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Digital activism: challenges and opportunities for language learning

Invited talk, April 14, 2021 https://www.jyu.fi/hytk/fi/laitokset/kivi/opiskelu/tutkinto-ohjelmat-ja-oppiaineet/englanti/research/seminars/2020-21

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Digital activism: challenges and opportunities for language learning

  1. 1. Digital activism: challenges and opportunities for language learning Katerina Zourou, Ph.D. University of Jyväskylä, English guest seminars, 2020-2021 14 April 2021
  2. 2. Katerina Zourou, PhD Web2Learn, Greece Researcher in computer assisted language learning Passionate about open and social learning Advocate of open access, open and citizen science A member of #LITHME COST action Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 @web2learn_eu
  3. 3. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  4. 4. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  5. 5. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  6. 6. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  7. 7. Digital activism Civic engagement for a social purpose mediated by technology Similar terms (but not interchangeable in meaning): Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 citizen-driven innovation, data activism, guerrilla science, social and environmental justice, social computing, citizen science, open production communities, citizen journalism, public participation in scientific research, hacktivism…
  8. 8. Digital activism in the press… Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/climate-and-people/covid-19-has-ushered-new-era-digital-activism-global-leaders/
  9. 9. …completely bottom-up… Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  10. 10. … or institutionalised (example: the EUvsVirus hackathon launched by the European Commission in April 2020) Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 21,000 participants, 140 nationalities, 27 countries, 23 languages, 600+ corporate partners, 1,400 mentors , 400 jury members, over 2,000 solutions created for coronavirus-related challenges
  11. 11. “In every crisis there is opportunity” Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Several examples of participatory, citizen-driven initiatives stemming from the collective effort to fight COVID-19
  12. 12. Outline Advancements in CALL: agency and social action in L2; the digital wilds Why should the CALL community care about digital activism? Examples of digital activism forms with potential for L2 use Impact on the CALL agenda Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  13. 13. Framing of today’s talk A tentative mapping of digital activism features that depict their potential for L2 learning and open up research perspectives in CALL. Yet to come: data collection; evidence- based research Next steps: analyse L2 practices, assess their language learning outcomes; analyse socio-interactional affordances of these settings Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  14. 14. Recent developments in Computer Assisted Language Learning Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  15. 15. Agency and social action in L2 • Sociocultural understandings of learning: emphasis on learners as social actors shaping their discourse and identity through agentive action • Agentive action (through participation) transforms and re-creates a new world that becomes part of one’s own. • Developments in technology (mobile devices that afford connection and social interaction anytime and anywhere, social networking tools) offer possibilities for user-driven, self, and group-initiated practices that redraw models of production, distribution, and reuse of knowledge Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 (Lave, 1998; Thorne, 2010; Reinhardt 2018; Zhao, Ellison & Lampe, 2016; Warner & Chen, 2017)
  16. 16. Agency-autonomy-social participation in L2 “A pedagogy that leverages social media practices for developing L2 learner autonomy should support learner agency by promoting user choice and self‐directed learning” (Reinhardt, 2018) L2 learners increasingly craft learning trajectories through multiple platforms and sites, including social networking ones. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  17. 17. Out-of-class learning Learning that "occurs naturalistically, using resources not specifically tailored for educational purposes and which are situated outside of any institutional context" (Sockett, 2014). A wealth of terms (Benson, 2011). “Digital wilds” refer to non-instructionally oriented contexts that support social activity (…) They present (…) compelling opportunities for intercultural exchange, agentive action, and meaning making” Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 self-access, out-of-school and distance learning; informal, non- formal and naturalistic learning; non-instructed learning and self-instruction; autonomous, independent, self-directed and self-regulated learning, and learning beyond the classroom (Thorne, Sauro, & Smith, 2015, Sauro & Zourou, 2019)
  18. 18. Why is digital activism worth exploring by the CALL community? Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  19. 19. #1 Global ambitions Contemporary social movements as ”Knowledge as a commons” (Hess & Ostrom, 2005): More opportunities for citizen access and (re-)use of knowledge (including data) of public interest => more transparency on local, national, global levels Opportunity to scale up civic engagement • by making the knowledge circulation process fairer and • by engaging citizens in shaping current and future policy agendas, cf. SDG monitoring Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Digital activism> datactivism, open governance, world open data day; SDG Global Festival of Action
