A Harry Potter Tie-in
While cleaning something in the house I found a hardcopy for an article from MIT's Technology Review. (Yeah, I know. Me reading Technology Review.) Unfortunately, I can't find a way to link to the article from Feb. 6, 2004, which isn't all that old when you consider how much unread clutter I have hanging around here. So, since the new Harry Potter movie is probably opening as we speak and this article mentions HP, himself, several times, I'll have to tell you about it.
Why Heather Can Write by Henry Jenkins,is all about "how participating in popular culture may help kids to master traditional literacy skills." I will try to translate for Professor Jenkins. His article is all about how kids writing fanfiction about Harry Potter may actually be improving their writing skills even though there are no teachers involved. Hey, it could happen.
Jenkins says that kids write fanfiction it and post it at sites, some of which review and critique it before publishing. He says that "Through online discussions of fan writing, the teen writers develop a vocabulary for talking about writing and they learn strategies for rewriting and improving their own work."
Jenkins talks about Harry Potter fanfiction, but I assume the same could be said about any kind of fanfiction.
I'm just getting to the really interesting part, but this post is getting too long for my taste. So...
...to be continued!