Friday, October 24, 2014

Reflection Part 2 - Social Media, Curation and Gamerwhat??

North American detail map of Flickr and by Eric Fischer, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Eric Fischer 

This post is an exploration of my reactions to the curation of fabulous resources from our discussion with Bonnie Stewart on Tuesday night. I took a little time to read and reflect on the suggested videos and reading, and here are a few of my reflections....

Twitter Search #YesAllWomen
This hashtag from our discussion, caught my attention, so I checked it out on Twitter to learn more.... It was interesting to see how a hashtag could curate thoughts on promoting the treatment of women or issues that women face. Anyways, it was interesting. Would I tweet to this hashtag? Probably not... as quite honestly, my Twitter Identity is quite wrapped up in educational issues, such as literacy, digital literacy, assessment, youth poverty issues, social activism and youth. Nevertheless, I respect the opportunity that having a hashtag to promote awareness regarding important issues such as female bashing. In the future I would be interested in checking out this hashtag just for interest.

I Liked Everything on Facebook for Two Days, See What it Did to Me - Wired Magazine

Great quote from Wired, "This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground."

I found this article from Wired to be really interesting. I actually hadn't really paid much attention to the issue regarding Facebook controlling the information that was funneled to the user.

The reason I included the quote above from the article regarding talking at each other, is because I have often wondered if we actually read what people post in Facebook or in other communities. As teachers we look at encouraging our students to be readers who are able to effectively interpret, summarize, analyze and synthesize what they read. But do we? Has the focus with Social Media become so much of a sharing space that I wonder if we are actually deeply reading what is shared. Can we really beat ourselves up too much with the breadth and the vast amount of information that we are faced with? As adults are we so inundated, that we have lost the art of reading deeply?? I think that as teachers this is an issue worth considering, as the amount of information that our students are exposed to, isn't going to diminish. Yes we can encourage our students to be contributors to this on-line environment, and as a big fan of blogging in the classroom, I believe we should. But how can we encourage that deep understanding?? I think it goes back to perhaps following the same formula that I like to promote in my room for "Making Quality Comments". (The visual is a poster for a "formula" I created for effective comment writing.)

Then there were all the articles with "Gamergate", which included: "Yes Gamergate is an EdTech Issue" and "Gamergate Controversy". It actually seemed a little bizarre to read about "sociopaths" as described in the "Trouble at the Koolaid Point" article, where Internet "Trolls" are described as going out of their way to make the lives of individuals challenging to unbearable, just for fun. Maybe I'm too busy, so I don't get this concept of an individual taking the time to help create a band of "haters" via social media. I mean, who has the time for ridiculous stuff like that?? I like tweeting and reading other tweets to see what's new in edtech or literacy... but to read someone's negative tweets about another person? Huh?? Who cares? I suppose I would get annoyed if it meant I started losing followers, as it has taken me over 2 years to get 500+ followers. But at the same time, I don't think that my followers are the type of Twitter users to really pay attention to this type of negative content.

However, if there were "Trolls" going out of their way to threaten me or my family, as in the case from the "Yes Gamergate is an EdTech Issue" I would probably just drop Social Media. It wouldn't be worth continuing. Even if a Troll isn't emotionally invested in bullying and is just doing it as a sick social experiment, I think if you just drop Social Media, you're not letting that person get to you.

Speaking of Trolls...

I feel like a bit of an Internet Stalker...I know I'm probably not, but after exploring "Internet Trolls" I don't want to be associated with any of that behavior. Moving on...

To learn more about Bonnie Stewart and her work, I Googled her... of course... and came across this Youtube video. It's on the Social Contract and the MOOC. I found it interesting how she explores the social interaction of the learner, whether it's with a text or with the MOOC community. Very interesting comments on connectivists, MOOCs, and the expectations of the learner and their expectations of the social contract and the MOOC.

The Youtube video has the following descriptor, "how do MOOCs - across the spectrum of xMOOC to cMOOC - change or challenge the social contract of traditional learning environments?"

I would like to learn about the difference between the two categories of MOOC's that she mentions, xMOOC and cMOOC . I am also curious about the role of the social contract in ensuring that people finish. Based on her vlog, it seems like the two differences are the traditional MOOCs are the whole traditional, modular type teaching, the other MOOC being that learning community. So this leads me to my next question... Does having a learning community in which the learner interacts with create more pressure to finish the course, because of the social contract that you are all learning together? Is there a pressure that you can't drop out, because we're all in this together? I'm curious about what MOOC framework would be better in ensuring that the learner sticks with it.

What are the experiences of the students in our class, of whom are engaging in MOOCs for their major project? What are their thoughts about these 2 different types of MOOCs and the success rate of engaging the learner?

Finally, just for the fun of it, and because this week's discussion was so intense, I thought I better end my post with an upbeat video. What a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life... with Jimmy Falon and Justin Timberlake.

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