Introduce ourselves, etc.Teresa: Ask how many people in the room are on Facebook . . .
Teresa: Rhetoric & Social Media Course Information Literacy StipendDonna: Explain Info Lit Stipend and Applying ACRL Standards (what they are and how we applied them through the course goals and assignments):They are: Defining the information need, Accessing the information, Evaluating the information, Using the information, and doing the latter ethically and legally (i.e., Attributing the information to its source)
Teresa: Last week at the f8 (pronounced eff-ate) developers’ conference, Facebook announced it has passed 800 million users (which Facebook measures as users that have logged in during the past 30 days), while September 2011 estimates put it at 712 million. To put that into perspective . . .
Teresa: If Facebook were a country, it would be the 3rd largest country in the world population wise, and it’s closing in on India . . . What does this mean to us and for our students?
Teresa: In May 2009, a PMN and Pace University study found that 99% of 18-24 surveyed had a social media presence, and this data was reinforced by a Pew Research study on the Millennial Generation. Recent stats put 29% of Facebook users in the 18-24 year old bracket, which by new population figures means over 200 million people our students’ ages are on FB.
Teresa: How active are they on Facebook? They live here. READ SLIDE And while FB is the leading social media platform, most of our findings will apply to other social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, and they are exploding into other non-social media sites like news pages with the continually evolving “share” technologies.
Donna: So we designed this course with the understanding of the importance of Facebook in our students’ lives. [PaLA: Sharing these to show how there were elements of traditional informationliteracy as well as rhetoric built into the course]These goals shaped the course assignments, which in turn shaped the data we collected from our students about their social media behaviors and processes.Only talk about the last 2 points because they apply to presentationSTRESS 5th bullet, awareness: One student, having heard us use the prefix “meta” so often, announced in week 3 during a class discussion that “We have now entered MetaLand” so we called it that for the rest of the semester At one point Teresa texted to me “We have officially moved to MetaLand. The U-Haul has been unloaded. I think we’re staying!”
Teresa: In the spirit of curapersonalis, it is important that we understand where are students our coming from, what their experiences/beliefs/practices are; these are questions about epistemology and ideology, really, not so much technology. Social media culture is affecting our students’ relationships with information and with the world. We need to point at that as the technology changes, as we saw with the new announcements in the past 2 weeks, the cultural changes we’re talking about in this presentation will not necessarily go away, and, to be honest, we are predicting they are only going to get more intense. This doesn’t mean necessarily that we have to DO anything with this knowledge, mind you, and we are in no way arguing we need to cater to the way our students think, but we do need to understand it in order to work with them. Donna: We started with a broad research question, and had little idea about what we were going to learn about our students; we knew how weused Facebook and had thought about what it was doing to us, but we also knew our students didn’t necessarily use the tool in the ways we did. Donna: Methodology: small sample size (13 students), but what we learned about our students is corroborated by a lot of the literature nationally--the ways that researchers are speculating about the effects of social media--and we also know as observant and active users that these behaviors and effects are happening too. Our evidence for our claims about the effects of social media on our students’ information seeking behaviors and processes comes from the data we collected during the course, which our students gave us Informed Consent to use. This data is made up primarily of the assignments they did for the course, as well as their Facebook activity both within the secret Group for the course and on the parts of the site they created and worked within for the course. Teresa: Teaching the course again in Spring and hope to run similar study. But these are OUR STUDENTS, so it will be hard for us to deny these outcomes in the same way we can brush aside national outcomes as “not our kids.”
Teresa:A reporter in Spain asked why he thought Facebook was so successful. His response … Want to make clear Zuckerbaby (are you gonna say it this way? lol )is a good kid and we adore him. While some of what he envisions is naïve, and while some is dangerous, overall he has good intentions. His mantra, his goals for Facebook = empathy and bandwith (TIME Person of the Year article) which we will talk about later in the presentation. What’s important to understand now is that his goal is to change the world, to change culture, to change the way we interact with each other . . .and he is well on his way to achieving it. What we will present here today are some of those changes, ones that directly relate to the work we hope to do with students here.
