Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Twitter: An open opportunity or a perilous public?


Published on


Published in: Education
  • Login to see the comments

  • Be the first to like this

Twitter: An open opportunity or a perilous public?

  1. 1. Twitter: an open opportunity or a perilous public? #OER17 Muireann O’Keeffe
  2. 2. Hello! 2 Dr Muireann O’Keeffe Academic developer DCU, Ireland EdD 2016 Thesis: Exploring Twitter for professional learning Twitter: @muireannOK
  3. 3. Rhetoric V Research Keep up-to- date Builds connections Top Tool for Learning Collaboration & learning Supports sharing of practice
  4. 4. 1. I advocated Twitter as a learning tool with HE staff 2. I have responsibility to lead by example, demonstrate critical awareness of technology I engage with (Selwyn & Facer, 2013) 3. Exploration of Twitter for informal professional learning (Gerstein, 2011; Holmes et al., 2013; Lupton, 2014) Image from Designed by Freepik. Free license with attribution
  5. 5. Case study approach ▪Exploratory research ▪Real experiences/holistic view ▪Veletsianos (2010) “not yet fully understood” ▪Lupton (2013) qualitative research necessary ▪Authentic narratives and voices ▪Conclusions can be questions for further research (Buchanan, 2012; Denscombe, 2010; Yin, 2014) ▪Participants: 7 HE professionals ▪Lecturers, learning technologists, academic developers Image from CC0
  6. 6. Visitor - Resident continuum (White & Le Cornu, 2011)
  7. 7. Findings: Activities Visitors Information gathering Absence of social presence Visitors/ Residents information gathering Some social presence Residents Social presence Connecting and interacting w/ other professionals
  8. 8. Visitors I would agonise over tweets for too long Because people I subscribe to are kind of fairly high up Colleagues who know a lot more…. I don’t have the bravery (confidence) I’m not confident about it being massively open I’m hyper sensitive of people judging my comments
  9. 9. Visitor participants: inhibiting factors
  10. 10. Residents There is a tendency for group think It’s all about having the correct etiquette and just being a nice person I suppose people would be perhaps cautious that they may say something silly, misrepresent the institution, misrepresent themselves You have the freedom to say ‘actually this is what I believe’ and maybe I don’t know ‘I’m happy to be proved wrong I think confidence is a huge issue It’s a subject I feel very confident in
  11. 11. Resident participants: enabling factors
  12. 12. Findings Visitors Barriers Residents Enablers
  13. 13. Visitors: marginalised professionals? 13 Wenger (1998): Learning occurs in relationships between people and that mutually negotiated activities contribute to identity construction CoP dimensions: mutual engagemen t joint enterprise shared repertoire
  14. 14. “ “the purpose is not to learn from talk as a substitute for legitimate peripheral participation; it is to learn to talk as a key to legitimate peripheral participation” (Lave & Wenger, 1991, pp. 108-9).
  15. 15. 15 1.Political: what power issues exist for professionals when trying participate in open online spaces? 2.Affective – what does it feel like to navigate and participate in the online open space of Twitter? 3. Social: how can professionals broker connections, develop professional relationships in online open spaces? Is Twitter an open inclusive learning space for professionals?
  16. 16. Status & knowledge hierarchies Twitter communities: a sense of belonging? ▪Online spaces for learners endorsed as affinity spaces (boyd, 2011; Hayes & Gee, 2010; Ito, et al., 2013; Stewart, 2014) ▪But others warn against simplified and unchallenged findings that extol the virtues of learning in online spaces (Selwyn & Facer, 2013) ▪Visitors: lack of sense of belonging ▪Paul, Denise: others more knowledgeable ▪Knowledge and status hierarchy ▪Hughes (2010): affinity through knowledge-related identity was fundamental to learning
  17. 17. Status & knowledge Hierarchies Twitter communities: a sense of belonging? ▪Paul: felt equal to other educators in formal face-to-face contexts ▪Denise: comfortable in engaging in face-to-face discussion ▪Paul on Twitter: others were more knowledgeable, higher status ▪Denise: other know more ▪Did other factors marginalise their participation and belonging online and prevent finding affinity with others? ▪Resident participants, Maurice and Ben, both male and had secured permanent roles
  18. 18. “ ▪“participating online feels different if you are a woman” ▪(Neary & Beetham, 2015, p. 98) ▪“these platforms were designed with specific people in mind, and those people were rarely people of color, minorities, women, or marginalized folks” ▪(Singh, 2015)
  19. 19. How did participants feel in online open spaces? ▪ Participants had an emotional response to participation on Twitter ▪ Confidence “Much learning at work occurs through doing things and being proactive in seeking learning opportunities, and this requires confidence” (Eraut 2004)
  20. 20. How did participants feel in online open spaces? Exposure & vulnerability ▪ Denise: decision not to put herself at risk - Critical incident in practice ▪ Carol: “I would agonise over tweets” Vulnerability in online spaces, unknown audiences (boyd, 2014) Trust: important in CoP’s – Wenger (1998) ▪ Singh (2015) urges educators be sensitive about openness as for some it can signify harm ▪ “These do not feel like safe spaces when you are developing your identity, your subject specialism, and your voice….” (Beetham, 2016, blog post)
  21. 21. Duty of Care? Vulnerability of participation in open online space. As educators how are we protecting those we educate in online spaces? Are we helping them bridge that gap? (Stewart, 2016) But…. those who engage peripherally on Twitter, without participation in networks, might not benefit from networks of care (Stewart, 2016). Image from CC0
  22. 22. Developing social and cultural competency Visitors (Denise, Paul, Carol): strong reluctance to participation Learning to participate in communities is perceived to be important in establishing voice (Wenger, 1998) Louise: peripheral participation helped establish voice on Twitter, showing changing modes of participation paralleled with an identity trajectory. Shortcomings of peripheral participation: ▪ Marginalisation ▪ Lack of opportunity to integrate ▪ Lack of risk taking ▪ Lack of online cultural competence, digital skills/literacies
