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Effects of Social Networking in Academic Literacy

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  • Effects of Social Networking in Academic Literacy:Myths & TruthsGeorge DafoulasBusiness Information Systems DepartmentSchool of Engineering & Information SciencesMiddlesex University

  • Agenda

    "The only thing constant is change itself."

    Heraclitus 500 B.C

    The concept of digital citizenshipSocial networkingWeb 2.0MUD (not literally...)

  • Digital citizenship what is it?Similar to citizenship, only betterNo feesNo 24 question testHowever it comes easier through naturalisation!Connecting to each through various networks should (in theory) improve our information fluency, knowledge of the domain, command of associated technologies and further develop our understanding of / communication with younger generations. New set of skills in educational environments in terms of:Critical thinkingProblem solving Decision making

  • How do I become a digital citizen?Forget about old fashioned constructivism, domain specific paradigms, student centred approaches and rigid learning style classification.Profile focused Activities classified according to individual interestsEach member tailors its individual learning spaceWeb based platforms are now called traditional VLE!Game like interfaces encouragedMobile applications are demandedSize matters the smaller the better (bite sized learning / can it fit in an i-phone screen?)

  • Defining Social NetworksA social network is defined by its people and their connections.Could be viewed as a description of the social structure between actors, mostly individuals or organisations. It indicates the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familiar bonds.

    Web Based Social Networks (WBSN)Using the Web as the medium for social networkingMaintaining own profiles and lists of friends

  • Underlying concepts of WBSN The network is accessible via a web browser.Relationships between social network members should be explicitly stated.System users should be able to view the member relationships and browse through the social networks paths.Users should be able to create and manipulate relationships with other users.

  • Typical student informationName GeographyStatus GenderYear CourseResidenceBirthdayPlace of birthCountyPost codeSchoolsEmailScreen NamePhone numberAddressPersonal websiteSexual PreferenceRelationshipsPolitical ViewsInterestsClubsFavorite MoviesFavorite TV ShowsFavorite BooksFavorite QuotesAbout MeJob TypeCompany Job TitleJob DescriptionWork HistoryPicturesApplicationsGadgets usedGamesNewsActivitiesAlertsViews on studyUniversity critique

    What do I think of my professor! (my favourite)

  • Who is there?FriendsLecturersStudentsAdministrative staffOthers (watch out for them)

  • Why are we there?Objectives of different usersFriendsDropping a lineSupporting initiativesBecoming a group memberInviting peopleMessagingUpdating contactsKeeping in touchViewing new contentCatching up with latest newsOthersAttempting to locate individualsLooking up personal detailsAssaulting (predators)Stalking (cyber-stalking)Harassment (cyber-bullying)Maintaining tabs for individuals and groupsSelling divulged information

  • Why are we there?Objectives of different usersStudentsExpanding their social network (making more friends)Integrating campus / programme module / seminar group / roomsLearning more about others Sharing common interestsInviting others to social groupsRecruiting to academic eventsWorking togetherWarning others (test next week!)LecturersKeeping the pace with studentsVerifying student excusesSpying (in a good sense, not)Establishing rapportOffering an alternative communication channelUnderstanding student developmentUnderstanding student needs

  • Why are we there?Objectives of different usersAdministratorsUnderstanding student developmentIdentifying student needsProviding pastoral servicesIncreasing student involvementKeeping up with the student pulseUsing for disciplinary evidenceAny more views?What about those Exec members?Services (T&L experts, CLQE staff)AlumniParents

  • Social networks: educational benefitsRetrieving contacts and friendsSupporting group interactionOvercoming geographic dispersionGrouping common interested partiesEstablishing alumni relationsAffecting recruitment decisionsProviding a virtual spaceHaving a sense of belongingFinding new learning friendsForming curriculum based social networkingEnhancing the learning experienceExploring personal viewsEngaging in group explorationEstablishing a social presence

  • Social networks: main concernsPersonal data are highly visibleSelf-portrayal of each memberProfiles accessible by unaffiliated partiesTime management issuesCopyright of uploaded contentAuthorising illustrationsQuestionable contentCode of conduct implicationsAuthentication & IP trackingIdentity theftMessages and ad linksVirus or malware threatsInformation misuseInformation sold to third partyLegal implications

