Learning Through Digital Media: Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy

Edited by R. Trebor Scholz


“Facebook as a Functional Tool & Critical Resource”

Watch for my latest article about teaching with Facebook in R. Trebor Scholz’s newest collection entitled “Learning through Digital Media: Experiments in Technology and Pedagogy.”

Despite much controversy, I have taken up Facebook as a digital tool in my large lecture halls for a variety of reasons using a number of pedagogical approaches. I challenge myself to consider the social media world from the point of view of today’s students. The aims of this short essay are to identify my motivations for using Facebook, describe methods and practices of this classroom use as a functional tool and critical resource, then to discuss current pedagogical challenges.


As a faculty of media, it is important to teach both about and through digital tools. Teaching about Facebook includes contextual information about its social, cultural, and historical dimensions; teaching through Facebook includes the praxis of using this tool (along with or in conjunction with others) to both process and distribute information. Kirsten Drotner (2008) reframes this discourse about digital media pedagogy by asking whether digital or multimodal literacy should be “defined as a functional tool or as a critical resource?” (182). Simply put, my answer is both.

Using Social Media to Build Lipton’s Research Database: Weekly Updates for 2011-04-24

Social Media for Student and Teacher Learning

On October 23, 2010 the Association for Media Literacy hosted a conference at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Invited Speaker Mark Lipton (University of Guelph and the Media Education Project) explains how teachers can use social media as functional tools and critical resources to support their professional learning networks. Teaching ‘about’ media and ‘through’ media, teachers can negotiate the barriers and benefits of media literacy in the classroom, as well as develop student’s 21st Century learning skills, such as collaboration and connectivity.

Check out his interview with the Association for Media Literacy:

Video also available from the Association for Media Literacy’s YouTube Channel.  Thanks to Paul Baines for conducting this interview and his work for the Association.

Using Social Media to Build Lipton’s Research Database: Weekly Updates for 2011-04-17

