male students and engineers. For me this user/producer group is a club, which includes those who have enough time resources to create social capital through peer recognition by working on technologically oriented projects. As early technology adopters, the OSS producers community also actively shapes technology (I have to repeat: they are white, middle-class, male). The OSS producers community tested, improved and incorporated all the elements which can be found in Lazzaratos description of immaterial work above: Flat hierarchies, computerized networks, creating products in their leisure time. So the OSS producer is paradigmatic for the current overage of productivity in the countries of fully developed capitalism, which again gets induced into the circuit of production and exploitation.more here:

Michael Bauwens on Immaterial Labor

We live in a political economy that has it exactly backwards.

We believe that our natural world is infinite, and therefore that we can have an economic system based on infinite growth. But since the material world is finite, it is based on pseudo-abundance.

And then we believe that we should introduce artificial scarcities in the world of immaterial production, impeding the free flow of culture and social innovation, which is based on free cooperation, by creating the obstacle of permissions and intellectual property rents protected by the state.

What we need instead is a political economy based on a true notion of scarcity in the material realm, and a realization of abundance in the immaterial realm. Complex innovation needs creative and autonomous workers that are not impeded in their ability to share and learn from each other.

Read more here:

Paul Hertzog comments on Immaterial Labor

There are lots of good ideas surfacing through this discussion on the iDC list. I post here in full his response:

“After reading Sobol and Waxman, I thought I would chime in.  So far, I find this list incredibly useful to my own work and am really enjoying the discussions.  That said, I continue thus….
First, utility is tautological.  If you decide that human beings do things only for utility, then you will always find the utility in any action.  Even suicide can be described as a utilitarian action.

Second, the authentic, and to my mind non-utilitarian, experience of life, has and always will be, beyond theft or co-optation by “the bad guys.”  When I go to coffee with my friend and discuss Aristotle,money goes to those it perhaps shouldn’t (e.g. evil coffee bean slavers).  Nonetheless, the substance of the experience belongs entirely to me and my friend.

My difficulty with the analysis so far in this thread is that I find it to be preoccupied with current online tools rather than abstract concepts.  An alternate attempt might go something like this:

Suppose that every moment of your life were visible, capturable,collatable, analysable, (etc.) to others.  Suppose that EVERY act in your life, that YOU tried to live authentically, was also being used for other purposes by someone else.  How would you live?  The answer, possibly paradox, is that you would ignore it, and in so doing you would live in such a way that anyone who was watching would be incapable of seeing your true life at all.  They would only see your superficial movements, but all the while your inner movement would channel bliss.

The authentic life is ALWAYS a subversion, a resistance, a revolution, against some attempt by someone else to bind it, to bound it, to define it, to constrain it.  To live authentically means to create in each moment something that cannot be taken and used for other purposes because it is necessarily INVISIBLE to those who would attempt such a theft.

Consequently, in my own academic work (i.e. logically), and also in my personal preference (i.e. aesthetically), I prefer to keep my eyes turned towards new forms of subversion, resistance, and revolution enable by new technologies.  To my mind, the really interesting and revolutionary things going on in the world are invisible to those who would oppose them

An important point from Ladner

Stan reponds in the thread just referenced with this

“Trebor’s notions around immaterial labour certainly qualify here — collaborative media do obscure the free labour that goes into them. And also Wikis. Their collaborative veneer disguises the elitist participation in them.”

See Wikinomics discussion on iDC.

Also the discussion on the list about immaterial labor is very critcal as well. It starts in august 07 here: