Here is a sample of a Google Map:
View Chuck’s Fayetteville in a larger map
This post is part of a lecture to new faculty at Fayetteville State University. In part,, it grows out of my participation in the American Democracy Project’s eCitizenship Initiative Meeting in Detroit, along with several other faculty members. The goal of the project is to introduce faculty to social media tools that we can use to help students become more engaged with their classroom experiences and campus communities.
I have been using many of these tools in my English 518 course, “Using Technology in the Language Arts Classroom,” which focuses on instructing teachers on using some of these tools. Some background: The ideas here are the practical and pedagogical expression of some of the research that I have been doing over the last 6-7 years (basically since spring 2003). To some extent they are informed by the emphasis on “crowdsourcing” explored by Clay Shirky (Here Comes Everybody) and on “commons-based peer production,” discussed by Yochai Benkler (The Wealth of Networks).
Blogs: Although blogs are becoming a fairly visible part of web culture, professors and teachers are still exploring their implications for classroom use. The most common expectations of blogs is that they are frequently updated, with newer entries appearing at the top of the page, making them valuable for course updates and for organizing class discussion. Although Blackboard offers a blog function, I have often used public blogs in order to help students learn to write for a public audience and to help students begin to develop the “filtering” process that has become one of the central tasks of information literacy. Some useful links for faculty interested in blogging:
Twitter: Another easy-to-use resource, Twitter is a microblogging service that limits updates to 140 characters. Although it has been much-maligned, it is also an incredibly valuable tool for sharing information and organizing conversation. Valuable to contextualize Twitter in terms of liveness, immediacy, etc. Steven Johnson explains “how Twitter will change the way we live.”
Wikis: Most people know wikis only from the collaborative encyclopedia, Wikipedia, the massive online encyclopedia that “anyone” can edit. Although this crowdsourced approach to knowledge organization has been widely criticized, research has shown that it is no less accurate than other major encyclopedias, but most media scholars are interested in the wiki tool as offering a new mode of authorship for the digital age, one that emphasizes collaboration rather than individuality.
Google Docs: Related to wikis, Google Docs allows you to share a document with as many people as you would like. You can give full editorial control to as many users as you would like, and the site allows you to create documents that can easily be translated into most word processing programs.
I thought you might find this video satire of social media addiction humorous:
Found originally in this blog post on Twitter burn out.