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Wednesday, June 17 • 11:15am - 11:45am
CON01.05 - Are there perks to being a Twitter wallflower? Exploring peripheral Twitter participation in public relations education

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Increasingly, instructors at all academic levels and across a variety of disciplines are introducing social networking tools in their classes – likely in response to the participatory culture that has evolved from the Web 2.0 technology that has nurtured a generation of “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001). As a social media instructor, I witnessed young people engaged in social networking as a “living technology” (Kennedy, Judd, Churchward, Gary & Krause, 2008, p.119), facilitating their social lives, but were reticent when asked to migrate to the social networks that have become the “learning technology” (Kennedy, et. al., 2008) of the classroom. Kennedy, et. al. (2008) has described the migration from living to learning technologies as neither automatic, nor guaranteed (p. 119), resulting in non- and peripheral participation among students, despite the digital native rhetoric, and the situated learning opportunities afforded by the publicness of the tool. At Humber College, public relations (PR) students are encouraged to use a Twitter hashtag, #humberpr, which has evolved into an online community of practice, where students, faculty and industry experts intersect. My research explores the experience of the PR student who remains on the periphery of #humberpr, including: negotiation of power dynamics; barriers to the migration from a living to a learning technology; and the learning of the peripheral player. Although focused on PR students, my findings should prove relevant to educators across all disciplines. 

Kennedy, G.E., Judd, T.S., Churchward, A., Gray, K., & Krause, K-L. (2008). First year students’ experiences with technology: Are they really digital natives? Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. 24 (1), p 108-122. Retrieved from: http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet24/kennedy.html

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants, Part 1. On the Horizon. Sept-Oct. 2001. 9 (5), (pp. 1-6). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/prenskyper cent20-per cent20digitalper cent20natives,per cent20digitalper cent20immigrantsper cent20-per cent20part1.pdf

Wednesday June 17, 2015 11:15am - 11:45am PDT
Director Room

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