Networked Society

Toward A Networked Approach to Improving Education

Friday, May 24, 2013 Comment blurry photo of student hands writing on test paperwork

Which comes first, coordination or collaboration? It’s a classic chicken or egg debate that surfaces among network organizers and one that Peter Wardrip, a Ph.D. student in the Learning Sciences and Policy program at the University of Pittsburgh, has been exploring for the past three years. In today’s interconnected world, there seems to be a network to support just about any interest or profession. If you’re a writing teacher or an edtech leader, your options include the National Writing Project or the Consortium for School Networking. Young people from metropolitan areas such as Chicago, New York,

Teachers, Youth, and Social Media: Experiments

Friday, April 26, 2013 Comment young students hand in the air to answer ask question to teacher in classroom

While young people are often adept at navigating networked spaces for social purposes in their everyday lives, it is less clear what role schools and teachers should play in that process. In what ways can educators support, mentor, and scaffold youth’s navigation of online spaces to foster rich learning experiences and ethical communication practices? Amy Stornaiuolo, an assistant professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, explored this topic from 2008-2011 while serving as the research coordinator for a large-scale design research project that studied how youth around the world communicated on a private social

How Does Globalization Shape Education Reform?

Friday, April 05, 2013 Comment light at the end of beautiful blue tunnel

“We’re living in a 21st century knowledge economy, but our schools, our homes, and our culture are still based around 20th century expectations,” said then-Senator Barack Obama in a 2005 speech to the American Library Association. In the past decade, there’s been increased discussion amongst education stakeholders in regards to new openings for education reform around the global economy’s transition to this singular postindustrial era of which Obama spoke. But according to Daniel Araya, a Research Fellow in Learning and Innovation with the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (I-CHASS) at the

eBooks Want to Be Free

Friday, January 18, 2013 Comment hand holding amazon kindle showing book cover of I drink your bookshelf

In my last post, I argued that an alternative to the Web 2.0 vision of the Internet—one where individuals “create value” for the corporations that run online networks—are the decentralized networks of the Occupy movement. Perhaps the clearest outline of the Web 2.0 philosophy applied to the Web is in Zittrain’s The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It, in which he describes how the trend of Web development has been to limit the Internet’s traditional openness, that of any device being connected to the network and the ability to transfer any type of

The Network Society After Web 2.0: What Students Can Learn From Occupy Wall Street

Monday, December 24, 2012 Comment occupy wall street banner on city building

Web 2.0 is a common buzzword used to describe social media. The term gained traction in the mid-2000s to describe a change in the way people interacted with media online. Rather than simply being passive consumers, individuals could now interact with media, by making mashups with Google Maps or leaving comments on purchases at Amazon. They could blog about issues that were important to them and interact with a community of other like-minded individuals. In short, the promise of Web 2.0 is that individuals were no longer beholden to media corporations but had gained a kind

Learning and the Emerging Science of Behavior Change, aka ‘Nudging’

Monday, November 19, 2012 Comment illustration of kid holding heart showing what young people need is love

The language of learning today is full of references to “softness” and “openness.” Software, soft skills, soft performance, and the softening up of school knowledge go hand-in-hand with open source, open access and open educational resources in much current thinking about networked learning. How might this softening and opening up of the language of networked learning influence how learners think, perceive, feel and act? The emerging field of behaviour change theory suggests new ways in which networked technologies might be used as a form of pedagogical persuasion to influence and shape learners’ behavior, even at the

Habits of Living: Being Human in a Networked Society

Monday, October 22, 2012 Comment blurry picture of persons hands in the air holding iphone at concert

Recently, in Bangalore, a cluster of academics, researchers, artists, and practitioners, were supported by Brown University, to assemble in a Thinkathon (a thinking marathon, if you will) and explore how our new habits of everyday life need to be re-thought and refigured to produce new accounts of what it means to be human, to be friends, and to be connected in our networked societies. There is no denying the fact that life on the interwebz is structured around various negotiations with information. Even as we go blue in the face, in the face of information overload,

Coded Curriculum: The New Architectures of Learning

Monday, October 15, 2012 Comment 3 black female students gathered around a laptop and camera

How should we understand the part played by code in digital media and learning? We are accustomed to arguments that digital media are affecting our existing practices of reading, looking, seeing and hearing, yet relatively little is said of how the underlying code and algorithmic architectures of software actually exert those effects. The work done by code and algorithmic architectures in remediating learning through digital technologies, however, should be treated extremely seriously. Code increasingly affects our notions of agency (who does what), and sociality (how we form attachments and collective belonging). Code is woven into the

Three Conversations for Parents: Navigating Networked Publics

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Comment young girl taking picture on her cell phone

Parenting is hard. Many parents find parenting in an era of social media to be confusing, in part because they must advise their children to make sense of spaces that they don’t understand themselves. It’s easy to be afraid of what’s new, but by focusing on technology, parents often lose track of the underlying social issues that their children are trying to navigate. In many ways, the advice that children need to negotiate networked publics parallels advice that parents have always given when their children encounter public spaces. To address online safety concerns, parents need to

Distributed Writing: From Bad to Brilliant

Monday, March 12, 2012 Comment books pamphlets hanging from strings on the ceiling

In the report “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture” the authors argue that distributed cognition is a key skill that citizens must master to be active in participatory culture. Of course, most writing depends on some form of participation; show me a great writer, and you will likely find that there is a great editor, and quite likely a group of interested readers, providing feedback and support for him or her. While I could quibble that distributed cognition is a thing that happens, rather than a skill to be developed, I think this report is notable