Donna: Here are the changes to information and culturewe found resonate in our students’ behaviors and attitudes based on what we observed of our students during the course. (Note to self: Just read each bullet out loud, and then move on to next slide where you will explain the first, and so on.)
Donna: The nature of Access (the second ACRL standard) is changing: our students no longer seek out and FIND information in various sources on the web, but rather the information comes to them via customized feeds – EXPLAIN CUSTOMIZED FEEDS AND RSS SUBSCRIPTIONS Algorithms in both search (i.e., Google) and feeds (i.e., Facebook News Feed) mean that a system outside of the user is deciding what information to display, based on the user’s previous behavior within that system. Our students have grown up with this and consider this the norm when it comes to finding and accessing information. Teresa:Much of this information comes to users through their News Feed – the page that appears when they first open FB that streams the latest activity by sources (people and pages) they are connected to: Facebook is the biggest of a number of websites redefining news into something produced by ordinary individuals and consumed by their friends. (The Facebook Effect 295) Zuckerberg has always viewed the News Feed [as] a real source of relevant news, both about your friends and about the world. (The Facebook Effect 295) Teresa:criticism about this shift in behavior – what’s called the “filter bubble” and “echo chamber”, which we will explain in a little while, first . . . .
Donna: An early 2011 study found that 48% of young people said they find out about news through FB. Last month’s estimates (that still need to be confirmed) place this stat at 59% of Millennials getting their news online.
Teresa: An example from our course of this shift, of news coming to students through social media, came with the death of Osama bin Laden. Had a discussion in class the next day. One student posted to our group that she found out while at a concert via Twitter. CNN reported that the night of bin Laden’s death, at its peak, Twitter recorded 5106 tweets per minute, that’s 85.1 tweets/second. Later in the week, another student polled the class through FB’s new function to find how students heard about the breaking news. Of the 6 students who responded, 3 found out from FB, one from Twitter, and one via text message, and one from TV. Donna: Students know that information comes to them now, and they build their feeds accordingly: when one student for her final project developed a Facebookprofile for her father to communicate with family in Europe, she “Liked” the news outlets he reads and watches, knowing that by doing so she was subscribing to the information from those outlets for her father, and that this information would be delivered to him in his News Feed.
Teresa: Now, with this personalization comes consequences, of course. Both the setting of personal limits in terms of what information is subscribed to and the algorithms developers build to personalize or customize the information users get, the order you get this information in, etc., has created what has been termed “the filter bubble” or “the echo chamber.” Filter bubble = political activist and former MoveOn.org executive director Eli Pariser, theorizes the filter bubble, and there’s a whole book in the WML on it as well as a TED talk (Google “filter bubble TED”) . . .READ QUOTEEcho chamber is the term coined by Jaron Lanier, a computer scientist and the author of “You Are Not a Gadget.”= he explains these filters reaffirm instead of challenge views users already hold: “People tend to get into this echo chamber where more and more of what they see conforms to the idea of who some software thinks they are — like a Nascar dad who likes samurai swords,” Mr. Lanier says. “You start to become more and more like the image of you because that is what you are seeing.” Now, both of these theorists are referring to the algorithms built into search engines like Google, but these are also built into social media – ads on FB and “who you know” suggestions. AND users are limiting themselves, without the help of these developer tools, but only subscribing to what they “like” – for example, FOXNews is not on my newsfeed, but the Huffington Post is The biggest problem with this is that for now it is INVISIBLE = most users don’t know this is happening, or don’t understand the extent to which the information they are receiving is limited by the algorithms and their previous activityDonna:And as we mentioned earlier, our students grew up with this as the norm when they seek out information. Aseducators it’s obvious that the filter bubble is likely a barrier to the development of a well-rounded worldview in our students as well as the critical thinking we want them to develop and the wallowing in the complexity of issues, which is why it is important that we’re aware of it, both in our students’ online information activities and our own.