  20. 20. #2 Impact and resonance An individual has unforeseen power to achieve impact and urge community action (cf. The Silence Breakers; Greta Thunberg, #metoo, #BLM) =>A single call for action can trigger many new forms of public engagement and a wealth of interaction modalities Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Digital activism> social and environmental justice; citizen science
  21. 21. #2 Impact and resonance An individual has unforeseen power to achieve impact and urge community action (cf. The Silence Breakers; Greta Thunberg) =>A single call for action can trigger many new forms of public engagement and a wealth of interaction modalities Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Digital activism> social and environmental justice; Indicatively: One-off protests, regular marches, online awareness campaigns, crowdfunding campaigns, round tables, TV shows, live streamed talks and combinations of all the above
  22. 22. #3 Sociotechnical developments Social connectivity (Boyd & Ellison, 2007; Benkler, 2006, 2017) Social networks as horizontal media « Produsage » (Bruns, 2008) Grassroots action; « networked protests » (Tufekci, 2017) Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Citizen journalism ; citizen science; guerilla science; guerilla fan translation (Vasquez, 2021)
  23. 23. Questions • What opportunities for digital activism conducive to language use exist? • What are the challenges? • How can they shape the future CALL agenda? Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 • Ζοurou, K. 2021, Language learning as agency for a social purpose: examples from the coronavirus pandemic. Alsic journal https://journals.openedition.org/alsic/4880 • Zourou, K. 2020. A critical review of social networks for language learning beyond the classroom. In Dressman, M. & Sadler, R. (Eds.). Handbook of Informal Language Learning, Wiley.
  24. 24. 4 main types of digital activism and their potential for L2 use and learning Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices Grassroots activism 1.Citizen science Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  25. 25. Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) for a social purpose Examples: Eterna, Foldit@home, and Foldit. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  26. 26. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #1: Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)
  27. 27. Puzzle solving environment+ chat Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #1: Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)
  28. 28. Chat (help) Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #1: Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)
  29. 29. Perceived advantages and disadvantages for L2 use and learning - both chats (general and help) were conducted in only one language (English). Languages other than English? Multilingual repertoires? + the social dimension of game play (the most highly ranked in all digital gaming studies in CALL, cf. Fischer & Thorne, 2012; Reinhardt & Zander, 2011); motivations to meet a social purpose (here: contribute to the fight vs Covid19) Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #1: Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)
  30. 30. #2: Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  31. 31. EUvsVirus hackathon Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #2: Hacktivism, data activism and open practices Example of a (massive) hackathon
  32. 32. Some statistics • 21,000 participants • 140 nationalities • 27 countries • Speakers of 23 languages • 600+ corporate partners • 1,400 mentors • 400 jury members over 2,000 solutions to address coronavirus-related challenges Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #2: Hacktivism, data activism and open practices
  33. 33. “Remote working and Education” among the six categories of challenges to be addressed Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #2: Hacktivism, data activism and open practices
  34. 34. The online working environment: Slack Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #2: Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices
  35. 35. + 2 examples: Open Data Days and EU Datathon Open data Days: Groups from around the world create local events on the day where they use open data in their communities.  to show the benefits of open data and  encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. EU Datathon: a competition for best teams developing an application that uses open data sets and is created for a social purpose Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #2: Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices
  36. 36. Perceived advantages and disadvantages for L2 use and learning - predominance of the English language as the international lingua franca, or unilingual hackathons=> multilingual repertoires? - Possible reason: quickness of interaction (in a 2-day) event as possible obstacle to volunteers with basic/intermediate L2 skills + possibility to develop language skills in parallel to expert knowledge on one’s field of expertise => particularly advantageous from a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) perspective Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #2: Hacktivism, data activism, and open practices
  37. 37. #3: Grassroots initiatives of digital activism Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  38. 38. A) grassroots initiatives • Bottom-up activities launched and sustained by local, national, or global communities • Examples: Covid19Italia Help and many initiatives within the Maker community Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #3: Grassroots initiatives of digital activism
