BASED IN CALGARY, CANADA, kenhoffmanlearning IS A BLOG BY SCIENCE, MATH AND MUSIC EDUCATOR KEN HOFFMAN. THESE POSTS PROVIDE INSIDE INTO CURRENT TRANFORMATIONS TO PUBLIC SECONDARY EDUCATION, WITH A SPECIFIC FOCUS ON STUDENT IDENTITY AND THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON IDENTITY FORMATION.

Part 5: A Brief History of the Internet

Celia Haig-Brown throws down the gauntlet for students of education “to think first about their relation to the land they are on at that moment” (Haig-Brown 13).  She further challenges us: “How many generations does it take to become indigenous?” (qtd. in Haig-Brown 9).  I have an answer: one generation.

My uncle worked on cruise missile guidance systems for Boeing and during a visit to his home in the very early 1980s he introduced me to an IBM typewriter with a rubber adapter for a telephone handset in the back.  He dialed up the mainframe computer at Boeing and a few boings, dings and buzzes later we were playing logic games, the outcome typed out on the typewriter.  This was the Internet: as a military contractor Boeing was provided access.

Considering the virtual lands that have been cyber-terraformed in Second Life for the past decade as a precedent, I can now answer Haig-Brown’s first question and liberate myself of my diaporic-settler guilt and commensurate dislocation: when I’m on the Internet I’m on my indigenous land.

What kind of exchange and trade takes place in my native digital land?  Historically speaking, “music sharing” has been a form of indigenous exchange in digitally native online communities (e.g. Napster, Limewire), so it stands as an existing model and mechanism for the exchange of content, ideas and for the construction of knowledge.  Apart from military applications and academic exchange, music was among the first popular media content to be distributed via the Internet, pornography being the other.  “If it were not for the subject matter, pornography would be publicly praised as an industry that has successfully and quickly developed, adopted, and diffused new technologies” (Coopersmith 28).  Theft and illicit trade lay thick over the history of the digitally native territory.

Coopersmith, J. “Pornography, Videotape and the Internet.” Technology and Society Magazine, IEEE 19.1 (2000): 27-34. Web. Retrieved from http://resolver.scholarsportal.info.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/resolve/02780097/v19i0001/27_pvati

Haig-Brown, Celia. “Decolonizing Diaspora: Whose Traditional Land Are We On?” Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry 1.2 (2009): 4-21. Web. Retrieved from http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/cpi/article/viewFile/7118/5827

© K.C. Hoffman and learnersinadangeroustime.wordpress.com, 2013.

Part 6: Music Education as the Way Forward

Part 4: Cloudroom vs. Classroom