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Paper i gave at the #nlc2012 conference in Maastricht

Paper i gave at the #nlc2012 conference in Maastricht

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  • yet much of our theorizing of learning develops in institutionalized settings privileging knowledge as it occurs in the formal education sector over the informal.
  • What networks look like, messier than the first, and we are not external to it, but neither are we/humans central.
  • The site of study…. But also the ‘site’ is multisited. Ethnography of multicites and a methodology best described as opportunistic. Nonetheless, this is where I begin in following the actors, starting with digital traces…
  • Digital traces made possible following a gift.Interested in dynamics of gift giving- see Titmus; the gift of blood.In this instance how the gift evolved is an unknown, there is a gauchness in the disclosure. A squirm around/ workaround to the question being asked.
  • The tensions are barely touched on here. Consider also the tensions of a mobile phone being water tight, soldering intact, mountains and bodies of water that don’t get in the way“Who doesn’t know where the dead area are in their mobile network”… It shapes us we become domesticated to our mobile phone, feeding it, caring for it….
  • Here I move away from the paper in the conference proceedings, four months on my thinking developed a bit more…Im beginning to see links with reading that was not so obvious to me then. I am implicated in what is studied….
  • Do not breathe a word of this till the thesis is in…an original contribution to knowledge? One of many.
  • Image of course from Disney….dont breathe a word to them either- they prosecute!
  • 20% of those using the service became frustrated with it.They let counsellors know in no uncertain terms, but it is the aggragation via the computer software that makes this literally in the faces of counsellors- and they don’t like the –ve feedback. They are after all providing a service as volunteers and prefer to be appreciated for their generosity…
  • How the service responds to the tensions pulling and pushing
  • How those using the service are responding to the policy that was not of their making
  • How counsellors respond to what they experience
  • Why it matters…
  • What I hope to contribute to- a disruption of portrayals of young people as being trivial in their use of text messaging
  • Concluding moments in a thesis no longer constrained by modality but also texted.
  • Examples of counselling reshaped. Obvious perhaps in retrospect that a reflective counselling approach pp carl rogers needs adapting, but also a medium that pushes toward being directive yet a philosophy of an organization that purports being strengths based, not telling young people what to do…Inside of about 12 utterances the issue is contained, a client centred analysis demonstrates respect, congruence, positive regard related, The person is supported through this moment..The example also demonstrates that mode is deliberately chosen in that it ‘contains the experience….not overwhelmed, not retraumatized…
  • Far from text being a source of harm or being superficial, or devoid of emotions, heres an example where practice is contained, constrained and constructed in ways the client saw as being useful


