The Social Media Workshop: from research to development


Published on

This talk introduced staff at University College Borås to an approach for teaching social media literacies that I was piloting with a group at the IT Technics University, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Social Media Workshop: from research to development

  1. 1. Russell Francis Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS) Department of Education, Communication and Learning University of Gothenburg
  2. 2. Digital Literacies: emergent discourse(s) Australia & Europe —  Critical Literacy: Politics, Praxis and the Post Modern (Lankshear and McClaren , 1993) —  Digital Literacy (Glister 1997) —  Media Literacy and Cultural Studies (Luke, 1997) —  Doing Literacy Online (Snyder and Beavis, 1998) —  Page to Screen: taking literacy into the electronic era (Synder 1998) —  Digital Cultures, Digital Literacies, Expanding notions of text (Beavis 2001) —  Silicon Literacies (Synder 2002) —  Media Education (Buckingham, 2003) —  New Literacies (Lankshear & Knoble, 2003) —  Literacy in the New Media Age (Kress, 2003) —  Technology, Learning and Literacy:A multimodal Approach (Jewitt, 2006) —  Digital Literacies: concepts, policies and practices (Lankshear and Knoble, 2008) United States and Canada •  The Psychology of Literacy (Scribner and Cole 1981) •  Socio-linguistics and literacies: ideologies in discourses (Gee, 1996) •  What is literacy? (Gee, 1991) •  A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies (New London Group, 1996) •  The seven great debates in the media literacy movement (Hobbes, 1998) •  Literacy in a digital world (Tyner, 1998) •  Critical Media Literacy (Alverman and Hagood, 2000) •  Adolescences and Literacies in a digital world (Alverman, 2002) •  Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: media education for the 21st Century (Jenkins, Purutshotma, Clinton, Robins,Wiegle 2006/7) •  The Past Present and Future of Media Literacy Education (Hobbes & Jensen, 2009) •  21st Century Literacies (Rheingold / McArthur Foundation)
  3. 3. Literacy: a practiced based account Scribner and Cole (1981) first conceptualised literacy as a specialised form of social practice in The Psychology of Literacy. Commenting on this work, David Olson writes: “Literacy is not just a basic set of skills isolated from everything else. It is the competence to exploit a particular set of cultural resources. It is the evolution of those resources in conjunction with the knowledge and skill to exploit those resources for particular purposes that makes up literacy”. (Olson,The world on Paper, 1994: 43)
  4. 4. Students can now social media directly through personalised laptops But what are they doing with these tools? And what are the implications for learning and literacy? Ludwig Gatzke
  5. 5. How do we study new media literacies empirically? Method implemented in doctoral study: —  Focuss on the practices of advanced, resourceful learners with long histories of internet use Follow individual learners and explore how: —  They appropriate digital tools and resources to achieve their purposes in everyday life —  Digital tools mediate (or remediate) their capacity to work on particular problems (objects) over time —  Digital tools bite back and re-mediate students actions, motivations and intentions Identify and conceptualise: —  The challenges and choices (tensions and contradicitons) students experience as they attempt to exploit the affordances of digital tools and online resources —  New media literacy: a capacity to negotiate these contradicitons and exploit the full potential of digital resources to achieve ones’ purposes
  6. 6. Subject Object-Motive Tools
  7. 7. Subject/s Object-motive DigitalTools (e.g. Endnote, Mutliple, MSN Messenger,Amazon,Wikis, RSS feeds, Google, Facebook,YouTube,Twitter, Stumble Upon) College Students Micro-level Conducting a literature search, Completing assignment, cultivating professional network, performing an online identity
  8. 8. Empirical work reveals •  Anastasia appropriates web-based resources to teach herself multivariate analysis (ANOVA) •  Ardash develops an insight into the various ’webs of influence’ between authors using the book recommendation system •  Edina uses MSN messenger to cultivate and nurture a global network of NGO workers •  Clinton rehearses the identity of a statesmen through participation in ’DemocratsAbroad’ •  Jacob participates in ’Millions against Monsanto’ to expose what he identitifies as the cohersive marketing strategies
  9. 9. A micro-anatomy of the whole ‘The whole of Capital is written according to the following method: Marx analyses a single living “cell” of capitalist society – for example, the nature of value.Within this cell he discovers the structure of the entire system and all of its economic institutions… to the layman this analysis may seem a murky tangle of tiny details, but these tiny details are exactly those which are essential to the microanatomy of the whole’ (Vygotsky 1978, cited by Cole & Scribner in introduction)