Donna:Our students categorize information (and thus FIND information) not based on the content of the information (what the information says), nor even based on the container of the information (i.e., publisher/textual source), but based on who shared the information with them—put another way, their way of recalling a piece of information is not based on the published source of that information (for example, the NY Times), but rather based on the person who linked to that information (i.e., the Facebook friend that shared a link to the NY Times article) [PaLA: this is standards two and five]
Donna: Andy Burkhardt, Emerging Technologies Librarian at Champlain College, VT, describes this well in a blog post in which he comments on a study published in the magazineScienceearlier this year called Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips. In the case of our students, who are using email less and less, we could modify Burkhardt’s analysis thus:[read] “We now just remember bits and pieces of an article that we read, but we can remember who tweeted it or which Facebook friend originally shared it, and then access it again when we need it.”
Donna: One student’s final project, created a group where the organizing principle for the information being shared is the friends doing the sharing: Group Description: "This is a group where everyone can come together and share stories going on in the world that can be any of the following:coolweirdfunnysadinterestingeducationalComments are welcomed very much, since this site is an outlet to stay connected to friends while educating your mind (as well as others) on current events!" …and then she proceeded to add all of her friends whose points of view she was interested in being exposed to through the links they share.Teresa: LAYOUT creates this connection: see “friend” first in name and picture. The next piece of info we may see is a comment from the sharer—contextualizing the information or shaping the reading of it. Then comes a link to the info itself, and maybe an explicit indication of the source/publisher of the info. You can determine through the layout of the posts on FB what is valued – that the sharer is valued more than the source or content.
Donna:Evaluation of information is standard three of the ACRL Standards, and how our students do this is changing: the value of the information is directly related to how others in a student's network value the information, and also based on whether or not the information is relevant to a student's friends or to his- or herself.
Teresa: Relevancy is to the self and the networkthe internal rationale he gave for the News FeedIn the beginning of the course, probably through the first 4 weeks, students CONTINUALLY referred to what they “liked” and what they had in common with others. The first day assignment was to analyze their classmates profiles and make assumptions about them, and students comments repeated a “like me” attitude. Their first set of user logs weren’t very meta or deeply analytical . . . A lot of “It looked interesting so I clicked on it” or “I liked it so I clicked on it” . . . You see this in your classes too. Example: "One of the first things I noticed about [classmate]'s profile is that she is listed as an English major--to me that is already a good sign, as I am also an English major as well.“ This is just one of many such quotes that were found in our students’ evaluative work early in the course.
Teresa: ETHOS = determined by the network, relationships to “sharer” or “poster” . . . Not to original source or contentREAD QUOTETeresa: Parker calls it “networks of people acting as a decentralized relevancy filter” (The Facebook Effect 296). Notice how expertise and passion are conflated now, and with the amount of misinformation floating around, as well as the filter bubble mentioned earlier, this should be something we address with students.
Donna: Evidence from student user log – explain USER LOGS briefly, then read quote
Donna:Evidence from FB group activity; [read her comment on the link]; the fact that a friend had shared this information trumped that the website may not be reputable; in addition, the fact that there are lots of comments on the piece means the value of the information goes up—the more people engaging with the information, the more “valid” or in some cases “real” it becomes.
