Category Archives: teaching

schools and cyberbullying

An article from the NYTimes Magazine explores the roles and responsibilities of schools and school administrators in preventing cyberbullying. Good article to use with freshman seminar to accompany chapter on cyberbullying.

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Filed under digital youth, social media, teaching

participatory culture, web 2.0, and learning 2.0

Interesting blog post by Henry Jenkins on the need to distinguish between the terms participatory culture, web 2.0, and learning 2.0 (via Gloria Jacobs). Jenkins argues that using web 2.0 as a concept for learning may be problematic, resulting in a view of learning that emphasizes tools and technologies, corporate control, and consumerism. (Participatory cultures on the the other hand are bottom up, peer to peer, and [in many cases] critical.) Jenkins uses Brown and Adler’s (2008) definition as a jumping off point for this discussion:

“The latest evolution of the Internet, the so-called Web 2.0, has blurred the line between producers and consumers of content and has shifted attention from access to information toward access to other people. New kinds of online resources– such as social networking sites, blogs, wikis, and virtual communities– have allowed people with common interests to meet, share ideas, and collaborate in innovative ways. Indeed, the Web 2.0 is creating a new kind of participatory medium that is ideal for supporting multple modes of learning.”

My biggest problem with this definition, and a focus on tools and technologies, is that 1) it comes across as rather determinist, and 2) it underplays the social learning theories that are at the heart of collaborative, peer to peer learning (at least in formal learning settings). It may seem a bit chicken and egg, but folks have been thinking about and practicing social learning for a while now. One of the nice things about Web 2.0 technologies is that they’ve provided a means for us to more easily put into practice some of these collaborative, peer to peer practices – but they didn’t invent the idea, and social learning would still happen without them.

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alternatives to Ning

Ning is going with a paid model only, which is a bummer. I used it with great success for one class, and was planning to use it with more. However, a bunch of folks have collaborated on a list of alternatives to Ning – very useful! (via Michele Knobel)

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study of college students’ use of Wikipedia for research

To read: article in First Monday on the results of a large-scale survey of college students’ Wikipedia use for course-related research. In a nutshell from a quick glance, it appears as though Wikipedia is a tool in students’ course research toolkit, but is used less frequently than sanctioned resources.

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Just the facts about youth victimization

Video of 2007 panel discussion on youth victimization online for the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. Panel of researchers debunking fear myths. To use in class when discussing cyberbullying, perhaps. (via MistakenGoal)

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Disconnected – “digital detox”

Disconnected, a documentary by Carleton College students that follows 3 students in their effort to go 3 weeks without computers (and smartphones, and other web-enabled devices?). Understanding the role of media and technology in our lives by going without. Reminds me of a “day without Facebook” exercise that I and several students did as part of an inquiry group, to try to understand the nature of our attachment. May use a version of this exercise in future freshman seminar (Technology and You).

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Filed under methodology, social media, teaching

reconsidering methods in research on and about the Internet

Fascinating post by Christian Sandvig – Why the Internet is on the verge of blowing up all of our methods courses. Of particular interest is that it’s written from a quant perspective, while much of the methodological rethinking that I’m aware of has been taking place in the qual realm.

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Filed under methodology, social media, teaching