Henry Jenkins and a team of academics produced “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century,” a white paper for the MacArthur Foundation in 2006. The report focuses on ways to foster a participatory culture, which it describes as a culture “with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created).”
That report outlines a set of literacies, “core cultural competencies and social skills that young people need in our new media landscape,” which include:
- Play — the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
- Performance — the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
- Simulation — the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
- Appropriation — the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
- Multitasking — the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details.
- Distributed Cognition — the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
- Collective Intelligence — the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
- Judgment — the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
- Transmedia Navigation — the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
- Networking — the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
- Negotiation — the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.