On Thursday morning, I presented some work I’ve been doing with Dan Krutka at a session of the Association of Educational Communications and Technology. Here’s the title and abstract of our presentation: Teachers on Far-Right Social Media: The Dark Side of Affinity Spaces for Informal Learning We present the results of our studying a teachers’ group on a far-right social media platform. The identity of the platform and the persistence of far-right agenda setting overwhelmed any educational intentions of the group, which therefore had little to offer teachers looking to improve their craft.
This article has been available online for nearly two years, but since I don’t have any previous posts about it, I’m happy to announce that a study of mine with Dan Krutka has just been assigned to an issue at the Journal of Research on Technology in Education. A number of years ago, Twitter released some large datasets of tweets associated with accounts created as part of various governments’ information operation efforts.
I have not been good about logging writing progress recently, but I want to try to get back into it. Met with Dan today to work together on Discussion. Lots of wrinkles to iron out, but we’re very close to submitting this!
Put together a conference proposal while my co-author kept working on his part of the findings.
Met with Dan today for writing work. I finished a section on how the admins’ openness to far-right ideas allowed racist and conspiratorial thinking to enter what was purportedly a teachers’ social media group.
I met with Dan and spent time writing up our findings on how the admins of this teachers’ group were swimming in far-right discourses in their overall activity on the platform. No real surprise that they allowed those influences into a teachers’ group.
About two years ago, in the wake of the Capitol riot, I started collecting data from far-right social media platforms, focusing on groups that fit with my existing research background. I’ve been working with Dan Krutka on analyzing a teachers’ group—we’re so dang close to having a full manuscript. Today we spent some time getting back in the flow of the paper so that we can get this out for review sometime this semester.
Yesterday, I complained about Apple putting artificial limitations on what its hardware and software can do in terms of music syncing in order to make more money out of its consumers (and, probably, keep music companies happy). As I was writing that, I was thinking about similarities with the business model of a lot of mobile apps—let people download the app for free, but keep bonus features (or even the best features) behind a paywall.
I’ve thought a lot about “community” in online spaces over the course of my (still-short) academic career. Early drafts of my dissertation had a lengthy discussion about the benefits and disadvantages of Étienne Wenger’s community of practice framework (which emerged from Wenger’s work with Jean Lave) as compared to James Paul Gee’s affinity space framework. From a research perspective, I tend to prefer Gee’s space-focused perspective and agree with many of his arguments for why it makes more sense to use that language in an online setting.