So we are now officially gaining momentum as a seminar. We have met for the second time, we have set up some of our major networking tools/platforms together, we have introduced ourselves to our Kean University colleagues in NJ, and we have heard from them as well (i.e. check our SLACK channel under #general). Overall, we have just started to pursue a continuous conversation about digital networks and how to thrive online. When we meet again I am looking forward to digging deeper into an analysis of Net Smart by Howard Rheingold, while we consider the significance of participatory culture and collective intelligence, etc.
While we were covering twitter last week together, we discovered more about how this tool can work (with a fair share of banter and giddiness). In the midst, we covered the basics about how to quote a tweet, and how to use hashtags in purposeful ways to grow a community in conversation. The pitfalls of twitter are somewhat common knowledge – it can be used in sophomoric ways as a soapbox or a megaphone (with amplification deemed the main motivation or value). But with a bit more nuance and understanding, we can redeploy the very same tool thoughtfully and with purpose. We can grow a connected learning environment and open up a vital conversation about digital citizenship and the networked effect. I look forward to doing just that with all of you this semester.
For next class, please continue to read Net Smart (chapters 3, 4, and 5 – these files were sent to you directly last Friday). Please submit your next blog on that reading before we meet on Thursday. Each of your blogs is now in the course site feed (with one exception), so I will look to read your work from this site under our “student blogs” tab. Your blogs last week were definitely insightful, and I really look forward to reading your reflections on the next few chapters of the book.
When you blog/reflect on the power of networks, please keep in mind your own research agenda, and the ways in which participatory networks might play a role in how you will proceed – as a researcher, as and artist, and/or as an intellectual in the field of digital culture.
See you in a few days 😉