Lipton’s Using Social Media for Communication Research: Weekly Updates for 2010-10-31

  • It's winter in Toronto. Snowflakes on Halloween! #
  • Photo: Here’s an Eames Pumpkin template for you jack-o-lanterner chair lovers http://tumblr.com/xe7nsr2d4 #
  • Yup, They made a musical! It looks pretty amazing. Check it out: Breast Cancer: The Musical http://t.co/RS7NIfQ via @youtube #
  • What we need is a conference about DIY Citizenship! See NYTimes: D.I.Y. Foreign-Aid Revolution http://nyti.ms/9xX3V9 #

Lipton’s Using Social Media for Communication Research: Weekly Updates for 2010-10-24

  • Megan Boler promotes http://www.civicweb.eu/ as eg as young people's engagement in civic activity #aml #
  • #aml Megan Boler looks to http://www.rallytorestoresanity.com/ as possible evidence of political satire to incite action #
  • What would it mean to restore shared reality? Megan Boler looks to satirical fake news. Anyone going to the "March to Restore Sanity" in DC? #
  • Jesse Hirsh argues that we are FUCT: "fully under the control of technology" #aml #
  • Closing Panel #aml Sheridan Hay, Bea Meglio, Jesse Hirsh, and Megan Boler! The Way Ahead for Media Education . . . #
  • Jeremy Shtern on cyberbullying in primary and junior classrooms #aml #
  • McLay's case study: Copenhagen Spoof Shames Canada; Climate Debt No Joke http://theyesmen.org/canada #aml So Fun! #
  • #aml McLay bemoans the loss of Bills C46 &C47 http://tinyurl.com/2f5ato4 & http://tinyurl.com/27hzdo8 #
  • http://tiny.cc/j9maz McLay recc: N. Villeneve's "The filtering matrix" #aml #
  • #aml heading to Colleen McLay's session about 'Family Friendly' Software: Intro to Censored and Surveilled Internet Access 8-214 #
  • "Serial Attention Management is a key 21st Century success skill," says Neil Andersen. "Multitasking is a misconception." #aml #
  • Old Spice Remixed for Harold B. Lee Library http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ArIj236UHs #aml #
  • #aml takes credit (partial) for getting media literacy into the Ontario curriculum! #
  • Media Literacy in Canada: A Second Spring http://tinyurl.com/37rldwz Maybe we're ready for a Third? #
  • Carolyn Wilson, President of #aml cites stats of media use getting conference started! & now Paul Baines–local media jester & hard worker #
  • OISE #techgeeks Twitter workshop at 11:30 in room 5-150 #
  • Picking my seat for Neil Andersen's keynote "a Healthy and Balanced Media Diet" for #aml Health liteacy or metaphor? Stay tuned. #
  • Spotlight on media lieracy conference; all day at OISE; by @AML #
  • It's snowing in Guelph. Burrr #
  • I'm at Media Education Project (50 Stone Rd East; MKN extension 0019, Gordon, Guelph). http://4sq.com/aWIhU9 #
  • TruthFallNess: The 10 Commandments of Twitter http://bit.ly/bn2LRj via @PublicityGuru #
  • Video: Changing Education Paradigms (via RSA) http://tumblr.com/xe7mi4g94 #
  • 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers http://t.co/ifIoHuF via @mashsocialmedia #
  • An argument that teachers are exposed to stress in the classroom http://gu.com/p/2kcgj/tw But are we power hungry? Watch those eyebrows! #

Spotlight on Media Literacy

According to a Nielsen report, three of today’s most popular brands are “social media” (Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia).[1] Despite public outcries about privacy, Facebook has over 500 million active users and seems to be growing by fifty million users every few months.[2] Twitter has over 105 million registered users[3]; the 300,000 new users who sign up each day signal its ongoing growth; Twitter receives 180 million unique visitors each month and most of its traffic (75%) comes from third-party clients and applications.[4] These examples are just a few signals of the ubiquity of social media. For many young people today, the popularity of social media tools is undeniable. Social media (it seems) provides access, opportunities and information that is limitless, borderless and instantaneous.

However, current research about social media and digital divides quickly demonstrate how access to today’s media tools as popular forms of communication need to consider issues of equity. As Barney explains, “for some people access to the Internet is a source of empowerment, autonomy, and agency, for many it simply means connection to a technological infrastructure in relation to which they remain significantly disadvantaged and powerless.”[5] The challenge for schools and teachers is to leverage today’s social media in ways that create relevant learning experiences that mirror students’ daily lives and the reality of their futures. To this end, educators have begun to consider “21st Century Skills” defined as one’s capacity to engage in lifelong learning (i.e., self-directed and collaborative inquiry) and connectedness (i.e., communication and collaboration with experts and peers around the world).[6]

Such capacities ask educators to consider social media both as a critical resource and a functional tool. As teachers begin to adopt social media as part of their teaching practice these tools become both a subject and object of inquiry. For example, Facebook can be a classroom management tool while providing important lessons about online privacy and behaviour; Twitter can provide a useful backchannel for class participation while functioning as a resource for professional sharing and collaboration. To these ends, Lipton reviews and considers these examples by addressing: (1) media access; (2) digital equity; (3) teachers’ barriers to media use/integration; (4) pedagogical models and examples; and (5) ideas for action.


[1] <http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/social-media-accounts-for-22-percent-of-time-online/>. June 2010.

[2] <http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics#!/press/info.php?factsheet>. Accessed August 2010.

[3]Actual number: 105,779,710

[4] <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/14/twitter-user-statistics-r_n_537992.html> & <http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/14/twitter-has-105779710-registered-users-adding-300k-a-day/>. April 2010. Accessed August 2010.

[5] Barney, Darin. (2005). Communication Technology. Vancouver: UBC Press, pp. 155-156.

[6] 21st Century Skills are defined as a finding from the IEA SITES 2006 study. The results of the third module of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement’s (IEA) Second Information Technology in Education Study (SITES) were conducted in 2006. The full report is edited by Nancy Law (University of Hong Kong), Willem Pelgrum and Tjeerd Plomp (both from Twente University, The Netherlands). It was published in 2008 by the CERC-Springer, Hong Kong SAR.