My presentation from our joint symposium at the Networked Learning Conference. Aalborg, Denmark 2010
The Paradox of Social Media and Higher Education Institutions
Added June 3, 2010:
Jo Freeman’s “THE TYRANNY of STRUCTURELESSNESS” seems to have some relevance here. During my presentation one or the audience members shared some information about Je Freeman, which got me to thinking.
I think it would be naive to assume that the grassroots movement of social media is entirely structureless. Even grassroots movements and endeavours have some sort of structure. In my presentation it may seem like I suggest that social media is without structure and entirely led by the people. That is an oversight on my part and was completely unintentional. As Freeman puts it, “the idea of ‘structurelessness’ does not prevent the formation of informal structures, only formal ones.”
This is an interesting chain of thought that I will need to spend some time digesting.
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) use formal learning as a means of maintaining control. Social media is more about the informal, or rather the less formal. The paradox here may not be that HEIs want to formalize social media. Rather, the paradox may be that one of the key elements of social media (informal) is that which will ultimately formalize it. Could it be that the social media movement is not unsimilar to other movements, like the feminist movement, etc.?