#AcDigID, #EdDigID, #HEdigID, Social Media, SocioTech

Networked Practice: My Book List

For some of my own research and review, I have been accumulating a variety of books to my reading list for the networked practice study. Some deal with living online, being connected, and even understanding how communities, networks, and groups thrive (or the opposite) in the digital. For the month of January, I have been taking stock and reflecting on my own networked practice. Recently I facilitated an online workshop to support higher education faculty and staff think more about their digital presence and how to manage their own reputations online. Now my current students are thinking about how they will craft their digital identity online and engage with industry leaders, future co-workers, and engage with professionals in their occupational fields. I have enjoyed having conversations to consider what online reputation means, examining how/where our personal data exists, and understanding that “being” online means so much more in 2019.

Creating, crafting, and/or presenting our professional best self digital is quite complicated and complex — just like the individuals behind the profile. As usual, I continue to think about my digital imprint and I have begun to audit where I “live” online. [This process is taking a while, so I’ll share about this audit and review in another post when I am closer to wrapping it up.] as I start to audit my own life on social media platforms and other digital accounts. Of course, I continue to read and review what others are thinking about this process — being networked, living digital, cyber reputations, and online personas — who are connected and linked to peers and communities. Here are a few of the reads and resources I have recommended lately for higher education professionals (e.g. staff, graduate students, faculty, administrators, instructional designers, instructors, early career researchers, etc.):

Beyond this list, I am more than happy to share what I have “READ” and is accumulating on my “Networked Practice” reading list on GoodReads (some reviews included):

I suppose my attention is drawn to the ideas of self-presentation, reputation, and lived lives on social media platforms (and other digital spaces we don’t fully control). At the moment, I’m “CURRENTLY READING” the following books — thanks public and university library!:

My “WANT TO READ” book list is never short, but here are a few that I have either sitting on my home shelf to read (literally) around networked practices. I have no doubt I will add (or have added) to this list, especially as I hope to read these in February.  I welcome your recommendations for living a networked life, being a connected scholar, and being involved digital communities of practice:

What are you reading these days around networked practice? Do you have recommendations for those of us who live a networked, connected professional life? This could be about online personas, digital reputation, networked groups/communities, impacts of social media at work, and more. Share any recommendations you have, and if you’re GoodReads — be sure to connect with me, so I too can be inspired by the books you’re reading.

#AcDigID, edusocmedia, Higher Education, Reflections, Social Media, SocioTech

Re-Evaluating My Digital Self

Over the past year (or longer), I continue to think more about my digital self. This should be no surprise, as I am currently researching higher ed’s networked practice and I facilitate a workshop a couple times year about what it means to be an academic and professional online in postsecondary education. Typically, at the end of the calendar year, some people like to look back at 2017, “in review.” You might read/write end of year blog posts with a top ____ list of highlights/happenings. Or perhaps you’ve joined in on the Instagram “best9” of 2017 photo montage posting. This year, I am doing something different. Thanks to conversations I’ve had with JeffPaul, Katie, Chris, and others both offline and recorded [on the @BreakDrink podcast check out episodes 5, 7, 10 & 13] in 2017 — I will be setting aside some of my winter break to examine what it means to be present and connected online for ME. My personal review might be less merry or bright as I examine what I’ve shared or exposed to data/information in digital life. Festive? I know. 🙂

It has to be done. I need to really take a hard look at my digital self. This personal online audit will help to clean up and prevent potential hacks; however, this time I am including bigger questions beyond use/activity — as I plan review platforms terms of service, digital rights, data access, digital security, data extraction, and, ultimately, outlining if there is a purpose/need for “being” in any of these virtual locations. As net neutrality rules are killed and social (+ other) media continue to scale, I have a lot more questions I need to think about for my own work, learning, and life. The last few years there has been a reckoning for social media — more than anyone once thought over a decade ago. “Facebook is just a college thing” and “Twitter is just a fad,” were some of the things once said. Who thought these social networks would impact how we learn, work, vote, share, and more?