  10. 10. Subject/s Object-motive? DigitalTools (e.g. Endnote, MSN Messenger,Amazon,Wikis, RSS feeds, Google, Facebook,YouTube,Twitter, Stumble Upon) College Students Rules / Constraints Community Division of Cognitive Labour Physical space & paper based media vs cyberspace & digital media Life world communities of academic practices vs multiple overlapping online affinity spaces Expertise of tutors and course mates vs Intelligent agents, distributed funds of living knoweldge and collective intelligence Gaining a degree Developing specialised interests Socialising Self-education Networking Making friends Finding partners Conceptualising the implications of media change at a wider systemic level
  11. 11. Subject/s Object-motive DigitalTools The Journey through Higher Educaiton as an Identity Project (e.g. Endnote, MSN Messenger,Amazon,Wikis,, RSS feeds, Google, Facebook,YouTube,Twitter, Stumble Upon) College Students Rules / Constraints Community Division of Cognitive Labour Physical space & paper based media vs cyberspace & digital media Life world communities of academic practices vs multiple overlapping online affinity spaces Expertise of tutors and course mates vs Intelligent agents, distributed funds of living knoweldge and collective intelligence Projective identity as object-motive of life long learning agenda conceived as self- making activity
  12. 12. The Decentring of the Traditional University 1.  From the Culture Industry to Participatory Culture 2.  CognitiveAnthropology on the Cyberian Frontier 3.  The Learner as Designer 4.  CreativeAppropriation 5.  Globally Distributed Funds of Living Knowledge 6.  Learning through Serious Play inVirtually FiguredWorlds 7.  The Decentring of theTraditional University Francis, R. (2010)
  13. 13. From research to development Ethnographic work —  Suggests how students are expoiting the social web as as a learning resource —  Provides localised insider perspectives on a college culture in the process of transition —  Reveals the challenges and choices students confront in an age of perpetual media change —  Helps us identify and conceptualise emergent learning practices —  Provides an grounded insight into new media literacy in action —  Opens a window into the future of (self) education? But what is the social justice value of this kind of research?
  14. 14. Social Media Workshop: Progress Background Focus groups wth graduate students that explored students changing sense of self & community (Oxford, 2008) Research focussed on Global Kids Media Masters initiative (NewYork, 2008) Completed —  Workshop at Boras (Autum 2010) —  Five workshops at Gothenburg FE college (Spring 2011) —  Module on online MSc course (Oct 2011) Planned —  ScandLe meeting (this week) —  Further work with GU students? —  LinCS doctoral school (Spring 2012) —  Workshop in Girona (Spain) 2012 —  Demo with groups of research students at other universities?
  15. 15. Key features of the social media workshop —  Structured activities that stimulates reflective small group and whole group discussion about social media —  Equips students with conceptual tools for thinking about and discussion their own social networking practices —  Aims to make emergent social networking practices more visible —  Emphasis on using social media to stimulate critical reflection and small group discussion —  Bottom-up approach that working with existing trends —  Models: —  Engeström’s (2007)‘Change Laboratory’ methodology used in developmental work research (DWR) —  Freire’s ( 1985)‘Problem-posing education’ (see Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
  16. 16. The Change Laboratory Model —  Participatory and developmental research methodology —  Aims to transform mediated communicative and collaborative working practices. —  Researchers develop conceptual tools that model the activity system over time at multiple levels of analysis —  The Mirror Method: —  Tools presented to work teams in whole group sessions facilitated by researchers —  Process helps work teams identify tensions and contradictions in activity system —  Helps participants understand conflicts from others people’ point of view —  Aims to bring about bottom-up‘expansive transformation’ based on a transformed conceptualisation of the problem space •  Engeström (2007) PuttingVygotsky toWork:The Change Laboratory as an application of dual stimulation’
  17. 17. —  Images, Maps and Diagrams —  Emblematic vignettes reconstructed from ethnographic research —  Quotations from the Literature —  Student presentations about their own engagement with social software sites —  Questionnaires / Surveys —  Lists of provocative questions —  YouTube podcasts andTED talks —  Blog Posts,WikiArticles and Social Software Profiles —  Graphs and charts representing statistical data —  Visualisation software Resources used as stimulate discussion