Lipton’s NCMR Database

  • Photo: Deanna Zandt opens the social media panel! #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe722dvmzo #
  • Rounds of applause for @freespeechtv @democracynow #ncmr11 #
  • Herdict Web aggregates reports of inaccessible sites. Share your findings! http://j.mp/D2XTD #ncmr11 #
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe722csrvs #
  • “The modern state will have 100% Internet penetration.” sez Brett Solomon #ncmr11 #
  • Panel finally points out Toronto’s @citizenlab http://j.mp/b5A3lJ #ncmr11 #
  • RT@krmaher In response to question about US domestic chilling effects, panelist recommends: “find a candidate, run for office.” #NCMR11 #
  • intense questioning about US gov’t repression: http://j.mp/fIhvk9 #ncmr11 #
  • Photo: The new context of digital activism #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe722citza #
  • New Context of Digital Activism http://j.mp/gIV7Fs #ncmr #
  • MT@renaissanceboy ? for panel: Mesh networks could support net speech. But far from really working. What can we do, practically? #NCMR11 #
  • Does Yahoo still own Flickr? #ncmr11 #
  • Does Yahoo still own Flickr? #ncmr #
  • RT @marionmcmahon: Libya has 5% internet penetration, 150% mobile penetration #ncmr11 #goodtoknow #mobiledemocracy #connect #
  • http://j.mp/icKGot Narus — a vendor selling deep packet inspection software to Egypt (amongst others) . . . selling out. #ncmr11 #
  • ARTICLE 19 defends & promotes freedom of expression and freedom of information all over the world. http://j.mp/em0YKg #ncmr11 #
  • Photo: http://tumblr.com/xe722c6plu #
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton speech on Internet freedom http://youtu.be/ccGzOJHE1rwat (@Newseum 1/22/10 Transcript http://j.mp/8ekVlT #ncmr11 #
  • Internet Governance Forum: Where everyone goes to discuss Internet policy http://j.mp/S6Nsn #ncmr11 #
  • MT@gregoryfoster @StateDept (Jan 21): Hillary Clinton’s “Remarks on Internet Freedom” on Virtual assembly: http://j.mp/eeK2By #NCMR11 #
  • Robert Darnton: “Poetry and the Police” — A common consciousness of involvement in public affairs http://j.mp/fwrzwY #ncmr11 #history #
  • Hillary Clinton: “The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly in cyber space.” 4link:http://j.mp/hTPMQW #ncmr11 #
  • Interested in 3rd-generation content controls? Find http://j.mp/dL15b3 Ron Diebert’s (et. al) Access Control in the Book Fair #ncmr11 #
  • Reporters Without Borders fights cybercensorship and supports journalists http://j.mp/eNN5GK #ncmr11 #
  • RT @lomonur: @weddady Saudi Arabia is on the #UN #039;s women’s council?? What?!! #ncmr11 #
  • Libya on the Human Rights Council @ UN? http://j.mp/fbMYuM #ncmr11 #
  • Right to the information is Not the same as right to Connect; the former is vastly more important says Brett Solomon of Acess #ncmr11 #
  • UN General Assembly adopted resolution 59(I) “Freedom of information is a fundamental human right” #ncmr11 #
  • 80% of the worlds’ people believe access to the Internet is a fundamental human right #ncmr11 #
  • Photo: When Push Comes to Shove Resist from Friends of Internet Freedom Pakistan #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe722bo52n #
  • RT @exiledsurfer: At the Freedom to Connect panel at #NCMR11 Use hashtag #connect for those of us wanting to follow on twitter… #
  • Laughing Liberally is a comedy show spreading understanding liberal ideas and advance progressive values http://j.mp/hkTfX7 #ncmr11 #
  • Gross: Obama Waffles http://j.mp/fgK7RE when political satire fails #ncmr11 #
  • Elon James’ “This Week In Blackness” http://youtu.be/AdzZcU_Ko6I #ncmr11 #
  • Katie Halper supports PlannedParenthood. Watch @kthalpshttp://youtu.be/NmQhCWfXu2o #ncmr11 #
  • Erin Gibson learns there are 2 things that go inside vaginas: 1) penises 2) anything a company can sell you http://j.mp/gMlzoy #ncmr11 #
  • Sara Benincasa in her first episode of ‘Michele Bachmann Saves America:’ What Jesus wants for us: http://youtu.be/SsQtE5tI0jg #ncmr11 #
  • MT@decemberistian Much needed discussion of comedy, humour & satire in #mediareform @kthalps @glibbertron @SaraJBenincasa @elonjames #ncmr11 #
  • MT @renaissanceboy: Lobby role play was awesome! #NCMR11 hoping satire teaches me something. #
  • you want to be a lobbyist? you better be prepared!! practice, practice, practice. Great session. #ncmr11 #
  • you want to be a lobbist? you really better be prepared! #ncmr11 #
  • Photo: At&T tangled family tree http://tumblr.com/xe721ygoti #
  • about to play the #lobbygame at #ncmr11 a bit out of my league; this should be good; role playing; very unconference #
  • Nerds Unite Online! http://j.mp/CrsoG Watch “How to Be a Nerd Fighter” #ncmr11 to see amount of worldsuck harry potter alliance can decrease #
  • http://j.mp/chCuRv John Green; best selling author video blogs every week – nerd fighter – it’s only awesome that fights “worldsuck” #ncmr11 #
  • harry potter alliance http://www.thehpalliance.org/ is amazing pop culture warrior! #ncmr11 #
  • ProjectVRM @berkmancenter seeks to improve markets by equipping customers with tools 4 independence from vendors http://j.mp/1siHqR #ncmr11 #
  • Celebrate Canada’s Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, reports directly to House of Commons and the Senate http://j.mp/1564DK #ncmr11 #
  • Protecting Privacy, Promoting Consumer Rights and Ensuring Corporate Accountability: http://j.mp/fk7Jzi #ncmr11 watch out for health mkts #
  • Fix Google Privacy! #privacy #googleisbigbrother #ncmr11 this link connects to EPIC’s letter to congress: http://j.mp/fDUl58 Please sign! #
  • Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduces package of privacy bills aimed at protecting personal information http://j.mp/hF9adE #ncmr11 #
  • Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising http://j.mp/b2WzaQ #ncmr11 #
  • Commercial Data Privacy Proposal from Dept of Commerce: http://j.mp/go53dt #ncmr11 #
  • FTC has a “do not call” registry; why not “do not track?” in proposed privacy framework . . #ncmr11 let the FTC know; still taking comments #