  • Social networks: Myths & Truths1 of 3

    MYTHTRUTHComputer use can be tracked (cookies, spyware)Inappropriate and illegal content may harm othersAdvertisers may use information to solicit emailsPersonal information can lead to id theftLiability of using materials inappropriatelyImpact of using the public domain (Oops too late)Addiction to checking for news and updatesViolating the student conduct codeSpying academics in search for fake excusesSpying employers in search for fake CVsHarassment, stalking, assault & slanderViruses, malware, spyware, dangerous linksUniversity boundaries no longer protect content

  • Case study: FacebookCreate and update a profileSustain a list of friendsJoin groups or create your ownMaintain group member listsMake announcementsCommunicate through discussionsNotification for associated eventsShare applications (from quizzes to games)

  • Case study: MySpaceProfile feels more like a web pageInterface is more customisable suiting individual needsFunctionality suffers as it is more profile centred rather than network orientedMore specific in its use to update on individual profile changesFrequently used in a blog mode/fashion

  • Case study: TweeterTweets of a few characters focusedPrompt report on events and activitiesFollowers learn about ones journal notesKeep updated with news from people you followA bite out of the blogging concept

  • Tweet away in your class some examplesSupport student data collection by suggesting who to follow (scientific data, historical facts and specialised knowledge)Creative writing and collaborative editing of a story structureUse twitter poll to develop thematic pollsBuild up complex concept through the class network of tweetsEnsure concise questions are asked and waffle is avoided in answersCreate online repositories and bookmarks lists, eliminating duplication of entriesCompile factual information such as FAQ and lecture summariesDisseminating research findingsBite out of formative assessment and progress monitoringDebating on discussions set by instructorsLinking with GoogleEarth to locate resources (e.g. induction)Events and announcements

  • Future work: social networks and knowledge managementPeopleTechnologyProcessesKMSocial network analysisInformation architectureKnowledge Management SystemsRelationship between people and content

  • Web 2.0: 30 years of evolving communication Source: Morgan Stanley1975Landline Phone2005MobileVoIPIMBlogsEmailPace of innovation across communication devices, services and networks continues to increase

  • Cuene.com/mimaWeb 2.0: Evolution Towards a Read/Write Platform

    Web 1.0 (1993-2003) Pretty much HTML pages viewed through a browserWeb 2.0 (2003- beyond) Web pages, plus a lot of other content shared over the web, with more interactivity; more like an application than a pageReadModeWrite & ContributePagePrimary Unit of contentPost / recordstaticStatedynamicWeb browserViewed throughBrowsers, RSS Readers, anythingClient ServerArchitectureWeb ServicesWeb CodersContent Created byEveryonegeeksDomain ofmass amatuerization

  • Case study: FlickrSocial network for sharing photosCombination of a social network with user generated contentUsers can collaborate on photo projects and use each others tags to find new photosAlso has an API for web services to integrate photo collections with blogs and other apps

  • Case study: Del.icio.usSite using a Folksonomy to organise bookmarksA folksonomy is a spontaneous, collaborative work to categorise links by a community of users. Users take control of organise the content together. Tags are descriptive words applied by users to links (tags are searchable)My Tags uses any words a user is using to describe links in a way that makes sense to him/her

  • Case study: WikipediaCollaborative creation of articlesAuthors are classified according to their credibilityCollaborative editing and versioningDifficult to controlHistory and page editing optionsHyper-texting critical to link associated information

  • Case study: RSSReally Simple Syndication emerged in past five years Enables users to get feeds of data from content publishers via a browser or special newsreader toolItems come to user free of spam, on-demand, and in an easy to digest formatFeeds contain news and storiesA small summary is included in the feedUsers can read the full content of some stories within their browser or desktop app without going to originating website

  • RSS examples

  • Case study: BlogsBlogging is a form of journalism (highly debatable)Self organised, loosely structured journalThematic classification of blogsFostering discussionFrequently the cause for problems

  • Cuene.com/mimaBlogging opportunities

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