Livetweeting Andrea Forte, Learning in Public

Earlier this week, I attended a presentation by Andrea Forte on “Learning in Public” and the use of social media such as wikis and Wikipedia in formal education. Here is the twitter stream related to this event.


Live tweeting – Andrea Forte: Learning in Public – Info Literacy, SocMed and Public Schools

HS Student: I’ll look at government sites first because I *know* I can trust them

swbuehler @pfanderson So naïve

TeeMonster @pfanderson Was he absent when his history class was covering Watergate?

TeeMonster @pfanderson More to the point — is that HS student missing THIS: #blackout

@TeeMonster Thanks!! Good link! I’m saving this. AF’s talking abt SocMed as community of practice, gradually moving towards centrality.

Orientation of contemporary students to online information. Focus of talk on Wikipedia as publishing model & social engagement venue

@swbuehler Yes – that was her point. And the room laughed when she emphasized the trust aspect of the comment

AF: Information literacy is a problem of people knowing how to act in communities, not just finding but also contributing

She highlights: NewGrounds, YouTube, Digg, Bloglines, Wikipedia, Twitter

Discussing model: Wikipedia assumes good will and consensus and ethical behavior of editors.

kgs @pfanderson except sometimes it stops at edit wars, because Wikipedia is a human product, and therefore fallible

@kgs AF: that is part of consensus building – info goes in or stays out. But yes, all human knowledge is fallible and susceptible 2 change

NYT Quote: “The problem w/ Wikipedia is that it only works in practice. In theory, it never works.”

h2cm @pfanderson Hi. Thanks I just favorited your tweet re. WikiPedia. I’ve a blog post to follow… Governance is a major issue

@h2cm She is actually talking about a governance class she used for this. Check out her articles: Andrea Forte.

AF: Wikipedia as learning environment. Disagreements > edit wars > consensus > knowledge building discourse

AF: Wikipedia process: Assertion > Challenge > Support > Resolution. INCLUDED: “How do we know this?” aka info literacy

AF: Example: global warming = politicized issue, does this mean it is ok to cite political documents?

AF: Latour/Woolgar sociology of science: “Messy, cyclical, often emotional process of making claims, peer-review, publication” eg Wikipedia

Q from remote audience. Parallels Wikipedia w/ FLOSS community. What is primary motivation for participation? A: We don’t know.

Q: What are the demographics of Wikipedia authors? A: We don’t even know male/female. Where anonymous edits come from is avail, not authors

AF: Affordances for learning implicit in the process of working in Wikipedia. Can we create these same opportunities in other venues?

AF: Classrooms not self-selected. Social connections/structures very different. Does publishing 4 real audience change how content is cre8d?

AF: Students don’t perceive wiki/blog publication 4 class as public forum. Assume no one will look. Except their friends. Oops

AF: Talking about problems with legitimate citation management in Wikipedia. I was only person in audience who’d tried. Interesting.

AF: Recs for classwikis: support citation, protect privacy, support classroom social relationships, make it easy for teacher to find identity.

AF: Likes MediaWIki because opensource and large developer community. EG:
My apologies – wrong URL. Right URL is

AF: Iterative process of sculpting wiki software 2 support academic & scholarly inquiry (proper citations). Using SciOnline in HS classrooms

AF: Findings: 1: students paid attention to non traditional features of SocMed – own experiences, personal focus, reflection

AF: Findings: 2-3: audience changes behavior in writing and metacognitive reflection on content

AF: Findings: 4: wiki supports process of learning AS a community

AF: Stdt assmt strategies support new heuristics: is material licensed for use? intellectual property entered the classrm. w00t!

AF: students assumptions that if MANY people have reviewed and edited content that consensus must be close and info is accurate

AF: Stdt assessment: Is wikipedia safer because of checks and balances? or less worthy because it is an “edited” (ie. open) source?

AF: Reasoning about why they cite: sense of responsibility to audience *beyond* grading rubric. People care, therefore I want to do it right

AF: what is pedigree or provenance of your info? does it have a credible background?

AF: Students noted that the hard part was writing science in simple language for middle schoolers and broad audience

AF: neat phrase: “cognitive apprenticeship” – how people learn to contribute value in wikis, examining how peers contribute, role modeling

AF: Info takes on new meaning when school work becomes *authentic public resource* rather than simply assessment of learning

AF: more than half young people creating new content online. Opportunity for education? Responsibility for assessing also distributed

AF QUOTE: “Education is not preparation for life, education is life.” John Dewey 1938.

AF: Change in writing was less qualitative product than shift in process and level of engagement.

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