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Using New Literacy Studies to Understand Participation in Online Social Networking Systems

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  • 1. Using New Literacy Studies to Understand Participation in Online Social Networking Systems
    Royce Kimmons
  • 2. Part 1Literacy and Technology
  • 3. What is Literacy?
    Literacy as:
    • Social participation (Cazden et al., 1996)
    • 4. “Way of Being” vs. “Way of Doing” (Gee, 2009)
    • 5. Developing community membership by copying, adapting, and synthesizing (Ivanic, 1998)
  • Literacy and Identity
    • There is no "essential 'real' self", but only selves moderated and framed by unique historical situations and boundaries; “identity without identification” (Gee, 2009).
    • 6. "People's diverse identities constitute the richness and the dilemmas of their sense of self" (Ivanic, 1998).
  • Power & Control
    • Learning = "creating the learning conditions for full social participation" (Cazden et al., 1996) vs. assimilation / enculturation
  • Language, Technology, & Culture
    • Co-evolutionary artifacts in social anthropology (Pfaffenberger, 1992)
    • 7. How do technology and language shape culture? Vice-versa? Identity?
  • Neutral Media?
    • “The medium is the message” (McLuhan, 1964)
  • Literacy Questions for any Medium
    What does participation in the medium look like?
    What embedded values does the medium have, and how do these influence social structures?
    Are there different levels or types of meaningful participation in the medium?
    How does one become a full or meaningful participant in the medium?
    How does participation in the medium influence culture and identity?
    What prevents or complicates participation in the medium?
  • 8. Part 2Facebook from a Literacy Perspective
  • 9. What does participation in Facebook look like?
    • Connect with or “friend” others
    • 10. Sharing thoughts, updates, pictures, etc. with others
    • 11. Communicate with different communities, ranging from individuals (message), groups of strangers (groups), friends or sub-groups of friends, networks, public, etc., depending upon the intention
    • 12. Connections vary from professional to personal
    • 13. May sustain relationships or seek new ones
  • What embedded values does Facebook have, and how do these influence social structures?
    • “Friend,” really? Everyone?
    • 14. Sharing of personal information; sharing too much? Too often?
    • 15. Ad revenues -> privacy concerns; sharing information with unintended sources
    • 16. Digital footprint that is persistent
    • 17. Personal … but not personal enough; is this really friendship?
  • Are there different levels or types of meaningful participation in Facebook?
    • Depends upon who you connect with and why; friends, family, colleagues, etc.
    • 18. Merely maintaining contact vs. active socialization vs. meeting new people vs. stalking
  • How does one become a full or meaningful participant in Facebook?
    • Reach out, find, connect, communicate
    • 19. Sustain relationships
    • 20. Share a lot, share many types of media, share with many, share often
    • 21. Be interesting, concise, witty, unpredictable, and/or controversial
    • 22. Check often and reply quickly
  • How does participation in Facebook influence culture and identity?
    • Social grooming (Tufekci, 2008)
    • 23. Makes a variety of activities social (e.g. commerce, play, advocacy); “likes”
    • 24. Collapses identity (multiple spheres or networks into one)
    • 25. Ties me to my activities, declarations (e.g., politics, religion, partying, school/work history), etc.
    • 26. Homophily (Thelwall, 2009)
  • What prevents or complicates participation in Facebook?
    • Tech competency and access? Not really.
    • 27. Boundaries
    • 28. Multiple groups of “friends” connected through the individual; multiple audiences
    • 29. Unclear privacy (boyd, 2008); “not as safe as you think”
    • 30. Single or multiple identities?
    • 31. Controversial topics and hostility
    • 32. Time and addiction
  • Food for Thought
    • What implications arise from the mandated use or prohibition of Facebook? Identity?
    • 33. Does Facebook transform our identities from multiple to single?
    • 34. Does social presence (or lack thereof) impact real life and relationships?
    • 35. Can our identities evolve as necessary with the world watching (and taking notes)?
  • Part 3Twitter from a Literacy Perspective
  • 36. Explore Twitter
    • Break into groups and peruse the following Twitter pages:
    http://twitter.com/davecormier and http://twitter.com/andylevy
    http://twitter.com/opencontent and http://twitter.com/ConanOBrien
    http://twitter.com/henryjenkins and http://twitter.com/rainnwilson
    http://twitter.com/veletsianos and http://twitter.com/justinbieber
    http://twitter.com/gsiemensand http://twitter.com/chrisbrown
    http://twitter.com/ewellburn and http://twitter.com/Oprah
  • 37. Twitter Literacy
    • Answer one of the questions here: http://bit.ly/qMytCg
    • 38. Add food for thought or persistent questions
  • Part 4Some Final Reflections for Educators
  • 39. Regarding Literacy
    • If technology choices introduce issues of power and identity into the classroom, then what challenges does this pose for educators in choosing how and when to use technology?
    • 40. What is the difference between technical competency and technology literacy? Which is more important? Which is more difficult to teach/learn?
  • Regarding Facebook
    • How should we approach the issue of “friending” students, colleagues, and others?
    • 41. Are we transforming their experience/identity?
    • 42. Are we prepared for the consequences in our own experience/identity?
    • 43. What do we (and our students) want out of Facebook and what are the implications of relationships, communications, and what we share (or don't share) on our outcomes?
    • 44. What are the dangers of the persistent and (potentially) public nature of all electronic communication?
  • Thanks!