  • Angela Campbell; Institute for Public Representation http://j.mp/hYR1M2 for regulation; we can’t maintain our privacy online anymore #ncmr11 #
  • Digital Redlining must be exposed eg http://j.mp/gMNmiY #ncmr11 #
  • Privacy by Design: http://j.mp/aYSBFe Anyone know about this & how this work? #ncmr11 #
  • NYT’s article “The Web Means the End of Forgetting” http://j.mp/b3Lh4W; Challenges of web marketing #ncmr11 #
  • fewer cookie controls on mobile devices #privacy #ncmr11; mobile devices have unique have ids (unlike IP addresses); getting passed as data #
  • if you try blocking scripts it might make the website unusable. so much for privacy. anyone have any solutions? #ncmr11 #
  • Is an IP address considered “personal information” or should it be considered “personal information”?? #ncmr11 #
  • “logs” are default setting on most computers – can “hide” send messages from proxy servers #ncmr11 #
  • 3rd party ads on websites/blogs result from IP addresses are logged, cookies (1st vs 3rd pts), web bugs, scripts, etc. #ncmr11 #webprivacy #
  • Hot Privacy Policy Issues: DHS is about collecting information on you; body scanners; cloud computers, etc. http://j.mp/fDUl58 #ncmr11 #
  • Fix Google Privacy thu public policy forums http://j.mp/fDUl58 Please Participate!!! #ncmr11 #
  • http://j.mp/hn0xZC This is a data collection program: About publicly available social media monitoring–this is a Nanny cam! #NCMR11 #
  • Privacy Act of 1974; Dept. Homeland Security Office of Operations Coordination and Planning http://j.mp/hn0xZC #ncmr11 We should be there! #
  • The unofficial anthem of the Internet: “Every breath you take . . .” sez Lillie Coney of EPIC #ncmr11 #
  • Lillie Coney of EPIC http://j.mp/eBgJko is in the privacy fight #ncmr11 #
  • If you want to see an eg of how online marketing is being done badly look at Huffington Post and how its now targeting demographics #ncmr11 #
  • http://j.mp/3Mrvxb Everything is going to be digital, in a more commercial system #ncmr11 #
  • RT @Steve_Katz: An excellent dinner and impromptu birthday party http://flic.kr/p/9wZjKg (great pic @randomdeanna) #
  • RT@tracyvs: At epic dinner w @Mlsif @Steve_Katz @randomdeanna @beyondbroadcast @jaclynf @Chanders @TracyFleisch,
    jim miller/bnf. #ncmr11 #
  • Sarah Jones does not disappoint at #ncmr11 #
  • I first met Sarah Jones . . . back in her early days at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC. So excited to meet new characters #ncmr11 #
  • RT @CoffeeHouseTalk: From now on, use hashtag #rootstriker every time you see money explicity driving the political process. #ncmr11 #
  • “There’s no progress so long as private funds drive public elections.” @lessig #rootstrikers Lessig’s new movement #ncmr11 #
  • BOO! RT@jameslosey: News on the 240-179 vote to repeal #net neutrality in the house draws boos from #NCMR11 #
  • RT @decemberistian: “#NetNeutrality is not a Swiss tennis match.” #ncmr11 Hun? Oh, I get it! #
  • Mini-protest after Pelosi “Stop the WAR!” #ncmr11 #
  • Here comes Pelosi-palooza! #ncmr11 #
  • Gladwell sez something positive about social media! #ncmr11 – In The New Yorker Magazine (Oct. 2010),… http://tumblr.com/xe721jxres #
  • RT @Solomother: Congressional watchdog resources: poligraft.com sunlightcam politicalparty.org investigativereportingworkshop.org #NCMR11 #
  • RT@jasonjcrawford: We can’t use metaphors of ecosystems without also addressing ACTUAL ecosystems of new wireless devices #ncmr11 #
  • RT@rayogram 1/4 households currently rely on wireless only. To cut costs, we cut the cord. #ncmr11 Numbers higher in under-resourced areas #
  • do you prefer f2f or text? especially if you owe them some $ #ncmr11 #
  • #FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s emotional speech is really from the heart #ncmr11 #
  • I’m loving all the talk about #mediaecology here at #ncmr11 particularly at the FCC roundtable! #
  • Spectrum doesn’t belong to corporations but to the people! #ncmr11 #
  • How will this licensing process begin? What will the FCC need to do first? #ncmr11 #
  • RT@beyondbroadcast @Chanders: 4th level simulacrum at #NCMR11 cover it live->livestream->overflow room->of live event, all in same building #
  • Bob McChesney praising FCC’s Michael Copps! #ncmr11 #
  • lunch at TAMO in the bar with @decemberistian all welcome #ncmr11 #
  • Q: Is the term “citizen journalism” presenting the wrong image & devaluing the work of the creators? #ncmr11 The term refers to FREE labour #
  • LOVE this! RT @exiledsurfer: http://bit.ly/hQvH96 This is what governments are truly afraid of. #ncmr11 #
  • Did Alabama violate Marsh’s rights under 1st & 14th amendments by refusing distribution of religious material? http://j.mp/eL0mRO #ncmr11 #
  • Give credit to “sleepy” librarians for being on the front lines of most of these censorship and free speech values! #ncmr11 #
  • Benkler: Terms of Service are replacing terms of Free Speech #ncmr11 #
  • Watch out for “artificial spectrum scarcity” by BIG telecom http://j.mp/g9raQu #ncmr11 #
  • Zittrain: Diaspora http://j.mp/gNJVLU is a mesh network on a freedom box. Anyone use Diaspora? Really? On your phone? Tell me more: #ncmr11 #
  • How do we build ad hoc mesh networks? How can I? I can’t build a freedom box . . . #ncmr11 #
  • Salam: activists need to be aware of net security issues and be prepared to fight for more open system ecologies #ncmr11 #
  • Reihan Salam: Data retention rules to facilitate surveillance vs privacy laws. What takes precedence? no clear rules of the rules #ncmr11 #
  • Benkler: we need to respond to private speech platform with common law #ncmr11 take it to the courts! #
  • Paypal & banks shut down payments 2 wikileaks. Attack from technical to $ system. 70-80% donations shut down by private industry #ncmr11 #
  • Benkler: After gov’t wouldn’t shut wikileaks down, every DNS stopped linking & Amazon stopped hosting & changed terms of service #ncmr11 #
  • Benkler says wikileaks should be protected as much as the nyt #ncmr11 #
  • Yochai Benkler is also talking about wikileaks! http://tinyurl.com/65y67kv #ncmr11 #