My digital self “under review” is not only a result of my distrust in sharing over media, the Russian hack of social media during the US election or even my aversion to having any “smart speaker” in our home that records and gathers data each day. Nor is it the fact that I live with a cybersecurity professional or that Black Mirror‘s sociotechnical sci-fi drama offers an eerie foreshadow to what lies ahead of us in the not-so-distant future. I embraced online and a connect being for over a decade now, so there’s no wonder why my digital footprint has me grappling with issues of digital security, personal wellness, individual safety, and the privacy paradox of living/working in a connected world.Image c/o The WIRED Guide to Digital Security

That being said, the free and open collection of knowledge on social media cannot offer regular fact-checking or verified expertise. This is critical for those who are a part of this shared, collective community online. The future of knowledge can be misleading if we are letting these platforms guide us by the information we share and the interactions within the network. As Tim Berners-Lee stated in his open letter written about the internet, he is concerned we have lost control of our personal data, misinformation is easily spread on the Web, and online transparency and understanding are needed in political advertising [as well as other spheres online].

Lately, I have been struggling with how our society is entrenched and relies on technological platforms. My true concern for self-auditing my digital life is to understand more about the impact and influence I have let technology and platforms invade my everyday way of living. As a reminder, platforms are:

“digital infrastructures that enable two or more groups to interact… [and] bring together different users… with a series of tools that enable their users to build their own products, services, and marketplaces” (Srnicek, 2017, p. 43).

The reliance on online networks and digital platforms might be more problematic than we think. There seems to be much power owned by these digital platforms. For example, the digital curation website, Storify, plans to shut down and delete data by May 2018. Like a few of my peers, I too am questioning the use of services and accounts we don’t own or control. I understand why a growing number of higher ed and ed tech colleagues are thinking the same was as they trim their digital contribution on Twitter, close down their accounts on major social media platforms, like Facebook, and take by control of the web by creating a domain of one’s own.

For me, this virtual audit exercise will include and go beyond social networks and connected sites to also examine WHERE, WHY, and HOW I live/work digitally. I think it’s a critical time to reevaluate the platforms and technologies we are using, in general. Where the data is stored? Who has access to what? Who owns the rights to my created or uploaded content? Am I utilizing appropriate _____ platform/technology for my personal/professional life? Are there other means that are not “free” I should be considering? It’s not like I have not done this activity before — but this time it might mean that I took “break up” with a platform or connected sites. For 2018, I want to be more diligent with my personal data, private information and online “being,” to limit surveillance/tracking online and to align my own values and ethics with networks and platforms I use.

Reference

Srnicek, N. (2017). Platform capitalism. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

Research, Social Media, SocioTech

How Do Higher Ed Institutions Use Twitter?

In a very limited way. Based on two recent studies examining Canadian and US post-secondary use of Twitter, we found most colleges and universities are using social media platforms as either a communication or marketing tool. Higher ed campuses have the ability to optimize social media technologies in the service of teaching, learning, and research – rather than focussing on institutional branding and marketing.

In looking at 145,822 original tweets and 70,792 retweets of 77 Canadian public universities Twitter profiles, we learned a great deal about colleges/university use. Results from this analysis indicated these institutions mostly use this Twitter to broadcast information and construct overwhelmingly positive representations of campus life. Here is a quick video overview of the paper:

In general, higher ed institutions represent university life as gratifying, enjoyable, and beautiful, by commonly showcasing:

  • Smiling and happy students;
  • Mostly middle-aged white male faculty members;
  • Upgraded and attractive campus buildings;
  • Accolades for graduation ceremonies;
  • Announcements about groundbreaking research; and
  • Highlights of sporting victories.

Unfortunately, Canadian universities are not alone as they present their “best self” on Twitter by:

  • Highlighting positive events and happenings
  • Showcasing a positive university life for the public; and
  • Promoting the institution’s brand

In looking at American college and university primary Twitter accounts (n=2411), Kimmons, Veletsianos, and Woodward (2016) found the Twitter histories [a sample of 5.7 million tweets, representing 62 % of all tweets created by these accounts] offered little innovation and value for the campus communities they are trying to serve. Most tweets posted by an institutional account are monologic, share information instead of eliciting action, offer an insular ecosystem of web resources, and express a neutral or a positive sentiment. This whiteboard animation can provide you a brief overview of this paper:

Based on my previous research on sociotechnical stewardship and social media guidance (Pasquini & Evangelopoulos, 2017), it is not surprising to see an emphasis on branding or focus on a promotional strategy for postsecondary social media use. In examining 250 institutional social media policies/guidelines, 64% (n=161) of these documents originate from an office connected to communications, marketing, and/or public relations at each higher ed institution. The primary direction and emphasis for social media use in higher ed have been co-opted from marketing and business planning to encourage a specific institutional brand, that is, one with a consistent voice and presenting strategically tailored messages that highlight positive campus environments.