  39. 39. B) maker movement Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #3: Grassroots initiatives of digital activism emphasis on the value of an individual's ability to be a creator of things. For COVID-19: many maker communities around the world engaged in the provision of medical supplies (oxygen masks, personal protective equipment including face shields, and devices such as oxygen concentrators) Example: US based Nation of Makers Makers in almost 500 maker communities had produced 7,196,842 items in 49 countries (June 1, 2020)
  40. 40. Perceived advantages and disadvantages for L2 use and learning - an accessible maker space & equipment (for L2 learners to deploy their skills) + L2 users encounter more opportunities for extended interaction (compared, for instance, with shorter interaction cues at problem solving MMOGs). in a bigger variety of interaction modalities (synchronous/ asynchronous, blended) Also, due to the numerous maker communities worldwide, more opportunities to interact in languages other than English. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 #3: Grassroots initiatives of digital activism
  41. 41. #4: citizen science Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  42. 42. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 “Citizen science is a broad term, covering that part of Open Science in which citizens can participate in the scientific research process in different possible ways: as observers, as funders, in identifying images or analysing data, or providing data themselves. This allows for the democratisation of science, and is also linked to stakeholders' engagement and public participation” (EC, 2020). 2 open access books:
  43. 43. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  44. 44. #4: Citizen science projects Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  45. 45. The way ahead: the CALL agenda Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  46. 46. Digital activism//formal education contexts • “participation in civic activities help students reach their full potential as creative individuals” [DA] “can be aligned with existing high school curricula, to provide motivating contexts for broadening social participation while deepening subject-matter knowledge” (Lampe et al. (2010). • In online language learning learning settings=> virtual exchange as a promising, fertile field of inquiry Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Check works by: Shannon Sauro, Steven Thorne, Catherine Jeanneau, Boris Vasquez-Calvo, Marie- Thérèse Batardière, Marco Cappellini, Francesca Helm
  47. 47. Digital activism and language use/learning: is the topic new? Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Active citizenship; socially informed approaches to learning; agency; constructivism; also: Illich’s Deschooling society; language socialisation in out- of-class contexts Impactful grassroots action; social networked publics; fan communities and fan practices; guerrila forms of action Existing knowledge New knowledge (A very rough interpretation!)
  48. 48. Challenges: very few analytical frameworks An example: ”the reader-to-leader framework” on a Technology-Mediated Social Participation framework (TMSP) by Preece & Shneiderman (2009) The Reader-to-Leader Framework: Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  49. 49. Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Location The place in which a learning activity takes place (physical, online, both) Formality Concerned with whether or not a learning activity is part of an institutional programme possibly leading to qualifications. Pedagogy The degree to which instruction (learning materials, assessment, etc.) is involved Locus of control Degree of self or other-directed control; distribution of decisions about learning Chik (2014). Further explored in Benson 2017; Reinders & Benson (2017) Another possible framework: Alice Chik’s framework for analysis of out-of-class L2 gaming.
  50. 50. CALL studies conducted on the 4 digital activism types Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Full reference: https://journals.openedition.org/alsic/4880#tocto1n6
  51. 51. Some concluding remarks (in progress) • Need for more evidence-based research grounded in primary data (analysis of player-to-player online discussion forums in MMOGs, assessment of the linguistic complexity, etc.) • From a research point of view, a need to focus more on the potential to use and learn an L2 in many “wild” settings activity (though efficiency, economies of scale, and developmental outcomes may differ). • From a pedagogical perspective: a need to acknowledge learners as social actors and to embrace language practice occurring in informal learning settings. • A need to open up CALL research on the wealth of forms of social action as means to (L2) learning (citizen-driven innovation, heritage activism, grassroots community learning, civic hacktivism, etc.) Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  52. 52. Thank you to my colleagues on Twitter who replied to my question “What shouldn't I forget to mention in my talk about languages and (digital) activism? Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  53. 53. And resources they shared: • How K-Pop Fans Actually Work as a Force for Political Activism in 2020 https://time.com/5866955/k-pop-political/ • Digital Technology and Democratic Theory. Data & Society podcast https://listen.datasociety.net/episodes/digital-technology-and-democratic-theory • Batardière, M.-T. (2018).Shaping-student-Engagement-in-online-intercultural- communication https://www.slideshare.net/marie- therese/slpc7shapingstudentengagementinonlineinterculturalcommunication • https://www.laquadrature.net/en/ • https://www.ippolita.net/ Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021
  54. 54. Thank you! Questions? Staying in touch: katerinazourou@gmail.com @web2learn_eu Google scholar Katerina Zourou, University of Jyväskylä, 14.4.2021 Slides available at https://www.slideshare.net/Web2Learn_eu

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