Do It Together

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Henry Jenkins:

"I have always felt uncomfortable with the phrase, "Do It Yourself," to label the practices described in this book. "Do It Yourself" is too easy to assimilate back into some vague and comfortable notion of "personal expression" or "individual voice" that Americans can assimilate into long-standing beliefs in "rugged individualism" and "self-reliance." Yet, what may be radical about the DIY ethos is that learning relies on these mutual support networks, creativity is understood as a trait of communities, and expression occurs through collaboration. Given these circumstances, phrases like "Do It Ourselves" or "Do It Together" better capture collective enterprises within networked publics. This is why I am drawn towards concepts such as "participatory culture," (Jenkins et a, 2009l) "Affinity Spaces," (Gee, 2007) "Genres of Participation," (Ito et al, 2009) "networked publics," (Varnelis, 2008) "Collective Intelligence," (Levy, 1999) or "Communities of Practice," (Lave and Wenger, 1991).

While each reflects somewhat different pedalogical models, each captures the sense of a shared space or collective enterprise which shapes the experience of individual participants/learners. Each offers us a model of peer-to-peer education: we learn from each other in the process of working together to achieve shared goals. Many of these models emphasize the diverse roles played by various participants in this process. It is not that all participants know the same things (as has been the expectation in school); success rests on multiple forms of expertise the group can deploy "just in time" responding to shifting circumstances and emerging problems. It is not that all participants do the same things; rather, these practices depend on the ad hoc coordination of diverse skills and actions towards shared interests." (