Digital Citizenship, Activism, and Social Media #UDWFL


On June 30, I will moderate a session as a part of the Young African Leaders Initiative at the University of Delaware. Participants are a part of a “highly accomplished and talented group of young Africans, ages 25-35, who are in leadership positions with civic/advocacy organizations in their home countries”, as described by program coordinator Gretchen Bauer, chair of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at UD. My session is titled Digital Citizenship, Activism, and Social Media, and will focus on literacies for activism and civic engagement in a mobile/digital age.

I will use this blog post as a home base to share slides, links, backchannel information, and archive artifacts.

Google Doc backchannel



  • #UDWFL


Additional links and resources


News, Examples, and Media


Short URL to this post


Social media and web 2.0 for #fashion: Spring 2012 edition

Building on my growing (and unjustified) reputation as a fashionista, this is my Spring 2012 collection (of slides) for “FASH325 Multimedia Fashion Presentations” students.

This presentation is part information management, part online persona, and part marketing. It’s intended to be an overview of what 21st century graduates should be aware of in terms of online behaviors and trends.


Things I forgot to cover in class

  • Take advantage of the fact that you are all sharing the same experience (i.e., college) to start following each other, sharing information, and discussing the practices in your discipline. Your cohort might end up being the best support group you’ll have in your lifetime.
  • Information on the web is not peer-reviewed, so be aware of the dangers of becoming misinformed. See this video about media literacy for more details.



Web Presence

Point of Purchase

Social Media

Social Media Tools


Content Hosting & Collaboration

Metrics & Analytics

Previous presentation

Short link to this page:

Upcoming LearnIT session on personal learning networks

In the past couple of years, I have shared my story of how I use social media for professional development and web 2.0 as my “extended brain.” I have prepared a workshop titled “Building your personal learning network: DIY professional development,” and I hope you can join me this Wednesday, February 22, or the following week on Thursday, March 1. Below is a short promo video I created as a teaser.

If you’re interested in reflecting on your own professional development practice and explore a thing or two about using the internet to assist you, sign-up for one of the these two upcoming LearnIT sessions:

This session is open to University of Delaware students, faculty, and staff members.

P.S.: If you’re not a UD person and would like to participate, send me an email at mathieu AT udel DOT edu.

Update: I created a hub page for this training session.

Curation, human computers, and Web 3.0

As 2011 slowly drifts away, I’d like to come back to a topic that has been on my mind a lot this year, and speculate on some trends for the upcoming decade. That topic is curation.

As we have all noticed, information available on the internet is limitless, and the frontier of that universe is expanding exponentially at every instant. People struggle with dealing with all that information. News organizations used to filter the content we were exposed to, now we get bombarded from all directions.

Technology got us here, but technology will not be able to bring back sanity, at least not on its own.

Enter the age of Web 3.0

Collective intelligence diagram.I stumble upon this blog post titled Forecast 2020: Web 3.0+ and Collective Intelligence by Glenn Remoreras.

In 10 years, humans and computers will join forces to create “collective intelligence”. Technology will evolve as such that the Internet (and information within it) will be accessible and available to everyone— this will exponentially increase the already massive data we exchange today. How we (and machines) will make sense of as well as analyze and synthesize this collective information, is what will bring us to Web 3.0 and beyond.

The Economist made a similar point in its December 3rd, 2011 edition. In an article titled Return of the human computer, they link the principles behind the 1930s creation of mathematical tables used by scientists to today’s crowdsourcing startups.

The new generation of human computers carry out different tasks, but they mirror their predecessors in many other ways. They are being drafted in to perform tasks that computers cannot. They are employed in large numbers and are organised into streamlined workflows. And, as was the case in the age before electronic computers, their output is combined to generate results that could not easily be produced in any other way.


