Interview with danah boyd, social networking expert

danah boydIn an interview with danah boyd, she speaks about the impact of social networking on society and education.

Key points:

  • We live in a changing world, with new technologies and social media that allow people to easily connect, communicate, create and share content.
  • These changes are reshifting and reshaping public life as we know it. Our lives today, which consist in large part digitally, are more persistent, searchable, replicable and visible (in public spaces we don’t always anticipate).
  • We socialise young people into public life (what to wear, how to behave, who to stay away from, etc.) but we also need to socialise young people into these new mediated public spaces.

Impact on education:

  • We need to primarily educate on how to deal with constantly evolving and emerging technologies (above teaching about the technology or even with the technology itself). (Of course it can be argued that the best way to teach the primary goal is through playing with current technology.)
  • We need to teach critical thinking skills and new media literacies.
  • She is working on a teachers guide to Wikipedia (out next US summer, June/July 2008) that can be used to teach critical thinking skills around Wikipedia, and is happy for someone in Cape Town to localise the guide to the South African curriculum.
  • Social networking is here to stay, but it might not be as Facebook or MySpace. As a concept it will be integrated into other technologies and media, e.g. your cellphone.

Pull quote: “Let the kids do what they need to do, but teach them how to be critical.”

Image by Loren Earle-Cruickshanks (All rights reserved)

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