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  • 1. Facebooking My Space: An Introduction to New Technologies and Their Impact on University Life and Learning Dana J. Wilber Montclair State University March 28, 2007
  • 2. Overview of workshop What are social networking sites, blogs, and wikis? Why should I care? How can I use new technologies in my teaching? Should I? Where should higher education go next, in terms of new technologies?
  • 3. Answer: iPods, beer, Facebook Question: What are the three most popular things on college campuses? source: CNN 06/08/2006
  • 4. “Millennials” (Howe and Strauss, 2000) Born since 1982 Raised in relative prosperity Aware of and concerned with standards, educationally & socially More than technologically proficient – “Insider” and “Outsider” perspectives (Prensky, 2000) – “Mindsets” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2003)
  • 5. Welcome to Web 2.0 The Machine is Us/ing Us
  • 6. Some definitions Social networking (site): space designed to present a representation to self that is linked to others in order to create or increase connections between people Blog/blogging: regularly updated website, posted in reverse order, integrates links & multimedia Wikis: information resource co-authored by all users Web 2.0
  • 7. College students & new literacies – College students as early adopters of technologies (Jones, 2004) – Wide-scale impact of new technologies on college experience • e.g. email, social networking sites (Facebook) – Perceived gap between “real life” and college (Oblinger & Oblinger, 2005) – Limited technology integration in higher education: mostly online courses, email and bulletin board studies (Educause, 2005)
  • 8. “Network”? Nodes and ties “Memes” and ideas Diffusion of innovations Education as collaborative Networking higher ed
  • 9. Facebook Information categories include: Nearly 18 million users – full name Estimated 85% of college – cell phone number students in U.S. – IM screen name Individual profiles linked by – email geography and institution – class schedule Nearly 1 billion photos – hometown posted – sexual orientation – sexual status – group affiliation – birthday – age
  • 10. MySpace Fifth most-popular website online More than 100 million users Estimated 230,000 members added daily Lingo: – Tom is everyone’s friend – Top 8 is the place to be Multimodal and customizable Dangerous? – quot;Shame Gamequot; Columbia Journalism Review – NetFamily Report
  • 11. Sample Facebook page Facebook
  • 12. Sample MySpace page MySpace
  • 13. Profiling two students.... Male student, 21, local to the state but Fem a le, 22, local to the state fro m a from a town south of the university ne a rby town White, Eng lish -s pe aking White, Eng lish -s pe aking Jun ior ma joring in history, thinking a bout S e nior, public re lations ma jor, pla nning on bec om ing a high sc hool history te ac her working in the field Works part -time at Ba rnes and Nob le Works part time in a n intern s hip in P R Transf e r this ye a r from a commu nity Transf e rre d two ye ars a go (afte r he r first colle ge year at a sm all, libe ral arts sch ool) Avid re a der pa rticularly sci e nce fiction, Huge music buff, listeni ng to a nd ke e ping fantasy, a nd histo rical fiction up with ba nds through sate llite rad io as well as o nline Has both a MyS pace p a ge a nd a Has both a MyS pace p a ge a nd a Fa ce book pa ge, but p refe rs Fac e book Fa ce book pa ge, but p refe rs MyS pace Single, ne w to the colle ge a nd making lots Single, has an estab lished frie nd gr oup at of friends the sch ool Uses his pa ges pr imarily to make ne w Uses her p a ges to ke ep in touch with friends a nd cre ate a nd join groups at the friends a nd post ne w music, is in the university pro cess of winno wing out he r friends list Lives on cam pus in a large, stu dent Lives off c a mpus at ho me in a n ea rby town hou s ing facility
  • 14. and their technologies • Create and maintain pages on two social networking sites: Facebook and MySpace (more time spent on the preferred site) – Connecting to people through searching for shared interests – Respond to friend requests – Create and join online groups – some related to or situated within the university network, some not – Post comments on pages – Re/design their own pages – using visual elements (more so in MySpace), adding music (MySpace), changing their profile picture or other information, uploading photos – Make new friends by sending friend requests – Surf profiles and pages, looking up people they may or may not know (e.g. looking at shared interests, group pages and memberships, other) • Email with friends and for work or school, including contacting faculty • Chat using synchronous chat software • Text message friends, family, others using their cell phones • Surf online more generally, looking for information, news, other
  • 15. Breaking down new literacies from Lankshear & Knobel, 2007 “paradigmatically new” – Multimodal affordances – Student and group networks – New avenues for communication – Ideas of participation “ontologically new” – Shifts in writing practices and the nature of text
  • 16. Main themes & questions thus far What does it mean to write? – Academic vs. new literacies Communication and connection – College is online *and* off, always Faculty positions and knowledge – Are we permanent outsiders? Can we be members of student networks? Should we be? Technology integration in higher ed – What should technology use look like? What can or should we build on? Critique?
  • 17. Is this real? What is real? Andrew: i’m interested in some of these subjects, but im not always sure how these classes will help me Dr. D: what do you need to learn from college, do you think? Andrew: i’m not sure what i can learn here. i need to get that piece of paper and i don't know what school can teach me about the real world. how can it? college is seperate from the real world, just as primary school. you can't learn about the world by going inside and talking about it. **** D: how would you change college? A: vocations training. hands on. practice, not theory D: tell me more -- make it specific to you A: im a history major, i don't know what ill be able to do with that degree when i graduate. i don't know that i'll have any marketable or resume worthy skills. i dont know if a business- world setting would be good, but some kind of on-site training that gave students experiance. i think experiance is the only real way to learn things. well, maybe not the only way. but its the best way. it gives the most knowledge in the least amount of time with the biggest impact D: so learning information has little impact, you mean A: two months in a classroom in dickson hall learning about prisons didnt give me the same feeling as going to northern state prison in newark D: good point.
  • 18. Uses of blogs and wikis Collaborative information creation – Course wikis authored also by students – http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_07/article02.htm Personal investment and voice – Self-authored, ongoing texts Interaction and investment – http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm06/erm06211.asp
  • 19. Blogs as assessment and investment I was never aware of the life of the Hazaras in Afghanistan. After reading the quot;Kite Runnerquot;, I realized that there exists a group of people called Hazaras who have been mistreated and killed because of their ethnicity and being diffrent than most Muslims. Even the government of Afghanistan has attempted eliminating the Hazaras from their country. The Hazaras do not only experience descrimination but are deprived of their freedom and have to live in segregation every day. Many Hazaras also had to experience the death of a family member as they are being killed and raped in front of them . The children are left to live as orphans and they have to care for themselves and seclude themselves from society in order to avoid being mistreated and killed. Hassan for example, despite of being Amir's friend, is often neglected by him because Amir only plays with him when he is by himself and when he is boared. Amir's friendhip towards Hassan is not loyal when compared to Hassan's friendship towards him. Hassan shows that he will do anything for Amir and is willing to stand up for him and help Amir whenever it is necessary. Amir in the other hand never does anything like that for Hassan and he never even calls Hassan his friend. The life of the Hazaras is something that I have taken a special interest in because I believe that it is wrong and something should be done to help them. – Student post, Spring 2007
  • 20. So what? Authenticity and abstraction – Connecting academic and new literacies – Learning the practices we *don’t* preach – Exploring the interconnections of identity and literacies – Adopting new tools, texts, and practices
  • 21. Essential resources Barbara Ganley, Middlebury – http://mt.middlebury.edu/middblogs/ganley/bgblogging/ danah boyd, UCLA – http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/ Blogging Pedagogy, UT Austin – http://pedagogy.cwrl.utexas.edu/ KairosNews – http://kairosnews.org/