Nakamura labels the prevalent market structure in the propagation of memes, AIM buddy icons and viral media (etc.) as a gift economy. Gift economies are a characteristic of participatory culture wherein participants appropriate and transform existing media and co-opt their usage in participatory exchanges. The original and the transformed media are further available for the participants to appropriate, transform and propagate.
The self-governing, participatory culture (community) described by Kafai and Peppler reminds me of the perfectly competitive markets model from economic theory. For those of you who may have forgotten Microeconomics 101, some of the defining characteristics of a perfectly competitive market are:
Authentic learning activities are conducted in the specific social and physical environment in which their application will occur. The key to developing and delivering authentic learning activities is to situate the learning (in the context wherein it will be applied). The aim is to develop learners’ real world application of concepts by engaging them in tasks that are more relevant to their lives instead of abstract, decontextualized knowledge.One of the key tenets of situated learning is that knowledge is co-constructed through social interaction among learners. The success of situated learning depends on the level of authenticity (i.e. degree of similitude with real world) of the interaction and the underlying task. Higher levels of authenticity yield deeper and more meaningful learning. Some examples include simulations, role playing, interactive workshops and communities of practice.