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Academic Web 2.0: Reflective and Critical Practices


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Academic Web 2.0: Reflective and Critical Practices

  1. 1. Andy Coverdale Academic Web 2.0: Reflective and Critical Practices International Journal of Arts & Sciences (IJAS) Prague Conference 21 June 2011
  2. 2. <ul><li>Theme </li></ul><ul><li>How early career researchers are adopting and using social media (web 2.0) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on core values of social media practice and scholarship rather than technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighting reflective and critical practices </li></ul><ul><li>Informed by… </li></ul><ul><li>PhD thesis on how social media can facilitate doctoral practices and identity development </li></ul><ul><li>Workshops for PhD students and Post-doctoral researchers at the University of Nottingham </li></ul>Introduction
  3. 3. <ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogging (Twitter) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking and Referencing </li></ul><ul><li>Content Sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative texts / Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Social annotation </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming / Virtual Worlds </li></ul>Social & Participative Media (Web 2.0) Range of Tools & Practices
  4. 4. <ul><li>Academic Inertia and Resistance </li></ul><ul><li>Deeply embedded discipline-specific and generic practices </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Duopoly’ of formal academic discussion and dissemination: </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing: Journal articles, papers etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Conferences, Seminars etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media both challenges and augments established academic practices </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinarity and Polycontextuality </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary and peripheral contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Tribes and Territories (Becher and Trowler, 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Communities of practice - multi-membership (Wenger) </li></ul>Academic and Research Practices
  5. 5. Image: Rachel Walls | Reflective Practices Reflective Learning Theories Experiential learning cycle (Kolb, 1984) Professional knowledge and practice (Schon, 1987) Transformative learning (Mezirow, 1990)
  6. 6. <ul><li>Critical Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Range of core critical thinking skills and dispositions </li></ul><ul><li>A critical attitude or moral / ethical motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Social Theory </li></ul><ul><li>Not only ‘critique’ but social and political transformation </li></ul><ul><li>Ways of thinking and acting </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple perspectives / points of view </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory, progressive and emancipatory forms of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Education - moral, ethical and political pedagogical practices </li></ul><ul><li>Technology - social, historical and political cultures </li></ul>Critical Practices
  7. 7. Sharing Practices <ul><li>Critical and Reflective Dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage reflective and critical thinking in groups </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance on openness, trust and shared values </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for discussion and sharing of experiences and skills: </li></ul><ul><li>In context (i.e. through social media) </li></ul><ul><li>Out of context (e.g. workshops) </li></ul><ul><li>Blended approaches </li></ul>Image: Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin
  8. 8. <ul><li>Social Learning Models </li></ul><ul><li>Support communicative, participatory and collaborative practices </li></ul><ul><li>Complementary to social learning models and pedagogies </li></ul><ul><li>Situated Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Effectiveness of social media is situated in individual practices and (inter)disciplinary knowledge cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship with media and information literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Contested meanings and interpretations </li></ul><ul><li>Policy and ownership </li></ul>Educational Contexts
  9. 9. <ul><li>Web 2.0 Myths </li></ul><ul><li>Myths emerge when ideological positions and arguments become integrated into common understanding and discourse (Friesen) </li></ul><ul><li>Democratisation, freedom of choice, empowerment, equity etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Technological determinism </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial / proprietary software </li></ul><ul><li>Realities </li></ul><ul><li>Business metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>Existing power relations and hierarchies </li></ul><ul><li>Digital divides </li></ul>Challenging Dominant Discourses
  10. 10. <ul><li>The ‘Ed-tech Bubble’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Best practice’ exemplars? </li></ul><ul><li>Culturally introspective </li></ul><ul><li>Uniquely predisposed to be confident, competent and motivated adopters and users </li></ul><ul><li>Access to a critical mass of active users in research field </li></ul>Challenging Dominant Discourses Rhetoric vs. Authenticity Disparity between idealised concepts of socio-technical practice and ‘messy realities’ (Selwyn) Image: keko |
  11. 11. <ul><li>Identifying appropriate tools and platforms and evaluating their affordances </li></ul><ul><li>Developing self- and collaborative organisational and time-management skills </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying appropriate training needs and training opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Transference to lifelong learning and professional development contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging in opportunities for sharing practice </li></ul><ul><li>Developing potential for individual, participatory and collaborative design </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating new socio-technical academic communities and networks </li></ul><ul><li>Boundary-crossing of disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Recognising shifts in academic protocols; new modes and means of production, peer review and knowledge resources </li></ul><ul><li>Adapting to new practices in academic integrity and responsibility - referencing and attribution of digital sources and artefacts </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating institutional, proprietary, freeware and open-source tools and platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding emerging multimedia and multimodal literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Managing online identities and reputation </li></ul>Key Reflective and Critical Practices
  12. 12. <ul><li>Effectiveness of social media is situated in individual practices and disciplinary knowledge cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Should be embedded in to everyday academic practice </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers need to develop their own strategies and develop context specific solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Effective use of social media requires developing reflective and critical practices </li></ul><ul><li>These should be embedded in the processes of adopting and using social media </li></ul><ul><li>Create opportunities for sharing these practices </li></ul>Summary
  13. 13. Thanks! Andy Coverdale [email_address] [email_address]