Social Networks

Reassessing Collective Intelligence

Thursday, April 07, 2016 Comment Donald Trump's campaign manager grabbing reporter's arm

“@MichelleFields you are totally delusional”: Collective intelligence in 2016 Back in 2005, Tim O’Reilly, publisher and technology pundit, posted an essay describing “Web 2.0.” In it, O’Reilly attempted to describe what had changed about the internet since the early 2000 tech bubble and what had become called “Web 1.0,” the first generation of the  business-oriented, public web. One of the changes of Web 2.0 that O’Reilly identified was “harnessing collective intelligence,” using the group features of the web to develop new smart products. One effect of this collective intelligence, “turning the web into a global brain”


Is Facebook Destroying the American College Experience?

Monday, March 04, 2013 Comment typical college dorm small bed posters desk

Sitting with a group of graduating high school seniors last summer, the conversation turned to college roommates.  Although headed off to different schools, they had a similar experience of learning their roommate assignment and immediately turning to Facebook to investigate that person.  Some had already begun developing deep, mediated friendships while others had already asked for roommate transfers.  Beyond roommates, all had used Facebook to find other newly minted freshman, building relationships long before they set foot on campus. At first blush, this seems like a win for students.  Going off to college can be a


Toward Peeragogy

Monday, January 23, 2012 Comment 5 women working on laptops around conference table

Editor’s Note: This evening Howard will deliver the 2011 Regents’ Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley. His topic: the transformative power of social media and peer learning. Here, in a continuing series, Howard reflects on his ongoing experiment in high-end, peer-to-peer, global learning via the internet and social networks. The more I give my teacher-power to students and encourage them to take more responsibility for their own learning, the more they show me how to redesign my ways of teaching. At the end of the first course I taught solo, I asked students for their


Serendipity, aka “Accidental Discovery”: Does the Web Help or Hurt?

Monday, October 17, 2011 Comment female students working on classroom computer together

I am obsessed with serendipity. It’s become an almost pathological fascination since 2009, when I was inspired by a happy confluence of what I was doing then, and something that bumped up against it. I’m curious about what serendipity is, how it can be predicted and the things that help facilitate it and hinder it. And, being a student of the social psychology of the web, I’m interested in how the digital space affects it. Serendipity has become a topic of debate for web scholars and web developers. Author Stephen Johnson has declared the web the


The Unintended Consequences of Cyberbullying Rhetoric

Friday, September 23, 2011 Comment portrait of young girl laying on the ground looking sad bullied

We all know that teen bullying – both online and offline – has devastating consequences.  Jamey Rodemeyer’s suicide is a tragedy.  He was tormented for being gay.  He knew he was being bullied and he regularly talked about the fact that he was being bullied.  Online, he even wrote: “I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens.  What do I have to do so people will listen to me?”  The fact that he could admit that he was being tormented coupled with the fact that he asked for help and folks didn’t help


Einstein, YouTube, and New Media Literacies in the Connected Age

Monday, March 28, 2011 Comment small kids playing on computer games and headphones

When I started using digital media in my classroom, I began my search for mentors by inspecting Will Richardson’s social bookmarking networks on Diigo, then followed on Twitter some of the people Will paid attention, which led to Web 2.0 learning expert Steve Hargadon. When Hargadon invited me to participate in an online Elluminate session with 100 educators and librarians, it was an opportunity to learn about a subject I’m deeply interested in — the literacy of critical consumption of online information (or, as Hemingway put it more plainly, “Crap Detection“). So I told Steve I’d


Cyberbullying: An International Perspective

Thursday, March 24, 2011 Comment artistic blurry photograph of person

A viral video of an Australian boy retaliating against a bully at school has sharply ratcheted up offline and online discussions of cyberbullying. On websites in numerous countries, young and old alike have recounted their own bullying problems and there’s a sense that this is an universal phenomena. In Brazil, it has become increasingly common for kids to suffer from bullying not only in schools, but also on social networking sites. Many aggressive incidents are recorded by cell phones and posted on sites such as Youtube. Online communities are formed to ridicule these bullied students, and


Happiness, Learning, and Technology: Why “Affective” Schools are the New “Effective” Schools

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 Comment young boy with headphones playing kids computer game

What are the connections between emotional education and digital media and learning? Faced with a global economic recession, civic unrest, and major environmental catastrophe, governments around the world are now obsessed with cheering us all up, especially kids. Measures are being designed to gauge global, national, organizational and individual levels of happiness, and well-being is being put at the heart of public policy. Ensuring children’s happiness now and in the future is therefore becoming an urgent aim for education. The State of Happiness Schools are emotional places. Everyone remembers their school days through the rhythm of