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HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR LITERACY DEVELOPMENT Barbara L. Kabanyoro.

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Presentation on theme: "HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR LITERACY DEVELOPMENT Barbara L. Kabanyoro."— Presentation transcript:

1 HARNESSING THE POTENTIAL OF SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR LITERACY DEVELOPMENT Barbara L. Kabanyoro

2 Today’s corporations are keen to invest in promising social network technologies and services. IT departments are being called upon to help their organizations embrace this emerging trend. However, in order to harness the opportunities social networks present, you must first gain a deeper knowledge of social networks, including an understanding of how they work and their inherent power

3 Social Networking The easiest way to understand social networking is to think of it like ‘high school’. You had friends and you knew quite a few people even if you weren't friends with all of them, but it's likely that you didn't know everyone. Getting started with social networking is much the same as starting at a new school. At first, you don't have any friends. But as you join groups, you begin to meet people, and you build a friends’ list of those with similar interests.

4 Social Networking Also referred to as social media, mostly refers to using the internet as a means to communicate with people. A method of connecting with different targeted users either face to face or on-line; Encompasses many Internet-based tools that make it easier for people to listen, interact, engage and collaborate with each other. Social networking platforms - Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, message boards, Wikipedia and countless others.FacebookMySpaceYouTube LinkedInTwitterWikipedia

5 So why network Social networks are captivating – there’s no doubt. The minds behind building the popular social media platforms of today knew exactly what they were doing and they saw it before any of us ever did. It’s a brilliant idea really – create a medium that allows people from all over the world to connect, share and collaborate like they never have been able to before. Incredible! A nice form of entertainment, great for meeting people with similar interests, and can be a very effective business technique for entrepreneurs, writers, actors, musicians or artists.

6 Research (National Literacy Trust, 2011) has shown that social networking can actually boost the child’s literacy and confidence levels. With new technology becoming more advanced, young people are being given the opportunity to communicate in new and innovative ways. You cannot talk of social networking without bringing in the issue of “Text speech” language. Keeping messages short, whilst still conveying the key information is an art in this e-world. People use contractions in the digital world out of necessity. There is so much digital data to digest on a daily basis that people have naturally sought ways to create more space

7 And the broader issue of how people shorten messages to friends by text, instant messaging, tweets and other social networking platforms raises the question: What impact does social media have on language? And are textual truncations a manifestation of the net generation’s much- maligned attention span. Looking back at the popular communication platforms of yesteryear, there really is nothing new about text restrictions. Whilst the 140- character tweet limit was influenced by the 160-character SMS limitations, telegraphy was influenced by carriers charging extra for words that exceeded fifteen characters, and for messages that exceeded ten words. This snippet from The Anglo-American Telegraphic Code, published in 1891, helps illustrate some of the common contractions of the day. Much of the non standard language used within text messages is not a new phenomena, it’s the medium that has changed. The notion of keeping messages short and sweet has been a marketing mantra for years. Punchy slogans have long been preferred over drawn- out paragraphs. But this is even more so now.

8 Can we harness the potential in social networking for literacy development

9 Literacy Development Literacy It's most commonly defined as the ability to read, spell and communicate through written language. However, in a more general sense, literacy IS MORE than just the ability to read or write. It means being able to VIEW, LISTEN, READ, COMPREHEND, EVALUATE, SPEAK, and WRITE effectively and systematically. Literacy broadens a person's world as surely as illiteracy narrows it. Anything that is presented to promote a person's literacy is Literacy Development Literacy development is the development of listening, speaking, writing and reading skills

10 Literacy develops over time as students progress from emerging to skilled readers who can comprehend and analyze complex text. Reading for understanding requires an active thinking process that is influenced by the reader's prior knowledge and experiences (National Reading Panel, 2000): As more and more children are increasingly using technology as a form of communication, students now do enjoy writing, and in short hand. Reading with comprehension is a human right, but does this happen anymore? Is this statement really true or are we ignoring the fact that significant numbers of people are reading in a different form of language than is expected of them – particularly the younger generation (criticized for writing CVs and matric examination in so-called txt-tese, SMS language or chat speak).