Donna:choice of the word “open”—information flows both ways in ways it never did before. We are all publishers and authors, and sometimes we don’t even know it.Teresa: Lost anonymity = the internet at one point was feared to be this place where people could hide behind false names, now the culture has developed, partly though Facebook’s“real name” policy, to one of what Zuckerberg calls “radical transparency” EXAMPLE:“When a freelance photographer, Rich Lam, digested his pictures of the riots in Vancouver, he spotted several shots of a man and a woman, surrounded by police officers in riot gear, in the middle of a like-nobody’s-watching kiss. When the photos were published, a worldwide dragnet of sorts ensued to identify the “kissing couple.” Within a day, the couple’s relatives had tipped off news Web sites to their identities, and there they were, Monday, on the “Today” show: Scott Jones and Alex Thomas, the latest proof that thanks to the Internet, every day could be a day that will be remembered around the world. “ Donna:Explain second and 3rd bullets: --our students value information (and in fact trust information) that is open and transparent more so than information that is closed and behind a paywall (copyright implications)--in addition, their information seeking and sharing is always on display; identity crafting/carving and awareness (or lack thereof) of audience for information: [read bulleted quote][PaLA: This effect is a good jumping off point for how our definition of Information Literacy needs to be revised (a lot of this stuff is missing in the current standards because the nature of information is more open now than it was in 2000 when the standards were written)]
Teresa: Not too off – The NYT reported earlier this year that AA is reconsidering the “anonymous” part, bc new, younger addicts entering the program are having a hard time understanding and keeping anonymity, and they’re questioning program’s credibility Radical Transparency: “You have one identity . . . The days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly . . . Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg “ (The Facebook Effect 199)At week 2 in the semester, in conjunction with discussions of subjectivity and audience, students read blog posts that criticized and complicated this statement. For the most part they reacted by disagreeing with Zuckerberg and siding with the blogs, claiming that identity is always constructed and arguing about agency. About a month later, week 6, we had them read about Facebook’stheory of privacy and study what the settings at that time were for privacy, and at week 10, we had them read Foucault’s Panopticon chapter of Discipline and Punish and apply the theory to Facebook. Through these assignments, we were able to track students’ development of their awareness of radical transparency and their attitudes toward it. What follows is some of their responses to the readings.
Donna: Read quotes – our students have been conditioned to be open with the information they share.
Teresa: apologize for the long quote, but we thought it was important . . .Read quote and explain importance is that idea of “display” Teresa: Another student pointed out a difference: in panopticon, inmate is isolated, alone, withoutcontact; “on Facebook, you’re NEVER alone, all there is is contact”
Teresa:And that’s really Zuckerberg’s goal – to foster contact among people. He is not the evil emperor people make him out to be, though he is a little naïve. His goals are to increase empathy and accessibility worldwide.
Donna: Students for the most part believe that transparency leads to “better morals” and “better people” [Read Quotes]And this value judgment is being transferred from information about people to information in general, from the personal to the political and academic. If something is hidden, there’s something wrong with it.
Donna: Information Literacy (upcoming revision of our standards, which in turn shape how librarians teach information literacy)Teresa: Research as Inquiry – we want students to understand that we research to learn, not to prove already held ideas, and that our understand changes through research Teresa:GE curriculum changes – EP designation and the CL componentsTeresa:First-Year Seminars – discussions of information culture and their practices compared to the practices of “educated, responsible actors in the world”
Teresa: Plug CourseDonna: Plug Info Lit Stipend too, info in your inboxes (print and email), or on Library’s website—two deadlines this year: November 1, 2011 for Spring 2012 courses, and March 30, 2012 for Summer/Fall 2012 courses
Information Literacy and Social Media: How Facebook is Changing Students’ Attitudes toward and Behaviors with Information
Information Literacy and Social Media<br />How Facebook is Changing Students’ <br />Attitudes toward and Behaviors with Information<br />Teresa Grettano, English & Theatre<br />Donna Mazziotti, Weinberg Memorial Library<br />
Our Collaboration<br />Rhetoric & Social Media Course<br />Information Literacy Stipend<br />Applying ACRL Standards<br />
Why Facebook?<br />“Obsessed with Facebook.” Online Schools. <br />
Course Goals<br />Analyze a rhetorical situation in terms of audience, purpose, and style<br />Determine options for communication and make effective choices based on a rhetorical situation<br />Understand the difference between thesis-driven, academic arguments and visual-driven arguments, and be able to compose both effectively<br />Incorporate others’ ideas/outside information into your own arguments effectively and ethically<br />Become aware of your online behavior, its reasoning and effects<br />Develop more purposeful and effective practices in social network environments<br />
