Digital Expression and Charismatic Megafauna

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Making cool digital artifacts is the charismatic megafauna of the digital toolkit. Everybody thinks it is cool and it does have a great wow factor, but it is not really where the power of the toolkit lies. This is why I feel such a sense of disappointment when I see teachers focusing students on creating powerpoint, webpages, even movies or other more thoughtful digital artifacts. Watching someone create, in minutes, a slick little video or podcast, for example, is impressive. Ultimately however, it distracts from what I believe the technology is all about. The real power of ubiqutous computing is the digital glue that can be created to hold the pieces together, both personally and across a community (or classroom). Search, share, critique, comment, and create a evolving reflective community archive. This is what gets me excited about digital tools and digital expression. Not the expression, but the interaction that the expression can (and should) lead to.

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