11 When we blame poor matric results on this new ‘language’ without looking at the role of instant messaging and mobile platforms in bringing young people into contact with reading and writing we are like throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Literate children approach reading and writing as fun and exciting. They use reading to learn about a wide range of subjects, and they use writing to share their own ideas. While Youth who lack a comprehensive and enjoyable introduction to the world of literature tend to see writing and reading as work-- something they have to do. Proficient readers monitor their understanding as they read. When the text doesn't make sense they use strategies that include:

12 Activating background knowledge Making connections between new and old knowledge Self-questioning to clarify and deepen understanding Drawing inferences by using background knowledge along with textual clues Separating main ideas from details Monitoring understanding of text Employing fix up strategies to repair confusion Using sensory images to understand and visualize ideas Synthesizing and extending thinking, going beyond the information given (Tovani, 2004)

13 Do not demonise social networks; let us use them to get schooling right! A technologically-driven world has both good and bad. This generation needs to benefit from the good. So rather than hindering language, texting and social media may actually aid literacy and help train people to write more concisely. Twitter co-creator Dom Sagolla has even written a book on getting the most out of 140 characters.Twitter book Technology offers new tools for effective literacy instruction, and also expands the definition of 21st century literacy. "To become fully literate in today's world, students must become proficient in the new literacies of information and communication technologies”. (International Reading Association's position statement on literacy and technology).

14 Well-designed literacy programs provide students with frequent opportunities to use language--reading, writing, listening, and speaking--for varied and authentic purposes. Literacy educators have a responsibility to effectively integrate these technologies into the literacy curriculum" (IRA, 2001). It is about harnessing the potential of social networking and instant messaging to re-engage young people in developing critical and creative problem-solving skills that form part of literacy development – while making sure they are still able to dot their i’s and cross their t’s.

15 Strategies for increasing literacy development should focus not only on improving reading skills, but also on developing the higher-order thinking skills that enable students to comprehend, analyze and communicate about ideas. Supposing we get kids using cellphones in the classroom under supervision ( and yes, there will always be those that deviate into undesirable areas but is this not already the case ?); encouraging critical thinking by setting tasks; getting learners to find answers from different sources, compare those answers on an I-chart, report summarised findings to different people, e.g, a friend, a teacher… The challenge would be translating each other’s text messages so that ‘less-able’ teachers could read them.

16 Connect the learners - Increase student motivation to read and write by connecting learners with audiences beyond the classroom, and even outside their own country. Social learning enhances children's literacy skills. Technology facilitates peer review, enabling students to read and respond to one another's work, and also connect with an audience out there.

17 Why go through all this So is this the death knell for language and literacy? Some people would say yes. But there’s growing evidence to suggest that digital short form may actually have a positive influence on language. The British Journal of Developmental Psychology has previously reported that text-speak actually aids reading development in youngsters.reported Shortenings, contractions, acronyms, symbols and unconventional spellings all fall under the broader ‘language’ umbrella. The more exposure children have to the written word, the more literate they become. For the message receivers, there are keyword searches, RSS Feeds, news alerts and hash tags, each helping to break down the deluge of data into relevant, palatable chunks.

18 People are drowning in a sea of information. There are an estimated ten billion web-pages on the Internet, which makes standing out from the crowd increasingly tricky. People must be encouraged –often forced – to keep their messages short and sweet. Whilst it’s false to say that the Internet is infinite in size – there can only be a finite amount of server space.infinite So capacity isn’t an issue. But information overload is. Anyone wishing to be heard online has to shout louder and louder to be heard over the cacophonous crackle of the white noise web.crackle

19 Attention spans are nose- diving, a decline instigated by the likes of MTV, computer games and the Internet. The form of organic shorthand that’s emerging from mobile phones, social media and general digital connectivity is a natural cast-off from this. Tweets and ‘text-speak’ are feeding the trend, not causing it.MTV

20 We’re already seeing TV commercials shrinking, which is indicative of people’s waning attention spans. The 60-second TV product pitch was replaced by 30-seconds, which in turn is being usurped by 15-seconds. In 2009, over five million adverts were 15 seconds in length on US TV screens, a 70% rise since adverts Anyone who’s ever written an essay with a strict word-limit will know that it’s usually harder to cut down a text than expand it. A physically restricted writing space forces us to think about how we convey our message. Ramblings often detract from the core message: less is more.

