Scholarly Networks of Care and Conflict


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Presentation at the annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning conference focusing on networked scholarship. The concept of networked scholarship is expressed in different ways in the literature, ranging from digital scholarship to social scholarship to open scholarship. In this presentation, I discussed two themes that have arisen from my 3+ years of qualitative and ethnographic studies into the practices of higher education scholars. Both of these themes help us make better sense of scholars’ digital participation and networked scholarship. They also help us better describe online scholarly networks and the lives and practices of digital scholars.

The first theme refers to the notion of scholars using networks to enact digital/open scholarship and circumvent restrictions to the sharing of knowledge.

The second theme is one that I am still developing. Specifically, in my research I found that social media and online social networks function as places where some academics express and experience care.

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Scholarly Networks of Care and Conflict

  1. 1. SLOAN-C Emerging Technologies Conference, Dallas, TX, April 2014 Networks of Care and Conflict: Academics’ Online Participation George Veletsianos, PhD Canada Research Chair Associate Professor School of Education and Technology @veletsianos #et4online
  2. 2. Two competing narratives of the web
  3. 3. The web as a monstrous place
  4. 4. The web as a wondrous place
  5. 5. A continuum I want to talk about what happens at the middle
  6. 6. Questions guiding my research •  How do academics use emerging technologies (in particular, social media/networks)? •  How is digital and open scholarship enacted? •  What do current scholarly practices look like? •  What is the experience like?
  7. 7. Digital Scholarship, Open Scholarship, Social Scholarship –  Digital Scholarship –  Martin Weller –  Social Scholarship –  Gideon Burton –  Christine Greenhow –  Networked Participatory Scholarship: the “emergent practice of scholars’ use of participatory technologies and online social networks to share, reflect upon, critique, improve, validate, and further their scholarship” (Veletsianos & Kimmons, 2012, p. 768).
  8. 8. “Educational Technology,” as a field is plagued with editorials and perspectives Need to move from “state-of-the-art” to “state-of-the- actual” (Selwyn, 2011) Faith-based field? Why you should care #1
  9. 9. The future of Higher Education is currently being designed. Solutions are frequently not based on evidence. Empirical research will help us improve designs. Why you should care #2
  10. 10. a worldwide economic downturn globalization and competition changing demographics curtailment of public funding pressures for accountability impact of emerging technologies (Morrison, 2003; Schwier, 2012; Siemens & Matheos, 2010; Spanier, 2010). purpose of education - Employment? Rebirth of edtech Especially important at a time of pressures Socio-political, cultural, and economic pressures
  11. 11. Social media use is a professional issue 1/2 How do instructors use social media to foster engagement? How can we use online social networks to expand the diversity of a classroom? In what ways can researchers use social media to disseminate their scholarship?
  12. 12. Social media use goes beyond professional issues 2/2
  13. 13. Social media use goes beyond professional issues 2/2 What do we do when we are online and why? e.g., Visitors vs. Residents (White & LeCornu, 2011) How does our professional identity impact our participation and how does our participation impact our professional identity?
  14. 14. In-between the extremes, are stories of people. Stories of academia. Stories that explain who we are as scholars, educators, and people.
  15. 15. What follows is a summary of two themes from 3+ years of qualitative and ethnographic studies
  16. 16. Theme #1 Networks of Conflict
  17. 17. Theme #2 Networks of Care and Vulnerability
  18. 18. Networks of care & vulnerability Social media and online social networks function as places where (some) academics express and experience care.
  19. 19. •  Caring for one another online takes many forms Networks of care & vulnerability
  20. 20. Identity
  21. 21. Digital Identity We create it  Intentional web presence Lowenthal & Dunlap (2012) It is created and/or structured for us Acceptable Identity Fragments (Kimmons & Veletsianos, 2014)
  22. 22. •  Personal-professional continuum. •  “Sanitized” participation. •  Pressures to participate •  Other issues? Discussion
  23. 23. Thank  you @veletsianos on Twitter veletsianos at This presentation: