[CFP] From the Fandom to the Classroom: Bridging informal and formal learning
Special issue: From the Fandom to the Classroom – Bridging informal and formal learning
Call for Papers:
With the Internet revolution, the ways in which we learn and work as part of global networks are increasingly important. We no longer use technologies to access information and automatize skills (linguistic, mathematic, scientific, technical, etc.) in formal and regulated contexts. We should actually learn to combine such information with digital skills or new literacies, in order to apply knowledge, working and collaborating in new (in)formal contexts of learning and communication. Connecting the formal and informal contexts of learning and communication is a pending task. Informal contexts of learning online have developed alongside concepts such as “participatory culture” or “prosumption of information. In participatory culture, users consume but also produce content relevant for the community. A paradigmatic example is Wikipedia. We can find equally valid and interesting examples in the world of fandom (a portmanteau term of ‘fan’ and ‘kingdom’). Among fandom examples, fanfiction stands out for its popularity. Fans appropriate and recreate their favorite literary universes, such as Harry Potter’s, in alternative ways to that of the original literary work. Besides literature, fan practices spread across multiple modes of signifying and spaces of cultural creation: music, video games, cinema and TV series, etc., with social networking sites as fans’ meeting point and space for virtual social interaction.
These new ways of being and doing disrupt the conception of educational institutions such as physical spaces where the universally accepted canon of knowledge is vertically transmitted. This is because the borders between the virtual and the real, between the local and the global, are ever more blurred. Today we speak about augmented schools, with liquid and translucid walls and interactive screens allowing for greater links between learning and teaching and the academic, professional, social and personal, development of students and teachers.
At their peak between the mid-90s and the beginnings of the 2010s, the programs for the digitization of educational institutions tried to respond to this challenge. They hit the target particularly in relation to access to technology, but they oversaw the still necessary philosophical , discursive and methodological change on the part of a a number of teachers. We believe that in order to bring about this change, a dialogue between informal learning online and formal contexts of learning can heighten awareness in what teaching and learning in the digital society implies, as well as promote practical ideas on how to approach the task.
Consequently, this special issue is intended to connect online informal learning with formal contexts of learning, covering a range of key topics demanding greater attention from educational institutions:
- Online identity building and performance
- Affinity spaces and co-construction of knowledge
- Online fan and amateur practices of young people (fanfiction, fansubbing, fandubbing, danmu, music and literacy, video games, etc.)
- New ways of communicating information for teaching and training purposes
- Digital inclusion
- The pedagogical translation of the lines of research and practices above
Reception of articles: Until September 2019
Publication date: in the fist half of 2020.