May 13, 2011

Exploring Social Media Literacies in Teaching and Learning: Howard Rheingold's Keynote at CHI 2011

Howard Rheingold
"Independent thinker, online instigator, novice educator, expert learner, offline gardener." 
(Howard Rheingold's Twitter profile)
Credit- Joi
Howard Rheingold was the opening keynote speaker at the ACM-CHI 2011 conference on May 9th, in Vancouver, Canada.  In his delightful talk, Rheingold discussed his exploration of social media and social media literacies in teaching and learning, drawing upon his experience teaching university courses.  According to Rheingold, these literacies include mindful infotention; participationcollaboration, and critical consumption, or in his words, crap detection

In traditional classrooms, students are given a number of reading assignments, and then called upon to respond to the instructor's questions, demonstrating that they "did the reading".  From Rheingold's perspective, this is off-track, as cold-calling students isn't the way to foster "thinking, reflection, inquiry, and the ability to contribute to a broader conversation."

Rheingold suggests that it is a myth that "tech-savvy" digital natives know how to use technology for learning and connecting with others effectively, drawing from his recent experience teaching university students.  Rheingold believes that the goal of learning is not to get the right answer, but to learn strategies such as inquiry, exploration, and collaboration.  Learning is not limited to the classroom walls, but takes place (within a network of other co-learners, linked to one another, and also linked to the wealth of resources that are available on-line.  

In this way, a "culture of conversation" is built that extends well beyond the classroom, and takes place after the official class period has ended. Technology is not the solution-  it is a tool that when harnessed thoughtfully, can support co-learning activities in a variety and combination of ways.  This process, Rheingold stresses, can facilitate engaged learning, and amplify intelligence.

If you are interested in exploring the wisdom of Rheingold, take some time to soak in the videos below, as well as the links to resources provided at the end of this post.

21st century media literacies from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

Howard Rheingold at Reboot Britain

More About Howard Rheingold
As early as the mid-1990's, Howard was clear that the future of technology would be visual and multimedia, and that technology would improve access to a wealth of information as well as provide opportunities for increasing connections between people. Rheingold is known for his 2002 book, SmartMobs: The Next Social Revolution- Transforming Cultures and Communities in the Age of Instant Access. He has taught courses such as Digital Journalism at Stanford University and Virtual Community/Social Media at the University of California, Berkeley, and his approach to teaching breaks the traditional mold, given the comments from his former students.  

Since most people don't have the means to attend Stanford or Berkeley, Rheingold recently established Rheingold U, an on-line learning community offering courses that run about 5 weeks, through live sessions and the use of forums, blogs, wikis, mindmaps, and social bookmarks. 

To explore the Howard Rheingold's Story,  his Wikipedia page, his website, and Electric Minds Archives, a blast from the mid-1990's past. Also take a look at the following resources and links:

Virtual Community/Social Media Course Prezi
Virtual Community/Social Media Course Concept Map
Interactive Mindful Infotention Concept Map, which links to additional resources
Wiki:  Interactive presentation media - a good "how-to" resource
Howard Rheingold's gaming2learn Bookmarks

Developing the Digital Learner (Intel)
Standards for Global Learning in the Digital AgeISTE (International Society for Technology in Education)
A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (Book authored by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown)

Allison Druin's Workshop Keynote: "Mining the Imagination from Time Travel to Anti-Gravity"  CHI 2011, Vancouver,Canada (Child Computer Interaction: UI technologies and their impact on educational pedagogy)
Update from CHI 2011 - much more to come!
Press Pass for CHI 2011!  Today's Highlights from the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

If you are unfamiliar with the acronyms, ACM stands for the Association for Computing Machinery, and is known as the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, with over 108,000 members. Within the ACM are a number of special interest groups, known as SIGs.  SIG-CHI is an interdisciplinary group of practitioners, industry researchers,  students, and academicians who represent fields of design, engineering, management, and user experience. All members of SIG-CHI are interested in topics related to Computer-Human Interaction in some way.   Communities featured at the CHI-2011 conference are Child-Computer InteractionGames and EntertainmentHealth; and Sustainability.  

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