Crowdsourcing Curating Networks: It Has to Be Meta

(This post is co-authored with Mia Zamora, School of English Studies, Kean University).

Last week on ProfHacker, Jason Jones invited readers to participate in the open/published peer review process of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, published by MLA as a collection of keywords curated by different authors. Have you had a chance to take a look and comment?

In a future phase of keywords for this book, we (Maha and Mia) will be curating the keyword Networks. Having read Brian Croxall’s blogpost telling the backstory behind his curation of the word failure with Quinn Warnick, we got inspired to kickstart our process of curating our keyword by going meta. We are inviting others from our networks to help us make sure we have covered the most important aspects of networks, and the most important references and models out there. Because if we are going to write about networks, we may as well leverage our networks to make it even better. The official open peer review will come once we finalize this, but there is no reason not to involve people earlier. Here is where we are currently at in our thinking (very early stages):

First of all, what do we mean by “networks” in the context of digital pedagogy? We do not mean the infrastructure of computer networks. Instead, we are looking at the following (not mutually-exclusive) categories:

  1. Social networks – as in tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and God knows what else lies in the future. We would be looking at artifacts of their use in pedagogy, by people like Jesse Stommel and Pete Rorabaugh, and we would be looking at exploration of power and influence on social networks, such as Bonnie Stewart’s dissertation research. The problem with a tool focus is that 5 years from now the tools will change. How do we highlight that appropriately without losing context of how specific tools and their affordances influence our (digital) social interactions?

  2. Networked learning – as in focusing on the approach to learning being networked, connectivist, connected. Here we are thinking of the work of Siemens, Downes, Cormier, and the work coming from Mimi Ito, Danah Boyd, Howard Rheingold, and more. We are thinking of artifacts such as the early connectivist MOOCs (cMOOCs) by Siemens and Downes, and more recent ones like #rhizo14/15, #ccourses, #clmooc and such. We also do not want to ignore the early history of networked learning from the early days of eLearning, pre-social media and MOOCs.

  3. Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) – as in focusing on relationships and connections between people. Here we would focus on work that has been done on this topic by the likes of Alec Couros and Jeff Merrell, and we give examples of opportunities for building personal learning networks such as Virtually Connecting.

So how are we crowdsourcing this, exactly? We thought… let’s use our PLN and a social networking tool (Twitter) and an open Google Doc. If you’d like to participate, please Tweet a link or whatever you would like to add to Twitter and use the hashtag #CurateNetworks (please tag one of us @bali_maha or @MiaZamoraPhD) or plug things into the Google Doc. Feel free to indicate your agreement (e.g. With a +1 somewhere or a retweet) with someone else’s chosen links. We will add an acknowledgement section at the bottom of our article to everyone who contributes. Thanks in advance!

Flickr photo: network by jenny downing shared under CC-BY license

What are your thoughts on networks? Tell us in the comments.

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