User:Leighblackall/Socially constructed media and communications

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This was originally a presentation to an Ascilite Roundtable event on 18 June 2008. I was invited to address the event with a response to the following question:

The use of easily accessible and, in many cases, free social software tools such as MSN, Skype, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Second Life and a wide range of blogs and wikis, has become almost ubiquitous among the so-called ‘Net Generation’. In the context of a growing emphasis on eLearning, most commonly facilitated by enterprise-scale Learning Management System and a range of institutionally managed and supported communication and collaboration software tools, and in an environment of increasing emphasis on intellectual property rights management and quality assurance, how do universities (and other educational institutions) respond to the use of free, open-access tools in common use by their students? What are the potential educational uses of such tools? What are the current practices of use of these tools within educational institutions? What are the issues, risks and hidden costs? What are the advantages and benefits?

Developmental notes[edit]


  • Slight clean up of references in response to Lindsay Carey's request to see a bibliography for the overall PhD
  • Relocating dead links, moving response text to Google Drive and changing the Wikiversity page to developmental notes.


Copied written response from Wikieducator to Wikiversity, to be included in the ONPhD. Intend to update it and clean it up into a formal paper



Presented to 30 participants of the Ascilite Round Table event. No comments, feedback or clear reaction.


  1. Economic Development Information. 2008. New Zealand Household Internet Connections 2007. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Retrieved 2008
  2. Blackall, L. 2007. Revisiting Content is not king. Connectivity is priority. KAREN. Learn Online Blog
  3. Digital Strategy 2007. Retrieved from The Way Back Machine in 2014
  4. Illich, I. 1970. The Dawn of Epimethean Man by Ivan Illich. Marion Boyars, 1971. From the ancient Greeks to a modern New York City child, Illich in 1970 critiques modern society and the drivers of progress as replacing Hope with Expectation. This reference links to a copy of an original manuscript that was later published by Boyars in the book, Deschooling Society.
  5. Frontline, 2008. Growing Up Online. PBS. An inside look into the worlds kids enter and create online, focusing on the important ways the Internet is transforming childhood and development. The documentary also notes a profound generational disconnect, perhaps the greatest American generation gap since rock 'n' roll. Another interesting aspect of the use of technology is the way educators respond to it. The documentary is informative, available for viewing online and provides teaching guides and a discussion forum.
  6. Adams, P. 2008. The Idea of the University. Radio National, Late Night Live. Australian universities are among the least well-funded in the developed world, and behind the decline in federal funding there can be detected a confusion of purpose - what exactly is the university for in today's world? Are they primarily about training workers to enter the modern skills economy, or is there another kind of role that the university plays in a democracy?