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Social Media, Learning ... and the 'Always On' Generation


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This presentation is a keynote presented at the Future of Sport Conference, held at Northampton University on 12 June, 2013.

Published in: Technology, Business

Social Media, Learning ... and the 'Always On' Generation

  1. Social Media, Learning… and the ‘Always On Generation’ Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth Plymouth University
  2. Can we predict the Future...? “One day every town in America will have a telephone!” -U.S. Mayor (c 1880)
  3. The First Mobile Phone
  4. Photo by Steve Wheeler
  5. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him an iPhone.” - Abraham Lincoln (on the ‘selfie’) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  6. Image source: “This is for everyone” London 2012
  7. “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed” – William Gibson
  8. Ubiquitous Connectivity ccSteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2010
  9. User Generated Content
  10. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Sentiment tracking
  11. “If you think of the Web mainly as a place to ‘look up things’, you are missing the point”. – Alec Couros (2012) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  12. “Where digital communication has fractured the tyranny of distance and computers have become pervasive and ubiquitous, identification through digital mediation has become the new cultural capital”. - Wheeler (2009) Digital cultural capital – Membership of the Tribe SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  13. Source:'s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs
  14. Source:
  15. Global Social Personal SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  17. Social Media use in 2013 Sources from service providers and also 3.5 Billion views/day 70 hours/minute >400 Million SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  18. “The average digital birth of children happens at about six months.” SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Courtesy of Steve Anderson
  19. Learners taking notes Photo: Lori Cullen SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  20. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  21. Power users 14% Ordinary users 27% Irregular users 14% Basic users 45% Source: Kennedy et al (2010) Beyond Digital Natives and Immigrants: Exploring types of net generation students, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26 (5). n = 2096, mean age range 17-23 years SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  22. Digital Residents or Visitors? SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  23. “We all fall somewhere along a continuum between Digital Visitor and Digital Resident, from very occasional online interaction, like accessing your bank account, to the evolution of a complex online presence through a variety of platforms.” – Judy Bloxham (JISC, 2013) Digital Residents, Digital Visitors (White & Le Cornu, 2011) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  24. Personal Learning Networks Photo by Steve Wheeler SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  25. “I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” – Seymour Papert SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  26. CHALLENGE SKILLSLow High LowHigh Anxiety Boredom SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Adapted from: Csikszentmihalyi (1991)
  27. CHALLENGE SKILLSLow High LowHigh Anxiety Boredom SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Adapted from: Csikszentmihalyi (1991) and Killi (2009) P1 P2 P3 P4
  28. Beyond my reach What I can learn with help (ZPD) ZPD and scaffolding What I can learn on my own Technology and toolsKnowledgeable others SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  29. CHALLENGE SKILLSLow High LowHigh Anxiety Boredom SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Adapted from: Csikszentmihalyi (1991) and Killi (2009)
  30. Celebration One tribe or many?
  31. Costume echo = group identity SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  32. Postural echo = Identification SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  33. Tribal Nature of New Media “New media ... have made our world into a single unit... The world is now like a continually sounding tribal drum. Media point us away from individual man and toward tribal man.” - Marshall McLuhan (1960) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  34. “Twitter and blogs ... contribute an entirely new dimension of what it means to be a part of a tribe. The real power of tribes has nothing to do with the Internet and everything to do with people.” Internet Tribes “A tribe needs a shared interest and a way to communicate.” SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  35. “The internet eliminates geography. This means that there are now more tribes: smaller tribes, influential tribes, and tribes that could never have existed before.” - Seth Godin Tribes SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  36. Digital Tribes and Virtual Clans There is one digital tribe ... But there are may subsets of this large digital tribe – what we can term ‘virtual clans’. - Wheeler (2009) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  37. Totems “It is easier to project your feelings of awe towards a totem than something as complex as the tribe.” - Emile Durkheim SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  38. Digital Totems? • Gathering places • Rituals and rules • Celebration and fun • Transmission of customs, social mores and values (storytelling) • = Tribal identity • = Social networks Source: Wheeler (2009) Digital Tribes SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  39. Digital Totems For digital tribes ... their totems are their social networking tools within the World Wide Web. Source: Wheeler (2009) Digital Tribes SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  40. Wikipedians (Deletionism + Exclusionism) /Inclusionism = Source: Survival of the fittest content SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Darwikinism
  41. Flickrites and Facebookers SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  42. Smart Mobs “Smart Mobs consist of people who are able to act in concert even if they don’t know each other. [They can] cooperate in ways never before possible.” Rheingold, H. (2002) Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. The ‘Thumb Tribe’ – one thumb signalling SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  43. Flash mobs The power of txting to organise collective action SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  44. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  45. Image source: ‘Some get fans, and some get fines’
  46. Source:
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  48. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  49. “Lee Harvey and the Wailers” (Lee Harvey did not jam alone) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  50. “60% of all Internet pages contain misleading information.” - Thomas Edison We need ‘digital wisdom’ SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  51. language personal data language Managing identity name images netiquette reputation avatar interaction privacy identity legacy reputation name privacy images interaction LOL – let’s post this up on Facebook SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  52. We all need new ‘literacies’ • Social networking • Privacy maintenance • Identity management • Creating content • Organising content • Reusing and repurposing • Filtering and selecting • Self broadcasting • Transliteracy SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  53. “Knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” - SocratesPlato SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  54. “All too often today we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” - John W Gardner The future? SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  55. Thank you