Presentation Goals and Disclaimers<br />CuraPersonalis<br />Ideology & Epistemology ≠ Technology<br />Research question: What are the effects of social media use on our students' information seeking behaviors and processes?<br />Methodology<br />
“If you give people a better way to share information it will change people’s lives.” ~Mark Zuckerberg<br />The Facebook Effect 278<br />
Findings<br />Information now comes to users<br />Information recall and attribution are now social<br />Evaluation is now social<br />Information is now open<br />
Information now comes to users<br />Customized feeds and RSS subscriptions<br />Search/feed algorithms<br />Personalization = “filter bubble” and “echo chamber”<br />
Information now comes to users<br />“Obsessed with Facebook.” Online Schools. <br />
"If you take all of these filters together, all of these algorithms you get what I call a filter bubble. Your filter bubble is your own personal unique universe of information that you live in online," he said. "What's in your filter bubble depends on who you are and it depends on what you do you, but the thing is that you don't decide what gets in...and more importantly you don't actually see what gets edited out."<br />Eli Pariser, Huffington Post interview<br />
Information recall and attribution are now social<br />Recall = network ≠ content (information)<br />Source = sharer ≠ container (publisher)<br />
“We now just remember bits and pieces of an article that we read, but we can remember who tweeted it or which email account it was sent to, and then access it again when we need it.” ~Andy Burkhardt<br />“Outsourcing Our Memories To Google,” Information Tyrannosaur<br />
Information recall and attribution are now social<br />
Evaluation is now social<br />Relevancy = to self and network<br />Ethos = other users in network <br />
“A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” ~Mark Zuckerberg<br />The Facebook Effect 296<br />
If I see a friend post a link to something in a field I know they’re expert in or passionate about, I am more likely to click it than I am to click something that shows up on my MyYahoo home page. ~ Sean Parker <br />The Facebook Effect 296<br />
Evaluation is now social<br />The next notification was a comment on a status that I had also commented on. This didn’t matter to me because I don’t know the girl who commented on the status after me. Often I do not even bother with these notifications because I don’t care about what this person has to say, if I don’t know them.<br /> Student User Log, emphasis added<br />
Information is now open<br />Lost anonymity + radical transparency <br />Value = open + transparent ≠ closed + paywall<br />“You are now an open book.” ~Student Reader Response<br />
Facebook is founded on a radical social premise--that an inevitable enveloping transparency will overtake modern life. <br />The Facebook Effect 200<br />
Information is now open<br />Social norms and peer pressure have an effect on us. If everyone else is over-sharing on Facebook that compels us to want to also over-share. People will share more and more intimate details and get used to sharing such information until they do not even realize they are over-sharing in the first place. <br />It seems maddening now, but with Twitter and Facebook’s mobile applications, it becomes more and more normal for us to constantly show the world what we are thinking, either to stand out from the crowd, or to help us feel part of it. We won’t feel forced to share, we will simply be terrified of not sharing. <br /> <br />Student Reader Responses, <br />emphases added<br />
Information is now open<br />It seems that the Panopticon tries to provide its inmates with a very private environment. They are secluded from other inmates, aren’t aware of when they are being watched, and cannot even see outside of their cell because of the complex architecture surrounding them. They are led to believe they lead very private lives; however, they are constantly being watched. They can be watched at any time and for any reason. They have no idea when or why they are being observed. This is, in a way, the level we are subjected to as users on Facebook. We agree to these privacy terms, create our own privacy settings, manage our friends list, but we are completely unaware of the way other users are using Facebook. We never know who may be looking at our profile and for what reason. We may feel that we are utilizing the tool in the most private way, but Facebook has a way of going behind our backs and tricking us. As we discussed in class, most people are confused by privacy settings. I wonder how many schools have courses like this in which users are being education about privacy settings. Many users have never even attended college. Where will the world learn how to limit their profiles? We are constantly on display and readily accessible to any wandering eye. <br />Student Reader Response, emphasis added<br />
"The thing that I really care about is making the world more open and connected," Zuckerberg says. . . . "Open means having access to more information, right? More transparency, being able to share things and have a voice in the world. And connected is helping people stay in touch and maintain empathy for each other, and bandwidth." <br />TIME Person of the Year 2010<br />
Information is now open<br />I do not prefer radical transparency because although it teaches us to be accountable for our actions, is that really the way to teach such a concept: through the threat of public embarrassment? <br />I have to say that I am with Zuckerberg on this one. The world is moving toward more complete transparency. I also buy into this concept that if people are conditioned to be transparent they will be better people. <br /> <br />Student Reader Responses,<br />emphases added<br />