The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationship amongst participatory culture (Jenkins, 2006), Web 2.0 technologies, and communities of practice. Specifically, this study will address the following questions: what are the effects of introducing a Web 2.0 technology into a pre-existing learning environment, and how can such technologies aid (or inhibit) the emergence of a participatory culture? To address these questions, a design-based research project was undertaken where a Web 2.0 technology was iteratively designed and developed, rolled-out to a graduate school community of 5,000 members, and its impact studied over a one-year period. The study uses a variety of methods to triangulate the impact of this Web 2.0 technology. In particular, the study employs a longitudinal social network analysis, a latent semantic analysis, a cross-comparison analysis, and an ethnographic analysis. Results indicate the Web 2.0 environment provides a forum for community members to play-out the tension between reaffirming pre-existing socio-cultural norms and a desire to break free from such structures. Specifically, the analysis reveals that the Web 2.0 technology allows for new forms of participation that were not possible with earlier ICTs as well as opportunities for radical interaction networks to form. However, the study also indicates how the initial radicalism the Web 2.0 technology allowed for is tempered over-time to better conform to pre-existing socio-cultural norms. In sum, participatory culture is made possible by the innovations in ICTs; however, sustaining the culture must be the undertaking of the community. Implications are made for organizations that may be interested in deploying Web 2.0 technologies to accomplish a variety of goals.
My colleagues and I look like we will be quite busy at this year’s AERA here in NYC (March 24-28). Our presentations include:
- Evaluating Educational Multimedia in Web2.0 Environments: The Case of TeacherTube
- Connecting Educational Research with an Audience
- Web Video as a Public Sphere for Educational Researchers
- Teaching the Levees: Creating an Online Resource to Facilitate Democratic Discourse and Civic Engagement
- Effects of the Digital Age on Research Standards and Academic Publishing
- Second Look: A Research Platform for Second Life
In preparing for the doctoral certification exam in CCTE, I took the time to articulate my perspective on technology, learning and society. I first elucidate the notion of situated learning, followed by how technology works in relationship with this theoretical prospective, followed by ways of intervening to take advantage of this relationship.
I am going to be presenting this Friday the EdLab’s work on the Teaching the Levees project at the National Council for the Social Studies with a few members of TC’s Social Studies Program. I’m looking forward to seeing the keynote by Sandra Day O’Connor (at least I think I am- I haven’t been following her activities very closely recently). Below you will find the slides from our presentation- should be interesting!
I am currently working on a project for the Consumer Behavior course I am taking at Columbia Business School which looks to understand the factors that influence consumption in Second Life. Unfortunately, I have no data yet (this should be the mantra for all research projects related to Second Life!). However, with some hard work over the next few weekends, I will by the end of the semester.
If you are interested, you will find the slides from my presentation at AOIR, titled: “Does Web 2.0 Matter? Investigating How Learning Environment Design Affects User Community Engagement”