  18. 18. Pedagogical considerations —  Workshop must work within a typical classroom / seminar room (akin to a career guidance workshop) with a projector and white board —  Student sit at tables arranged to support small group work (4 -5 per table) —  Mixes individual, small-group and whole-group researcher led activities —  Flexible, modular design must allow exercises and activities to presented and adapted to ensure continued relevance —  User generated content (i.e. websites, webcasts, wikis) as stimulus materials ensures topicality —  Need to challenge students to critically frame source material and consider commercial / political agendas at work. —  Practical production activities (i.e. blog posts, social software groups, editing wiki-pages) could engage students and ensure relevance and generate resources that can then be presented back to the group
  19. 19. Activities —  The Learner as Designer —  The tectonic georgraphy of cyberspace —  The identity time bomb —  Creative Common & Intellectual property —  Facebook: networked sociality or always on panoptic on? —  Weapons of mass distraction —  To blog or not to blog that is the question? —  Judging the credibility of information available online —  Social media and peer review —  TheVisibility of Networks —  Professional Networking —  Taking a stand with social media —  The presentation of self in cyberspace —  Networked Publics vs.Virtually Gated Communities —  Modes of participation in online affinity groups —  Learning through serious play —  Globally distributed funds of Knowledge —  Open access / open education —  Cognitive Crutches vsAssistive Learning Companions —  The ethnics of reciprocation. —  Finding a niche to work in
  20. 20. Cyberspace 2007 Expect to see further Tensions Conflict Disruption Upheaval Convergence Collisions Ethical Start-ups vs Attention Economics! play Source:
  21. 21. Cyberspace 2010 Problem posing questions What has changed? Which companies are succeeding in the attention economy? Why? What does this suggest about the future of the Internet? How can we stop it? Source:
  22. 22. Conceptual tools for thinking about social media —  Culture industry (Adorno, 1947) —  Appropriation (Bakhtin 1981,Wertsch 1995) —  Funds of Knowledge (Moll et al, 1998) —  Distributed Cognition (Hutchins, 1995; Pea 1997) —  Attention economics (Goldhaber, 1997) —  Collective Intelligence (Levy, 1997) —  Psychosocial Moratoriums (Erikson, 1963, Turkle, 1998) —  Digital Immigrants / Digital Natives (Prentsky, 2001) —  Multimodality (Kress, 2004, Jewitt, 2009) —  Smart Mobs (Rheingold, 2002) —  NetWORKing (Nardi, 2002) —  Cyborg Minds / Mindware (Clark, 2003) —  Wisdom of the Crowds (Surowiecki, 2004) —  Strong and Loose ties (Granovetter, 1973, Jones et al 2008) —  Insider vs Outsider Mindsets (Lankshear and Knoble, 2003) —  Online affinity spaces and Projective Identities (Gee, 2004) —  Participatory / Convergence Culture (Jenkins, 2006) —  Collaborative Intentionality Capital (Engeström, 2006) —  Breaking away into mycorrhizae (Engeström, 2005) —  Free Culture (Lessig, 2005) —  Memeing (Knoble, 2006) —  Relational Agency (Edwards, 2005) —  Tipping points —  Camping out andTele-cooning —  Gift Economies —  Recursive Republics (Kelty, 2008) —  Hanging out, messing around and geeking out (Ito et al. 2009) —  Blackboxing (Saljo , 2010) —  Cognitive Surplus (Shirkey, 2010) —  Spreadable Media (Green and Jenkins, 2010) —  Residents andVisitors (White, 2011)
  23. 23. Synthesising Spontaneous and Scientific Concepts “From the very beginning the child’s scientific and his spontaneous concepts for instance “exploitation” and “brother” develop in reverse directions: starting far apart, they move to meet each other. ...The child becomes conscious of his spontaneous concepts relatively late; the ability to define them in words, to operate with them at will, appears long after he has acquired the concepts. He has the concept (i.e. knows the object to which the concept refers), but is not conscious of his own act of thought.The development of a scientific concept, on the other hand, usually begins with its verbal definition and its use in non- spontaneous operations with working on the concept itself. It starts its life in the child’s mind at the level that his spontaneous concepts reach only later.” [Thought and Language, Chapter 6, 1997]
  24. 24. The Visbility of Networks 2:53 PM24 —  Retrospective / emergent —  Social / Professional? —  Network clusters? —  Network density? —  Situatedness (local / global) —  Stable / dispersing? —  Nurturing work —  Interconnections? —  Cross connections? —  Associated gift economies? Social media graphs can help students to reflect upon their own social networks.