  • the toaster of the future: spring update with 3 slots; roll back to 2; next day making oj; not a toaster but a bfast provider #ncmr11 #
  • facebook coders are like the old days of computing; fort knox #ncmr11 okay, we’re in a transitional time with gatekeepers #
  • ITU wants to run the Internet, er . . . no http://tinyurl.com/pysz2j #ncmr11 #
  • Cap’n crunch bo’sun whistle (cover hole & tone gives free long distance w/ATT 70s) This is the stage we’re at with Internet security #ncmr11 #
  • Ways civic technology (ISPs) are poisoned; but don’t build ‘a better filewall’ . . . but what should we do? #ncmr11 #
  • The Internet is a civic technology, cobbled together from existing technology; who cares who’s bits they were? #ncmr11 #
  • Jonathan Zittrain defines civic vs non-civic technologies. eg, if you contribute to a phone (non civic), there will be push back. #ncmr11 #
  • Censorship in Age of Facebook and Twitter: Nancy Scola reminds us that we’re at a strange time in the history of the Internet #ncmr11 #
  • RT @esills: How can you do media education in 2011 and not be on social media? #ncmr11 #acme11 #
  • A walled garden is an analogy to refer to telecom’s control over apps, content & media on platforms & restrictions 2 access #ncmr11 #
  • Oh dear! don’t stream netflicks over 3G, do it over wifi or you’ll be hit with caps! #ncmr11 #
  • If something is politically empowering, some will want control it: carrier control through pricing, devices, data caps, access #ncmr11 #
  • Josh Levy theorizes on how mobile phones are political and political networks: tool for political empowerment #ncmr11 #
  • Mobile is a device not a network #ncmr11 #
  • FrontlineSMS #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe721frp2u #
  • Freedom Fone | it’s for you | IDI | mobile phone as radio #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe721frj2f #
  • Ushahidi: a non-profit tech co. monitoring elections, reporting, mapping, etc. #ncmr11 http://tumblr.com/xe721fqttg #
  • mobile in political space 4: election monitoring, citizen reporting, budgeting, accounting, resource allocation, violence monitoring #ncmr11 #
  • mobile in the developing world: 2009 90%; 2010 5 billion; 2013 6.3 billion 2020 predicted universal access #ncmr11 #
  • Anyone have examples of mobile campaigns that have been shut down? #ncmr11 #
  • Mobile commons? http://tinyurl.com/mq9lu2 SMS reaches 300 million in US. #ncmr11 #
  • Way to go Toronto Star! Newspapers and Social Media: Still Not Really Getting It http://t.co/VdQEOi4 via @dangillmor #
  • No Homo – The Offensive Phrase No Homo – “No Homo” Here’s to Hoping it Doesn’t Catch On! by Ellen Friedrichs… http://tumblr.com/xe7214ym6b #
  • Facebook as a Functional Tool & Critical Resource – Learning Through Digital Media http://t.co/XHXmxBU via@idctweets given talk at #acme11 #
  • Just learning about the term “. . .no homo.” I’m so square. #acme11 #
  • Allison Butler at #acme11 tells the story of social networking and social change: Facebook as a way of chasing after teachers. #
  • YouTube Create; 3 tools for movie making; Animation etc. Great for classroom #acme11 – Use GoAnimate,… http://tumblr.com/xe7212whz6 #
  • Universal Subtitles lets you make subtitles, translations, and captions for almost any video. Anyone use… http://tumblr.com/xe7212uye7 #
  • Video tagging, sharing and discussion | BlipSnips http://tumblr.com/xe7212udt7 #
  • Teaching video or film? Skip to the good parts with http://www.blipsnips.com/ Like time coding for pointing viewers to parts of a video #acme11 #
  • Video: Anne Frank, caught on film, seen in a window … http://tumblr.com/xe7212sw6m #
  • quietube #acme11 Video without the distractions. This look neat for using in the classroom. – To watch web… http://tumblr.com/xe7212s8wx #
  • Anyone suggest Weebly as a free resource? #acme11 – create a free website, etc http://tumblr.com/xe7212rbil #
  • Who’s using VoiceThread in the classroom effectively? #acme11 – A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia… http://tumblr.com/xe7212p890 #
  • Glogs for teachers and classroom use: http://www.edu.glogster.com/ #acme11 #
  • Forget making posters; Make Glogs! http://www.glogster.com #acme11 #
  • What software do you use for your webinars? #acme11 #
  • http://poweredbygirl.org/ Re-coding Ads by girls. Check out these examples. #acme11 #
  • Start local, go digital: check out Courtney Martin from Feministing.com on Ted: http://tinyurl.com/3pks83b #acme11 #
  • Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls (2007) http://tinyurl.com/29ancbd #acme11 #
  • “if a flower isn’t thriving, you don’t blame the flower,” Renee Randazzo of Hardy Girls Healthy Girls #acme11 #
  • Letterman’s Superbowl recap of commercials makes for a great media education lesson http://tinyurl.com/3fzh553 #acme11 #
  • Bob MaCannon “media education for young people needs (original) music” in order to resonate & have impact http://tinyurl.com/ll5d23 #acme11 #
  • Bob McCannon: Media Violence and the American Public
    Scientific Facts Versus Media Misinformation http://tinyurl.com/3qaxlw6 #acme11 #
  • Bob McCannon hands out basic principles of media education #acme11 #
  • Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1% Inequality in the US. Imagine. Ever read C. W. Mills’ The Power Elite? http://t.co/xfa3Ump via @vanityfair #
  • They call me “Mac” (@ Union Oyster House) http://4sq.com/hbaMKf #
  • I just heard I’ve been accepted to the Leave for Change program! Looks like I may be headed to Ghana! http://tinyurl.com/cnoqyu #
  • Feels like #acme11 #ncmr11 will be the zenith of my sabbatical. Looking forward to learning in the next few days. #
  • Looking for @decemberistian (@ Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) ✈ w/ 31 others) http://4sq.com/gKJbwK #
  • Feels like #acme11 & #ncmr11 will be the acme of my sabbatical year. So looking forward to the learning to be done in the next few days. #
  • Randomly selected for a security check. Here’s a start to a great trip! http://4sq.com/dTbBiz #

