DIY Blog

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This week’s readings Lankshear and Knobel (2008) Ch1: DIY Media: A Contextual Background and Some Contemporary Themes, once again changed my view. Last week when I heard the word remix I thought of music now I think of so much more. This week before I did the readings I thought of DIY as little art projects now I think of our society. download

The chapter started out as an introduction to DIY and what it is in our society. The first thing that stood out to me was the DIY of animations. I never thought of peoples stop motion or flash videos as DIY, but it is. Does that mean that the TV show South Park is one giant DIY project?

It then moved into the start of DIY. After WWII it seams DIY was the right thing for men to do to keep their house looking great. It helped them avoid paying someone for something they could do with a little elbow grease. I have a history minor and I am interested in looking at how WWII shaped the DIY culture. I can see how important it was in the 60’s because the movement was away from government and towards do it yourself. I think of all the hippies (my parents included) that started growing their own food again, making their own clothes.

I found an article “Handymen, Hippies and Healing: Social Transformation through the DIY Movement (1940s to 1970s) in North America” Author: Cathy D Smith about the DIY movement and it suggests that “DIY Self-directed making within the home workshop is presented as a productive psychological release from the challenges of office-bound, intellectual employment”. People were getting more jobs that required you to sit behind a desk. DIY home projects allowed them to do something physical. I am also thinking as a person who took WWII history that DIY was big during the war because we needed to save money and reuse what we had.

The chapter moves later into what DIY means today. What stood out to me was “Affinity spaces are “specially designed spaces (physical and virtual) constructed to resource people tied together . . . by a shared interest or endeavor”.  These affinity spaces are places for people all over the world to come together and share in their common interest. And I believe it is all about DIY. You can argue that the internet is basically DIY, videos, meme’s, and websites are all thing people have created on their own. I think of and I mentioned this in a comment, Global Read Aloud. It is a program online where classrooms read the same book and they can connect online. Students can talk with students from across the world about a shared interest of the same book.

DIY has moved from home projects to defining what our culture. The other term I liked a lot was “participatory culture”. This term in my mind defines the generation we teach. They are constantly creating and sharing online. We as educators need to help transfer this to the classroom.

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