February 23rd, 2009

Geeks…the word reminds me of that lovely strange and twisted novel, Geek Love, where Geeks were portrayed as those who ‘bit heads off live chickens’ and those ‘born with tails.’ Basically, in the days of old, Geeks were ones traveling in the circus with a ‘strangeness’ rich enough to make them an ‘act’–that usually consisted of ‘awing’ the crowd with some kind of small animal decapitation, like when Ozzy Osbourne bit heads off chickens, bats etc….he was a Geek.

Now days, Geeks have “the ability to engage with media and technology in an intense, autonomous, and interest-driven way is a unique feature of today’s media environment.” according to Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project. Geeking out is spending 18 hours straight working through all levels of Halo, or mastering Guitar Hero on the Wii, or learning 20 new tools on Photoshop, and even creating a new application for Facebook…..etc..

Not so different from my own personal definition of Geeking out—Susi’s definition: having the luxury of spending time fooling around on my computer alone or with a friend, figuring how things work and sharing tricks of what we are finding. At times, we create, we crack, we compose.

All in all, geeking out takes time for passion, and passion is a pretty good thing (careful here, passion can turn into obsession). Isn’t is passion when we learn best?

4 Responses to “Geeks”

  1. 1 El Aguila

    I don’t know if Ozzy was a geek since there were a lot of drugs involved and there was a marketing agenda. His passion was money and drugs, as opposed to enjoying his art for enjoyment sake. I say this despite being a big fan of Black Sabbath.I agree that the determining element is passion. As a child I spend many summer days just reading. Thank God there were no video games around because I probably would not have read as many books as I did.Consequently, my own geekdom was the library in Sanger, CA.

  2. 2 susi

    Jaime, Señor Bookworm,True passion = geeking out….We find an interest, yours is books, and then we spend endless time practicing and learning from the time we spend inner-volved with that passion. It’s what makes us unique and interesting! Computers and hand-helds are currently engaging and stimulating because they are sooo interactive. How do we as educators tap that to further engage our digital age learners?

  3. 3 El Aguila

    That’s easy. Use those tools to empower our students. Use their technical knowledge and interest as one element of your pedagogical methodology. For example, a popular assignment in many of my classes requires students to validate the information on specific wikipedia pages. They must use traditional library sources in ensuring the accuracy of webpages. Thus they learn to use the library, are exposed to the limitations of such websites, and it’s an interactive process that has obvious worth for the general public.Remember technology is a tool, not an end.

  4. 4 susi

    Thank goodness we have teachers like you Mr. Eagle, you help our students SOAR! Yes, technology is a tool, not an end…

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