  23. 23. “ “inevitable stumblings and violations become opportunities for learning rather than cause dismissal, neglect or exclusion” (Wenger, p101). ▪Understanding and benefiting from Twitter: experiment and use Twitter ▪(McPherson, Budge, & Lemon, 2015; McCluskey & Readman, 2014).
  24. 24. “ “Increasingly, the web is a space of politics, a social space, a professional space, a space of community. And, for better or worse, more and more of our learning is happening there. For many of us, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between our real selves and our virtual selves, and in fact, these distinctions are being altogether unsettled.” (Stommel, cited by Alexander, 3rd April, 2017) 24
  25. 25. Finally…… ▪ Professionals use Twitter in varied ways, not all positively disposed to participation ▪ Twitter provides opportunities but contribute to complex behaviours ▪ The open online world presents particular emotional challenges (Neary & Beetham, 2015) and is a messy experience (Budge, Lemon, & McPherson, 2016). ▪ Selwyn (2011): those in advantageous positions tend to take-up and take advantage of the new technologies ▪ Support needed: more than technical, digital identity development (confidence & identity), cultural competences development. ▪ Multiple issues identified need critical thought and further discussion among academic developers and those supporting education in digital era ▪ Critical discussion is required to discover what it means to work in the digital age of education (Beetham, 2015)
  26. 26. Further questions ▪ How can academic developers model online social networking practices and behaviours? If so, what do these practices and behaviours look like? ▪ More broadly, how do we create safe places for networked forms of learning and how can we best support this? ▪ Should support be framed by policies, by guidelines, by procedures, or by developing critical thinking regarding SNS and Twitter? ▪ Digital identity is important, but it is formed in conjunction with the practices and responsibilities of HE professionals. How can academic developers help support professional identity and thus support digital identity?
  27. 27. An open opportunity or a perilous public? 27 Complete the poll status/849357377023483906 Twitter?
  28. 28. Thank you 28 Contact: ▪ ▪ ▪ @muireannOK
  29. 29. References ▪Beetham, H. (2015). Revisiting digital capability for 2015. Retrieved March 2016, from Jisc digital capability codesign challenge blog: capability-for-2015/ ▪boyd, d. (2011). Social network sites as networked publics: Affordances, dynamics, and implications. In Z. Papcharissi, A networked self (pp. 39-58). New York: Routledge. ▪Buchanan, D. (2012). Case studies in organisational research. In G. Symon, & C.Cassell, The Practice of Qualitative Organizational Research: Core Methods and Current Challenges (pp. 351-370). London: Sage. ▪Denscombe, M. (2010). The good research guide: for small-scale research projects (4th ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press. ▪Eraut, M. (2004). Informal learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education, 26(2), 247-273. ▪Gerstein, J. (2011). The Use of Twitter for Professional Growth and Development. International Journal on E-Learning, 10(3), 273-276. ▪Hayes, E., & Gee, J. (2010). Popular culture as a public pedagogy. Retrieved Sept 29, 2015, from 0Public%20Pedagogy.pdf ▪Holmes, K., Preston, G., Shaw, K., & Buchanan, R. (2013, August). ‘Follow’ Me: Networked Professional Learning for Teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(12). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from EduResearch Matters:
  30. 30. References 30 ▪Hughes, G. (2010). Identity and belonging in social learning groups: the importance of distinguishing social, operational and knowledge‐related identity congruence. British Educational Research Journal, 36(1), 47-63. ▪Ito, M., Gutiérrez, K., Livingstone, S., Penuel, B., Rhodes, J., Salen, K.,Watkins, C. (2013). Connected learning: an agenda for research and design. Irvine, CA, USA: Digital Media and Learning Research Hub. ▪Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ▪Lupton, D. (2014). ‘Feeling Better Connected’: Academics’ Use of Social Media. News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra. Canberra: University of Canberra. ▪McPherson, M., Budge, K., & Lemon, N. (2015). New practices in doing academic development: Twitter as an informal learning space. International Journal for Academic Development, 20(2), 126-136. ▪Neary, M., & Beetham, H. (2015). The Nature of Academic Space. In J. Lea, Enhancing learning and teaching in higher education: engaging with the dimensions of practice (pp. 83-102). Maidenhead: Open University Press. ▪Selwyn, N, N., & Facer, K. (2013). Introduction the need for a politics of education and technology. In N. N. Selwyn, & K. Facer, The Politics of Education and Technology Conflicts, Controversies, and Connections (pp. 1-17). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ▪Selwyn, N. (2012). Education in a Digital World: Global Perspectives on Technology and Education. New York: Routledge. ▪Singh, S. (2015). The Fallacy of “Open”. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from savasavasava: ▪Stewart, B. (2014). Networks of Care and Vulnerability. Retrieved May 10, 2015, from the theoryblog: care-and-vulnerability/ ▪Stewart, B. (2016). Academic Twitter: The intersection of orality & literacy in scholarship. Retrieved from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE):
  31. 31. Attribution for Slides More info on this template at presentation-template This template is free to use under Creative Commons Attribution license. You can keep the Credits slide or mention SlidesCarnival and other resources used in a slide footer. 31
  32. 32. Credits Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome resources for free. 32 ▪ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival ▪ Photographs by Unsplash ▪ Learn more about slidedocs at