Eric Horvitz, a researcher at Microsoft’s research labs in Redmond, Washington, has considered how such software could be put to use. He imagines a future in which algorithms co-ordinate an army of human workers, physical sensors and conventional computers. In the event of a child going missing, for example, an algorithm might assign some volunteers to search duties and ask others to examine CCTV footage for sightings. The system would also trawl local news reports for similar cases. These elements would be combined to create a cyborg detective.

There are operations that machines do best, and others that computers do best. In the March 2010 edition of Wired, Clive Thompson describes the cyborg advantage. “Back in 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer struck a blow for bots when it beat Garry Kasparov at chess”.

Learning from this experience, Kaparov created advanced chess, a competition where participants would use computer software to assist them in their decision process.

At a “freestyle” online tournament in 2005, where any kind of entrant was allowed, such human-machine pairings were absolutely awesome. In fact, the overall winner wasn’t one of the grandmasters or supercomputers; it was a pair of twentysomething amateurs using run-of-the-mill PCs and inexpensive apps.

What gave them the upper hand? They were especially skilled at leveraging the computer’s assistance. They knew better how to enter moves, when to consult the software, and when to ignore its advice.

What this means for education

In answering what curation is, social media and education expert Howard Rheingold states:

Curation, like making a website, is an act of self-interest that enriches the commons and benefits everybody. I need to search, scan, and select the best resources I can find for my own personal interests, and by making my choices available to others, I create a resource for many besides myself. Curation is also a signal to others who share my interests, people I probably would not have known or known about otherwise, who, in turn, suggest resources to me. I feed the networks of people who do me the honor of valuing my choices, and they feed me back. It’s about knowing, learning, sharing, and teaching, all in one.

As educators and students alike become curators themselves, and start connecting to other people’s streams, they become a part of the human-machine system that creates the collective intelligence Remoreras described. Whether this process is enabled or crippled by our education system is up to all of you, fellow educators.

See you all, connected, in the future!

Flipping the classroom with mini-lectures

I read an interesting article in Inside Higher Ed this week about the story of a marketing professor at Central Michigan University. In this article, Mike Garver, a self-proclaimed great lecturer, explains his process to remove lecturing from his classroom altogether:

“I kind of gave up lecturing in the classroom,” Garver says, adding that he was tired of having to choose between introducing ideas and letting students try putting them into practice. “There was never enough time for both,” he says.

Instead, he creates mini-lectures on his computer to introduce topics students should master.

This is how Garver lectures these days: He gives his lectures alone, at home, on his own time, into a microphone. “I get fired up with coffee, I go into the studio, and I just start cranking out lectures,” he says.

He then uses his class time this way:

At the beginning of each class, Garver uses classroom clickers to quiz students on the concepts covered in the previous night’s lectures. For the rest of the class period, Garver typically divides the students into teams and asks them to apply those concepts to specific use cases. “What we can focus on is the upper end of Bloom’s Taxonomy,” he says — that is, hands-on learning.

The rise of online video

Online video is now so easy to create, edit, store, and access. UD faculty can create them using the self-service UD Capture room in 309 Gore Hall, in addition to whatever free service that’s available, such as Youtube or Jing, and the multitude of cheap recording devices such as Flip cameras, webcams, and smartphones.

Khan Academy is entirely based on one guy recording his screen and narration. Production costs are coming down to nearly zero, but potential impact is global (if you do it right).

Online video works because it’s short. “Chunking” your lecture into short videos seems to work best at making sure you stay focused, and that your students won’t get overwhelmed.

Garver says he believes that even disciplined minds have trouble focusing on something as dense as a lecture for more than 15 minutes. When he first began recording lectures and assigning them outside of class, Garver says his students sometimes found it even more difficult to stick with the lectures amid the distractions of home than in the classroom, where they were at least a captive audience. “They’d say, ‘Oh my God, that hour-long lecture — what were you thinking?’” Garver says.

The School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania has a series they call the 60-Second Lecture, that relies on the same principle. Here’s an example:

So please comment on the following questions:
  • Has online video changed your teaching practices?
  • Can you envision other ways your class could change to take advantage of online video?