If you have an hour and a quarter to spare, Lawrence Lessig’s 23c3 lecture (available on Google Video) is worth a watch. I particularly like the following passage, about 8.5 minutes in, after Lessig shows several creative, Internet videos.
So whatâ€™s important about these examples is not the technical facility they demonstrate. Since the beginning of film or television â€¦ anyone with access to a film or television studio could produce everything youâ€™ve seen here. Whatâ€™s important about these examples is that these tools have now been democratized. Anybody with a $1500 computer can take sounds and images and remix them in ways that say things differently, in ways that express ideas more powerfully than any written text could ever, given the character of the cultures weâ€™ve become. These tools of creativity have become tools of speech. They represent a new potential to speak, a new potential to learn, they are a new literacy for the 21st century, doing for images and music and film what we took for granted growing up ,,, were our freedoms with the pencil and the typewriter. The freedom to capture and share and remix ideas in ways that express them differently.
I’m trying my best to get this message across to my own students in many ways, especially in focusing on some of these new literacies as course content.