  • 1. Informal networked learning: A network in the wild Ailsa Haxell ailsa.haxell@aut.ac.nzamusingspace.blogspot.com
  • 2. Learning• Learning is something that happens naturally, incidentally, pervasively and situated within everyday life. (Fox, 2002)• Yet most studies involve institutionalized formal education settings privileging knowledge of networked learning that involves particular groups of people, and the ways such people relate.• This risks effacing the fascinating mangling of context that generates particular practices that do not fit the picture of formal educational settings.Fenwick and Edwards (2010) and with acknowledgement to Pickering (1993)
  • 3. Networks“It’s not easy to see things in the middle, rather than looking down on them from above or up at them from below, or from left to right, try it you’ll see that everything changes” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987) Networks in the wildTomas Saraceno, Reuters image, cited byGalaxies Forming along Filaments David WeinbergerVenice Biennale, 2009. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archiPhoto by Bruno Latour (2011) ve/12/01/to-know-but-not-understand-david-Networks, Societies, Spheres: weinberger-on-science-and-big-Reflections of an Actor-Network Theorist data/250820/#comment-400769949
  • 4. On becoming textually active with youth counselling• Shadowing of work of counselling in progress• Participant observation• Interviews: of those providing and making use of the service• Analysis of artefacts: 6400 text messages• Ethics … the risks of sensitive research … the risks of not having research
  • 5. In the middle of things:The Christmas gift
  • 6. • What happens when practice and emergent technologies collide?• What happens where the borders on innovation and of literacy practices are less firm?
  • 7. Seductive Cheap texting advertising• Tensions hold a Txt capable cell phones Young people thing (practice) in shape• anchored to things, human and otherwise. Voluntary Funding bodies counsellors A Christmas gift: Media representations of texting Corporate social responsibility To do no harm / to do good
  • 8. What “distributed agency” means for practice:• Technology is not a passive carrier• Young people are not passive recipients• Counsellors do not move in untroubled ways between platforms• And counselling does not stay the same All the relationships require renegotiating and different dynamics emerge.
  • 9. Dynamics of emergent practice Adapted from Latour (1987) Dynamics of science, and Latour and Sloterdijk (2009) Networks and spheres
  • 10. A hopeful monster gets born“I said “I think they might also be called ‘hopeful monsters’.”She said “What are hopeful monsters?”I said “They are things born perhaps slightly before their time; when its not known if the environment is quite ready for them.”Nicolas MosleyCited by John Law, 1991
  • 11. What happens at the borders of innovation & literacy practices?“the contours of agency (human and otherwise) are mangled in practice... delineated in the emergence of resistance and accommodation” (adapted from Pickering, 1993)Altering• Who gets to define whom• Who leads and who follows
  • 12. Resistance and Accommodation• “It’s a little bit of a worry *text counselling] because if they are young you dont know, so you can be responding as if the person was well into their teens when they might be ten or eleven and might be sounding very natural and affirming of sexual activity assuming they’re old enough to do that but colluding with activity that’s not really appropriate for age. If they sounded young on the phones, we would have probably found a way of asking that. So what’s texted back is more cautious because if you’ve got a ten year old saying my boyfriend wants to have sex with me that’s very different to an eighteen year old.”
  • 13. Resistance and Accommodation• 20% of those texting in became annoyed with the responses – I jstwanna txt coz I dntwanab heard – Can uplzjst txt me s0 I d0nt feel al0ne – Il nevababl 2 talk bwt it.S0ri 4 bthrnu – Imsori I dntthnk I cncal.ijst feel 2 stupid – Kn I js txt im a byt shy ndafne – No I wana txt! Im crying u wont b able 2 understnd me – If I effing wanted to call I effing would have! – Icnt call im in the sck bay at skewl – Calls dnt wk from here – Im def ndum jus txt me PLZ – If my dad hears me Ill get a hiding. JUS TXT
  • 14. Resistance and AccommodationDigital traces of dissatisfaction also leads to unsettled counsellors:• “I hate apologizing all the time. I do lots of apologizing. That gets me a lot.”
  • 15. As the performance grooves or patterns are laid down and are repeated, they provide a template for what can come next(Bigum& Rowan, 2004)This research runs interference on such patterns being laid down, drawing attention to the relationships involved and the qualities of those relationships.
  • 16. This matters because relationships are deeply constitutive. Relationships not only shape practice, but shape us, and the realities of our lives, and this matters because some people’s realities are difficult enough without being made worse.
  • 17. An attribution error is made when agency is located individually. e.g. thumb generation, foolish, trivial, damaging emotionally avoidant, developmentally delayednomophobia… zombiismDenying agency as distributed pathologizes young people, and creates barriers to “working with”.
  • 18. • Change occurs not only because new actors appear, but also because the relationships themselves change.• Interrupting the previous paths and grooves laid down includes levering multiplicity and seeing ourselves as implicated rather than detached.• Such relationships / Our relationships can also be otherwise.
  • 19. I/we(4 we will nevRb jus 1 agAn)hOp 2 havdn justice4 a hopeful monstr. N trublngdisMpowRingconstructns of agenC I/we hOp 2 havdisruptda$umshns of powerle$ne$. I/we hav demonstr8ed ontological poltics @ play. I/we rAz such m@rsazreals - situ8d & localn sure knowldgth@ things might also alwAsbothrYz. 
  • 20. Hi not relly surebot this, but my daddied and jst not 2sur bout thngsevery1 seems 2 havit 2getha and im a reck Sounds like ur gng thru a prty tuff time at the momnt. Might b easier toNah jus wanna txt Talk than txt?Talking would make it too real. AndI jus wanna take it slo
  • 21. Seems evry1elsehas it 2getha and Icant stop crying..Snds stupid I kno Its ok 2 cry n be sad. Ppl r all different wif way they react 2 things.