From this examination of institutional Twitter accounts in Canada and the US, it is apparent the information and images portrayed in social media streams represent an incomplete student experience and an idealized image of college/university life. This is problematic, as these crafted messages with only positive sentiments could mislead students, staff, and faculty who are active in social media spaces. This use of Twitter presents an inaccurate portrayal of campus life, limit the representation and narrative of the student story, and it does little to model expected behavior or interactions in these online environments for all campus stakeholders. From this research, I would challenge our higher ed institutions to “do better work” if they are engaging on any social media channel for their college/university. These should be more than just communication and marketing spaces in higher ed. Think about the ways you can reach and involve your students, staff, faculty, alumni, and campus partners on these channels. Why are you not researching problems out loud, sharing the struggle of your learning, showcasing your teaching challenges, or offering/asking for advice? Twitter is the new town hall at our institutions and in our society. It is up to our higher ed institutions and its constituents to be present, to be active, and model ways to show value and real experiences on these social media platforms. We can do better than just use social media spaces as a marketing, communication, or promotional tool.

References:

Kimmons, R., Veletsianos, G., & Woodward, S. (2016). Institutional Uses of Twitter in Higher Education. Innovative Higher Education, 42(2), 97-111.

Pasquini, L. A., & Evangelopoulos, N. (2017). Sociotechnical stewardship in higher education: A field study of social media policy documents. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 29(2), 218-239. doi: 10.1007/s12528-016-9130-0 Published Online November 21, 2016.

Veletsianos, G., Kimmons, R., Shaw, A. G., Pasquini, L. A., & Woodward, S. (2017). Selective openness and promotional broadcasts: Twitter use in Canada’s public universities. Educational Media International, 54(1), 1-19. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09523987.2017.1324363

OpenAccess, Social Media, Virtual Communities

Defend the Free and Open Internet NOW! #NetNeutrality

It’s time we defend the free and open Internet we know and love! The battle is still on: https://www.battleforthenet.com/

Please contact the FCC NOW! Thanks to John Oliver, there’s an easy way to do this and it will take less than 2 minutes to TAKE ACTION
1. Go to gofccyourself.com (the hard-to-find official FCC comment page)
2. Next to the 17-108 link (Restoring Internet Freedom), click on the word “Express
3. Be sure to click the “ENTER” button after you type in your name — otherwise, it won’t register! Then continue with the other info.
4. In the comment section write, “I strongly support net neutrality backed by Title 2 oversight of ISPs.”
4. Then click the “Continue to review screen” to process your form.
5. Be sure you click the “SUBMIT” button on the last screen to COMPLETE this process.

It’s a Net Neutrality EMERGENCY!

Read on below and the Mozzila resources for how you can help.

Do you know that the future of the Internet will be like if the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) kills net neutrality? You will see a variety of online providers contribute to the BattleForTheInternet.com  by showing what a lack of neutrality online would be like uploading websites slowly, blocking domains, and requiring you to “pay to play” for access to certain areas of the web.

The fight to maintain “Title II” of the Communications Act and save net neutrality is NOT A TECHNOLOGY or WEB-ONLY protest. This is about access to information, free exchange of knowledge, and fair interactions online. Web neutrality impacts our civil rights and without this, we might see the “haves” and the “have-nots” in our online society as well. We need to protect these voices, spaces, and digital places for all.

“The Internet has thrived precisely because of net neutrality. It’s what makes it so vibrant and innovative—a place for creativity, free expression, and exchange of ideas. Without net neutrality, the Internet will become more like Cable TV, where the content you see is what your provider puts in front of you.”

