1. Reading for week 2:

Greenhow, C., Robelia, E., & Hughes, J. (2009). Web 2.0 and classroom research: What path should we take now? Educational Researcher, 38 (4), 246-259


2. Workshop PPT Presentation PPT

Question for discussion:

According to the article, communication scholars found that intense Facebook use correlated with college learners' sense of increased social belonging, and it is well established that learners who feel socially connected to their communities perform better academically.If this is the case, why do you think the drop out rate is still high among high school students?

This is a really difficult question. Maybe the dropouts are the ones not using Facebook? (tongue) ... But, for real, obviously there are many factors here. Perhaps socially or financially these students are unstable and so they drop out thinking it will improve the situation.

There's a lot of things going on here: 1) They're connected to their social community, which may or may not have any overlap with their academic community (for example, I may be well connected with my friends but how many of them are studying math and can be engaged in that learning process?). 2) What is the level of connectedness within the drop-out community? They tend to be less well off, often falling into the digital divide. Even with the prevalence of cheaper smartphones, their connectiveness is again through their social and not their academic circles and those circles can be as equally destructive as constructive within a high school setting. (One wonders if McGuinty's call for acceptance of cellphones within classrooms will encourage their use for academic purposes, introducing an opportunity for the effect which you propose?) 3) The drop out rate is determined by far deeper issues within the community than digital connectivity and pre-dates Web 2.0. Efforts in expanding the breadth of programs (not focusing on just academic courses but college and work preparatory options) has raised the graduation rate by from 70 to 80% over the past decade. http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/nr/10.03/bg0322.html Cal.

I have to agree with Cal this is a tough question to answer because there are many things that could affect a student's decision to drop out of school such as the ones mentioned above. I would add from experience that family expectations can also affect a student decision - e.g. get a job to help support family, or there is little expectation on behalf of the student - e.g. stay in school until they have to, then go on 'the dole' because that is what is expected of them. I was surprised to read on page 248 that sixty percent of students use SNS to discuss educational topics and 50% of them specifically talk about schoolwork - I would not have thought of SNS as avenue for this kind of discussion, and if this is true what is the calibre of the conversation? (I am actually not being pessimistic here, truly, just curious.) Also, should we assume that if teachers were to incorporate SNS more effectively in the classroom that the drop-out rate would/should decrease? Perhaps despite the numbers quoted in this article, SNS is not used by students to really improve their learning, but for more social reasons?

Motivational literature does comment on being connected to others make a huge impact on learning. Peer discussion, social constructivist theories/perspectives and collaborations for improvement of ideas really make a difference on students participating and continuing in education.

Facebook does raise interesting issues about identity and connecting with others of similar interests which then lead to strong connection to learning.

Motivational literature does comment on being connected to others make a huge impact on learning. Peer discussion, social constructivist theories/perspectives and collaborations for improvement of ideas really make a difference on students participating and continuing in education.

Facebook does raise interesting issues about identity and connecting with others of similar interests which then lead to strong connection to learning.

This article also talked about online identity and the need to understand it and perhaps incorporate it into the classroom. However, we could ask what are the characteristics of these online identities? Are these characteristics conducive to learning better? Would students really want teachers to know these identities? Is it possible these identities steer students away from learning effectively and therefore drop-out? Just some things we can think about. LM

I came up with three reasons for the still high drop out rate among high school students despite the research linking social networking to increased sense of belonging and academic performance. First, perhaps cyber bulling is a factor: social networking is great for those who belong to a group but what about those who are disliked, shunned, and bullied? If this were to continue for 2-3 years I cannot imagine students wanted to submit themselves to such torment. Second, some students might get so involved with social networking that they may neglect their studies, lose interest in school and fall so far behind that they feel completely overwhelmed with catching up. The article definitely highlights so many options on the web that a student who does not have critical thinking and time management skills, this could be an issue. Lastly, the social orientation of high school is not towards technology, rather the high school ages are a time when students are defining themselves by social face-to-face interactions. Thus, those who are 'techies' or 'webies' may be socially inept or even anti-social. This could lead to drop out if not properly socialized. JJ

I've read a bunch of things recently that are indirectly related to this question. Individually, these pieces don't not really provide "answers" for the proposed discussion, but I think they are highly illustrative of the creeping malaise that seems to be aflicting gen whatever. Did anyone read the provocative "What is it About 20-somethings" in the New York Times magazine last year? Definitely worth a read if considering this subject. A number of pieces from the philosophy of modernity influences my own view of the processes that are under way, with Charles Taylor's Malaise of Modernity and Zygmant Bauman's Liquid Modernity, two fundamentally different but complementary books, chief among them. I think the problem isn't specifc to gen whatever, but afflicts gen y as well, and is fundamentally about alienation - social alienation, in the Marxian sense - and uncertainty. Mark Ames wrote a caustic piece in the Exiled after the Stewart/Colbert rally that, despite being primarily about gen x (and in need of a good edit), sums up my feelings fairly well. (Gabby)


2. Video clip for week 2:

Watch the following clip from the "Social Network (2010)" movie and think about some features you wish the future SNSs incorporate into their sites.



3. More wiki page for week 2:

Please go to "Social Networking Sites" in our class wiki and from there you could either choose an existing SNS that already exists in our wiki and modify it or introduce a new SNS. Please put the name of the site you have chosen in front of your name by Sunday to avoid overlaps.

Cal http://www.academia.edu/
Gabby: Diigo - http://www.diigo.com/
Jaclyn Linkedin
Jane: http://www.allrecipes.com
Kyungmee: http://www.meetup.com/
Leslie facebook
Lixia http://www.renren.com/
Minoo: Mianeh http://mianeh.net/
Mianeh - is a semi- public (for contributors) network among journalists, academics and analysts inside Iran and professional journalists outside Iran to acquire fresh, first-hand and accurate stories on events. Mianeh is open to all writers who have something valuable to say and who want to do so in a professional way and through a constructive process.

Rebecca: http://www.ravelry.com

Thank you,
Kyungmee and Minoo

Group Activity:

Group A Formal Education

Group B Informal Education

Hi guys, I just wanted to share this link that I found from somebody I am following on Twitter (wink) It is interesting especially for those who are teachers!


RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U&feature=related

School suspends 29 pupils for insulting teacher on Facebook http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1112762/School-suspends-29-pupils-insulting-teacher-Facebook.html#ixzz1BJ4Qxl6y

Bullying on social network sites can affect school work http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_718523.html

Social networking addiction could lower students' grades by 20 per cent http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/internet/article619394.ece

When Teens Lie On Their Social Networking Site http://theteendoc.com/parenting/when-teens-lie-on-their-social-networking-site