  25. 25. I have to agree withAlan...I was at a seminar with an expert on panda genetics & he was saying they're not as endangered as people think...they are the Paris Hilton of the animal world...constantly hogging the limelight!!! :)What about the poor African wild ass, they're not cute so no-one cares! :( LOL Pandas why are they here? A means to maintain a densely interconnected personal network. 2:53 PM25
  26. 26. Paulo Freire Creative CommonsAttribution, Non-Commerical, ShareAlike 3.0 26 “A deepened consciousness of their situation leads people to apprehend their situation as an historical reality susceptible of transformation. Resignation gives way to the drive for transformation and inquiry, over which men feel themselves to be in control.” (from Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 1985: 66)  
  27. 27. Pedagogy Banking model of education Problem Posing education Aim To produce docile, obedient, unquestioning workers Helps learners become critical, reflective human beings Locus of agency Top down Bottom up Student Empty vessel to be filled with facts Student-teacher co-construct new meanings Epistemology Drill and test (behavioursim) Constructivist Role of teacher Expert /Authority figure Co-learner Contradictions Obfuscates contradictions Exposes contradictions Produces Acceptance of inequality Capacity for critical praxis Politically Conservative of status quo Transformative / emancipatory
  28. 28. The Truth about Facebook I’m getting bored of Facebook Source: The truth about Facebook Source: Thesis Anti-thesis How do we draw students into a dialectic critique of their (social) media environment?
  29. 29. Key challenges —  Finding conceptual tools that are intuitive and help students describe their own practices must remain an ongoing process —  Important to allow pedagogical innovation to evolve in tandem with the interests and needs of the group. —  Need to design tightly structured activities that can be used in a flexible, modular manner. —  Engaging participants in the research process – ask them to make their own tools —  Need to simplify theoretical tools and resources different ages / ability ranges —  Important to remaining aware of one’s own cultural biases and presuppositions
  30. 30. Production Activities —
  31. 31. Summary: the social media workshop —  Aims to work with emergent trends building on students existing social networking practices —  Uses stimulus material (introduced by researcher) to help students articulate, reflect upon their existing social networking practices (i.e. Mirror Method) —  Draws on existing theoretical work in the field of social media research (and aims to refine and contribute to the development of theory) —  Equip students with a vocabulary (conceptual tool-kit) for thinking about and reflecting upon their own social networking practice —  Promotes awareness of the economic, legal, and ethical dimensions of participatory cultures
  32. 32. The End Contact: E-mail: Website:
  33. 33. Sample Provocative Statements   18.1 If you use Facebook please suggest your attitude towards the following statements Please answer with aY (yes) or N (No) in the space provided  Facebook helps me have friendships. [ ]   Facebook has helped me make new friends. [ ]   I have learnt things about other students in college using Facebook. [ ]   Facebook makes me feel closer to people I already know [ ]   Facebook has helped me rebuild relationships with old friends [ ]   I am highly selective about who I let into my Facebook buddy list [ ]   I would like to have my academic supervisor in my Facebook group [ ] I would feel alienated from my university life if it were not a member of the Facebook. [ }   feel distant from people who have not joined Facebook [ ]  
  34. 34. Sample - Likert scale response sheet Please indicate your attitude towards the following statements.    1 strongly disagree   2: disagree 3:neither e nor disagree 4:agree 5:strongly agree    I am concerned about the judgments people might form as a result of information about me available online [ ] The connections I have to others through the Internet is changing my sense of community [ ] I use online tools to make and maintain contact with people with similar interests [ ] The connections I have made with others through the Internet is changing the way I see myself [ ] The Internet has made me envisage alternative possible careers { ] My opinion of others has changed as a result of information I have discovered about them online [ ] I don’t care what information is available about me online [ ] I actively manage my online identity to create a good impression [ ] I am concerned about identity theft [ ] Potential employers might form opinions about me based on information that is available online [ ]
  35. 35. Genesis of the Social Media Workshop in Practice —  Focus groups withWelfare andWine Society at Green College, Oxford —  Students discussed changing sense of self and community. —  Workshops mediated by tools, short questionnaires, nibbles and wine —  Relaxed informal atmosphere proved extremely important —  Experience of Research Global Kid’s Media Masters’ programme in NewWork. - Research conducted at the High School for Global Citizenship, NewYork (Fall 2009) - Provided some examples example of the way social and participatory media can by used as part of progressive pedagogies. -  Framework: ‘Towards a Participatory Pedagogy for Civic Engagement’ (Francis and Santo, forthcoming). —  Current pilot work with English Class at ITTechnics University of Gothenburg —  Piloting workshop technique with high ability English Class —  Affording scope for pedagogical innovation and resource development —  Forcing me to simplify and adapt resources and develop more tightly structured activities
  36. 36. Future Possibilities —  Developing a bank of sharable presentations about students own experience and use of social media could help to make emergent practices more visible —  Shared onYouTube or Slide share this could become a powerful pedagogical resource in its own right —  Need to cascade model to teacher trainers or offer as model to ICT computer services and Pedagogical Development Units —  Develop study into a comparative video ethnography to facilitate cross cultural comparison and research —  Offering as series of social media workshops within the Peer-to-peer University (P2PU)