English 102 Final
May 11, 2012
Nerd Culture Then Mainstream Now
Patton Oswalt wrote a very passionate article on how his treasured nerdom was ruined by the internet and the notion that everything that was nerdy thirty years ago has been recut and rebooted and is now mainstream. Oswalt expresses his disappointment that now being a fan of something never heard of before makes one “ahead of the curve” not necessarily different. Perhaps he is correct in saying that everything today is just a remake of his nerdery from decades ago, but he misses the point that it could be a useful tool to educators in relating to children.
What could a seemingly out-of-date teacher and say a third grade boy have in common? How about the fact the teacher grew up reading the original Watchmen comics, and the third grader has just seen the latest Watchmen movie and has begun to find Watchmen comics on the internet from the 1980s. Now that the teacher understands what the student likes and recognizes one student can not be the only third grader interested in Doctor Manhattan. Thus the teacher can begin using Watchmen references in class, assigning activities relative to the characters, and creating a bond with students that is useful in the classroom.
Now realize this is just a scenario that could or could not happen, but more realistically a teacher would have the knowledge that almost every student in the room, boy and girl, has at least one gaming console in their household. The nerd culture that was so correctly deemed “The Third Culture” by Kevin Kelly recognizes that nerds today are creators. The nerds have created so many life-like games that children are drawn, submersed, and addicted to computers, the internet, and virtual games. How is this useful to the teacher? A twenty first century classroom comes equipped with so much technology an older teacher could feel overwhelmed, but with the proper use of the technology, it becomes a useful...