week 10 reading

In Matthew Williams’s article “Myspace and Facebook: What higher-ed can learn from social computing”, I noticed a problem, how to judge that students spend more time on facebook or myspace than on classwork, which widely spreads through all campuses. The author mentioned that instructors blamed the social network software which attracts students from the class and wastes time. Finally, he pointed out that the question for instructors should not be how to stop students from spending so much time on those sites; in contrast, it should be how to invite students into the inner workings of classes. There are some initiatives in the academic setting. For example, Bowling Green State University tried to integrate Myspace into their job hunting service. They encourage students to use this tool to exhibit academic inforation to emploers, family and friends around the country. And same product was introduced at the University of Brighton, the university developed one social networking software called Elgg, which is used to create a online discussion community and provide collaborative and conversational exchanges for students, tutors, and professors outside class.

 

Also these positive initiatives are encourage, but I still have a little concern about some potential issues. In Danah Boyd’s article “Identity Production in a Networked Culture: Why youth heart myspace“, the author mentioned that youth want some private or public space where they could engage with their teen peers. However, I think this digital public could potentially further isolate different groups of students. There is another article written by Danah Boyd, called “Viewing American Class divisions through facebook and myspace.” In that article, the author pointed out that different “classes” have been formed on these social networking sites. The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other “good” kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college. MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. It seems that people are separated by different social classes not only physically but also virtually. I am not sure if this judgment is discrimination, but obviously, the possibility is there.

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One Response to “week 10 reading”

  1. Malcolm Law Says:

    I think that social interaction sites will evolve, perhaps quite quickly and that educational uses will develop from this. At Victoria University of Wellington, my son and all other students who enrol can set up their own profile on “My Victoria”. I’ve yet to see the uses which my son has for his page but I can see the potential.
    Also these sites can be used for other purposes. The story of The Arctic Monkeys is illustrative. This entity is a band of musicians in the UK, who set up a site on MySpace and used it to promote their music, when they were unable to gain a recording contract with a record company. Once they had gained an audience through MySpace they were able to record in the conventional way. Now almost all popular musicians have MySpace profiles.
    As for class divisions, what do we make of Zaadz which seems to be a site for political activitists, however they are defined? Or the rise here in New Zealand of Bebo which caters to the under 20 year olds, and Eons and Seniors Grand Central which cater for the baby boom generation?
    Then there is Mommy Buzz, “connecting Moms with Moms”, Boompa for car enthusiasts, Muslim Space, LitMinds and Havea hoot, read a book for readers? If these sites catch on, will this not mean the fragmentation of the market?

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