Social Media Equity, Pedagogy & the Use of Twitter to Build Professional Learning Networks


Who’s in Boston for ACMENCMR? ACME begins Thursday April 7th, 2011. The National Conference for Media Reform begins the following day.

The Action Coalition for Media Education is a national media education organization working to promote independent media education. ACME is the only national media education organization that does not take money from corporate media. This is ACME’s sixth national conference. Others have been held in New Mexico, California, Vermont, Tennessee and Minnesota. ACME conferences are exceedingly involved in activism for media reform; thus, Mark Lipton will also participate in the National Conference for Media Reform.

Mark Lipton is presenting as part of the Technology Track; Session four, (Thursday April 7th 2011) 2:15–3:30, in the Winthrop Room of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

Twitter, Facebook and Social Media Literacy: Equity, Pedagogy and the Use of Twitter to Build Professional Learning Networks

21st Century Skills can be defined as the 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). As teachers begin to adopt the latest technologies as part of their teaching practice, social media becomes both a critical resource and a functional tool. For example, Facebook can be a classroom management tool as well as a way to provide lessons about online privacy and behavior; Twitter can provide a backchannel for class participation while functioning as a resource for professional sharing and collaboration. To these ends, this presentation first reviews approaches to media education that weigh the differences between media access and digital equity, then outlines current research describing teachers’ barriers to media integration and finally considers such examples by addressing pedagogical models and examples. Ongoing research suggests that nearly half of freshly minted teachers leave the profession within five years; the goal of this session is to add value to any teacher’s learning networks.

Follow Lipton’s presentation here: