What did I learn from this digital project experience? I learned a lot about the basics of Audacity. More importantly, I experienced problem solving and perseverance in the context of an authentic project that I cared about. I was intrinsically motivated to sacrifice sleep in exchange for “getting it right” and getting it done! I experienced that same drive that the three teenagers I interviewed experienced when working toward completing the next level on the video game, or landing that next trick on the bike.
This connection between my motivation to complete “school” learning and their motivation with choice activities out of school makes me wonder, is it enough to ask kids to do digital project in school to tap into their full potential? Just because I approached the task intrinsically motivated, there were extrinsic elements attached…the grade, and I can’t deny that the grade matters to me. So, I wonder, what’s the balance when approaching motivational characteristics typically found in schools? Is there a “right” answer? Is there one “right” motivational theory?
Another thing I learned from the motivation project is that motivational theories overlap and influence individuals simultaneously. This is not a black or white topic. There is no easy answer.