If you are just coming out from under the Internet cloud and want to learn more about WHY and HOW net neutrality can impact you and others in our society, here are a few quick guides and explainers:

Net Neutrality – Part I (June 1, 2014)

Net Neutrality – Part II (May 7, 2017)

If you have not done anything about #NetNeutrality yet — you still have time to NOW! This is where you, yes YOU, can take action my fellow, networked friend. BEFORE July 17th, be sure to TELL YOUR lawmaker to reject the FCC’s plan to kill net neutrality. DOWNLOAD a PDF file of the Following Statements to BRING to your lawmaker listed below via the FreePress

  1. The first deadline for public comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality rules IS on July 17, 2017.  These rules protect us from internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from throttling, censoring, blocking, and charging extra fees online.
  2. Net neutrality is the First Amendment of the Internet. It protects our free speech in the digital age. Members of Congress must reject Chairman Pai’s plan to kill net neutrality because it will allow ISPs like Comcast and Verizon to control what we see and do online.
  3. Title II is the legal foundation for net neutrality protections. It prevents companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T from forcing sites to pay special fees for access to a “fast” lane, while slowing down everyone who can’t or won’t pay.
  4. Cable Companies are pouring money into misleading lobbying efforts to convince the public that net neutrality is some kind of “government takeover of the Internet.” That’s an outright lie. Net neutrality protects our Internet freedom from corporations AND governments. No one wants politicians— or corporate monopolies— deciding what they can see and do on the internet.
  5. Net neutrality gives more people a voice than ever before. It’s what has made the Internet such a powerful platform for anyone who wasn’t given a voice or fair treatment by mainstream media.

Visit battleforthenet.com to submit a comment to the FCC and your member of Congress in defense of net neutrality! Your voice on this petition, email, phone call, letter, and more MATTER. DO IT NOW!

BreakDrink, Higher Education, Social Media

Have You Read the _____ Privacy (Data) Policy Lately? [@BreakDrink Episode No. 10]

In a past @BreakDrink episode [no. 5], we thank/blame Chris Gilliard (@hypervisible) for bringing awareness to how some higher education institutions are digital redlining learners with technology. For a repeat visit to the podcast, we asked Chris to join Jeff & I to dig into the issues of privacy, access, data, etc. by reviewing the “Privacy Policies” and Terms of Service for the three main hitters for social media we see used in the US: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here are some links and notes from our conversations and review of said policies from Monday (6/19). Take a listen and be sure to REVIEW+ADJUST YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA SETTINGS NOW! Or, just delete your account. 🙂

Privacy Apps and Search Engines to install to protect your privacy & browsing/tracking online:

Go on. Search one of the above search engines and compare your results for yourself. We DARE you!

Privacy image c/o Flickr User g4ll4is

Net Neutrality & Digital Rights

TOS & Policy 101 on the Social Web

When was the last time you considered reviewing a policy OR the terms of service (TOS) from your favorite social network? With the recent changes to “privacy” on a few of our favorite platforms, we thought it was an apt time to read and review the TOS for all of you. You’re very welcome. As a number of colleagues, learners, and friends in higher ed use (and repurpose) these social spaces for teaching, learning, and research — we wanted to really understand how these technology (not media) companies are thinking about  “Privacy” (or now called “Data” for certain platforms) and the policies around this issue. Here are SOME of the notes from our chat — please visit @BreakDrink Episode no.10 for more at BreakDrink.com

Facebook

Twitter  

LinkedIn  

We might be paranoid, but perhaps we need to consider the data we are sharing and what “true” privacy is when we are online. We thought we’d leave you with a few “light” reads (enjoy):

  1. The Thin Line Between Commercial and Government Surveillance 
  2. How an obscure rule lets law enforcement search any compute
  3. Intel agencies want to make the most controversial foreign surveillance rule permanent

@BreakDrink Podcast Shout Outs

  • The Show About Race now archived, but a relevant conversation we need to have about race. Always.
  • Missing Richards Simmons – what happens when the fitness guru from the 80’s disappears from teaching his Slimmon’s class
  • Mystery Show (archive): “A podcast where Starlee Kine solves mysteries.”
  • Twice Removed (archive): “A new family history podcast hosted by A.J. Jacobs. They say we’re one big family: this is the show that proves it. You will be filled with delight… or abject horror. You never know. It’s family.”

@BreakDrink Reads & Watches

If you have comments, questions, or feedback about this podcast episode, please feel free to post a comment below, or follow us on the following the “BreakDrink” podcast channels:

We welcome feedback, comments, suggestions, and snark in any of the above digital spaces. If the podcast via iTunes (we still prefer this to the rebranded “Apple Podcasts“), please consider leaving us a rating and review. Thanks!