21 Reformulating an ad to fit within the pre-determined character limits can be frustrating at times, but it’s entirely necessary. With LinkedIn ads, users are restricted to 25 character headlines and 75 characters for the main body. Meanwhile Google Ads give users a mere 70 characters to play within the text’s main body.LinkedIn Google Anyone who placed a newspaper advert in the days before Gumtree, will remember hacking words to save precious pennies. Gumtree

22 Whilst some might suggest that a child’s literacy skills are suffering from using ‘L8R’, studies have shown that an understanding of the original word is required. So whilst watching MTV may well cause brain-rot– texting, ing, instant messaging, tweeting and Facebooking may actually be good for language development. All in moderation, of course.studiesMTV But an unforeseen (or potentially foreseen, but ignored) consequence is addiction. Social networks have been so good at “helping” us, but now they’re hindering us. From what you might ask? Well, ask your friends, family, parents, even children what they think. And although it is often joked about, it isn’t a joking matter.

23 Only time will tell how language evolves as a result of the digital revolution. But all signs so far suggest that literacy won’t suffer too badly…u no wot I mn ? “Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm." - Robert Louis Stevenson

24 Blogs are sites that people set up to provide information and opinions about events, ideas or anything else they want to discuss. Blogs can include links to other related sites, photos, videos and sound as well as text. The number of bloggers is growing exponentially; eMarketer estimates that in 2007 there were almost 23 million U.S. bloggers and more than 94 million blog readers.eMarketer Twitter is a micro-blogging site. Twitter members post text messages called “tweets” of 140 characters or less, using either a computer or a cell phone. Other Twitter users can “follow”” your posts, but you can decide if you want to let them follow you or not. Compete.com, a Web-traffic analysis service, says that Twitter had 6 million unique visits in February 2009.Compete.com Facebook is a social networking site where you can set up a profile, join different communities, and connect with friends. More than 175 million people currently use Facebook—and the fastest growing demographic is people over the age of 35. LinkedIn is a social networking site with about 38 million members. While it shares a lot of the same features and capabilities you’ll find on Facebook, LinkedIn focuses specifically on helping people build career and business communities. Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Articles provide links to related information. In 2008, Wikipedia had 684 million visitors, and 75,000 contributors working on more than 10 million articles.

25 Profile. This is where you tell the world about yourself. Profiles contain basic information, like where you live and how old you are, and personality questions, like who's your favorite actor and what's your favorite book. Social networks dedicated to a special theme like music or movies might ask questions related to that theme Friends/Connections. Friends are trusted members of the site that are allowed to post comments on your profile or send you private messages. You can also keep tabs on how your friends are using social networking, such as when they post a new picture or update their profile. Friends are the heart and soul of social networking Groups. Most social networks use groups to help you find people with similar interests or engage in discussions on certain topics Discussions. A primary focus of groups is to create interaction between users in the form of discussions YouTube is a site to share and watch videos. Anyone can record a video and then upload and share it via the YouTube site. Everyone can watch the videos on YouTube. In January, The U.S. Congress and YouTube announced the launch of official Congressional YouTube channels, which gives each member of the House and Senate the opportunity to create his or her own YouTube channel

26 THE GOOD OLD DAYS!! Memory - was something you lost with age An application - was for employment A program - was a TV show A cursor - used profanity A keyboard - was a piano A web - was a spider's home A virus - was the flu A CD - was a bank account A hard drive - was a long trip on the road A mouse pad - was where a mouse lived

27 You are never too old to get involved in social networking! THANK YOU


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