Higher Education, Social Media, SocioTech

Sociotechnical Stewardship: Guiding Social Media Policy and Practice in Higher Ed

In a previous blog post, I shared how I am visualizing scholarship via the Research Shorts YouTube Channel (Please SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/researchshorts). If you have not viewed any of these papers, here’s a list of journal articles, that are now videos on this channel, compiled by George. As an open, digital scholar, I thought that producing videos of my own work might be a solid idea to share scholarship. So here I go…

Remember that “really big paper” known as a dissertation? It was on the topic of social media guidance and such? If not — check out the website on the topic here: https://socialmediaguidance.wordpress.com/ Well, I learned one is never really Ph-inishe-D with this research until the research is published in a peer-reviewed journal [More on this #AcWri process and experience in a future blog post… I promise!].

I am proud to say this research has been officially published! This blog post shares a quick video overview of the paperlink to the journal article/pre-print paper, and the database of over 250 social media policies from 10 countries analyzed within this study. Thanks to all who contributed to this research and to others who will continue to use this open data set and research to further work in this area. This sociotechnical stewardship framework is organized from the key themes found from text-mining the 24, 243 policy passages reviewed within this corpus. Here are a few things we need to consider when organizing and guiding sociotechnical systems in our organizations:I am continuing to understand how we best guide and support sociotechnical systems for higher education professionals as I interview participants for a current research project[Hint, hint: CONTRIBUTE to our current study that is “in progress” now: https://bit.ly/networkedself

I hope other scholars and practitioners further this research and apply these practices to effectively support campus stakeholders. Want to learn more about this study, here is a quick video summary (4:59 minutes):

Social media technologies transform how we share, communicate, and interact with one another. On our college and university campuses, new media applications and platforms are transforming how students, staff, faculty, and alumni engage with one another. As these social, emerging technologies impact teaching, learning, research, and work functions on campus, we need to understand how social media use and behaviors are being supported. To help higher education administrators and organizational leaders effectively guide social, emerging technologies, we prove a summary of 250 institutional policy documents and we offer a sociotechnical framework to help support strategic, long-term technology planning for organizations and their stakeholders.

Download this research paper:

The article is published in the Journal of Computing in Higher Education here or find the pre-print version of the original paper on my ResearchGate profile.

Download a csv file of the higher education social media policy database:

Pasquini, L. A. (2016). Social media policy document database. Figshare. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.4003401. Retrieved from https://figshare.com/articles/Social_media_policy_document_database/4003401

Reference:

Pasquini, L. A., & Evangelopoulos, N. (2017). Sociotechnical stewardship in higher education: A field study of social media policy documents. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 29(2), 218-239. doi: 10.1007/s12528-016-9130-0 Published Online November 21, 2016.

 

networkedscholar, Open Education, Research, Social Media

#CFP Due April 15th: Digital Learning and Social Media Research Funding 2017

Are you an early career scholar or an advanced doctoral student researching networked scholarship, social media in education, open learning, emerging technologies, etc.? Then this might just be the grant funding for you!

Dr. George Veletsianos (Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology at Royal Roads University) and Dr. Royce Kimmons (Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University) invites applications from advanced doctoral students (i.e. those who completed their graduate coursework) and post-doctoral associates to conduct research with The Digital Learning and Social Media Research Group. This research funding opportunity aims to scaffold and mentor advanced doctoral researchers and early career scholars to co-plan, execute, and submit for publication a research study.

There are five (5) $2000 CAD grants available for research that focuses on one or more of the following areas: networked scholarship, social media use in education, digital/online learning, open learning, emerging technologies, learning analytics, social network analysis, or educational data mining.

Requirements

  • Advanced doctoral student status (usually in the 3rd or 4th year of their studies) OR postdoctoral status having completed a graduate degree (Ph.D./EdD) within the last 3 years.
  • Enrollment in or having attained a graduate degree (PhD/EdD) in education, educational technology, learning technologies, learning sciences, curriculum and instruction, cognitive science, or other related fields.
  • Individuals must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada or must hold a valid employment visa or work permit issued by the Government of Canada.
  • To be well-suited for this opportunity, individuals must have excellent organizational abilities, analytic skills, and be familiar with methodologies involving the analysis of quantitative or qualitative data.

Questions?

Please feel free to reach out to me, or for further inquiries regarding this opportunity please send an email to: CRCILT.Research@RoyalRoads.ca