Celebration of Learning

In this celebration of learning post, I will discuss how I achieved the course goals, detailed below:

Examine the application of social media to support learning
The Major Project was what really helped me to look at social media and how it can support learning. My group chose to focus on Discord, but I also loved reading the other groups’ projects, which enlightened me even more regarding how social media can support learning. I thought that the TikTok group’s major project (found here) was especially interesting, as I have seen many educational videos on that platform. In my view, the effectiveness of social media to support learning depends heavily on how it is used. For example, we found that while Discord is not primarily a learning platform, if you join the right channels (especially for language learning!) it can be an excellent learning tool.

Explain personalized learning and its relation to learning theory
The Siemens article on Connectivism (found here) was the most helpful for me in terms of understanding personalized learning and how it relates to learning theory. Learning theory explains how people process and retain knowledge. Learning needs to be personalized and suited to each individual, because we all learn differently. What works for one person may not work for another, and it is important that different learning styles are accounted for.

Recognize that the Internet is not a neutral or equal space for everyone
This is something I feel that I already knew, though the course helped me expand on it. Not everyone has access to high speed Internet, and in some countries certain websites are completely banned. The Internet is also a difficult space for people who use screen readers. My group looked at Discord, and we found that it is not very accessible for those who use screen readers. Further, there is ampliganda, which I discussed in my 5th Wow and Wonder, and it can also be found in this article. This is where perception is shaped through amplification, and can make the internet an unequal space for those who exist in online spaces where there is a high volume of ampliganda.

Apply social media to develop a personal learning network in support of your personal and/or professional development
I was able to create a PLN with my group members Ruth, Leo, and Michelle. We did this using Discord, Google Docs, and Facebook. Throughout the course of the semester, we were able to discuss and exchange ideas, which helped amplify our learning. This helped my personal and professional development because it opened my mind to other ideas and points of view. If I had only considered my own views on the articles and topics covered, I would have missed out on some really good points. I believe that self-development cannot exist in a vacuum, and needs collaboration with others to occur.

Identify privacy issues and practice online behaviours that are legal, safe, consensual, and ethical
Learning about ampliganda helped me with this, as I believe that spreading it is unethical. Spreading any form of misinformation online is unethical, and I think that I have the responsibility to inform myself about things before I post about them. Further, in the major project, I was tasked with researching Discord’s privacy policy and diversity/inclusion principles. This helped me to recognize issues with privacy and ethics online. Further, in my Showcase Post, I discussed Danah Boyd’s article on networked privacy. This pushed me to consider my privacy and how much of my information may be floating around out there online.

Recognize data ownership and licensing (Creative Commons, Copyright, Fair Dealing, and Public Domain) as a core practice when creating, sharing, or using resources online
Data ownership is key in this regard because you do not want to plagiarize and steal other people’s intellectual property. We have to be very careful when sharing, creating, and using online resources that we are properly citing and not presenting others’ ideas as our own. I knew the importance of this before, but this class helped me to recognize its importance further.

Practice digital, networked, and open literacies in support of learning about social media and personalized learning
Throughout this course, I gained literacy in all of the above areas in doing the readings and watching the videos. Engaging with the course material helped me to ensure that I improved my digital, networked, and open literacies. As my learning pod group member Ruth discussed in this blog post, participating in networks allows us to connect with others who share our interests or are in our professions. Networked literacy is important to ensure that we have those social connections and are exposed to differing points of view.

This was an excellent class and while I enjoyed it, I am happy to be done! This is my last semester at UVic and I have really enjoyed my time here.

Wow and Wonder 7

What wowed me this week comes from Chapter 6 of the assigned reading, Developing Personal Learning Networks for Open and Social Learning. The author states that most educators who are members of FOSS communities are “strongly influenced” by the “dominant philosophical views” in said communities. While this does not necessarily surprise me, I chose it as my Wow for the week because the influence of these communities is really interesting and intriguing.

My weekly wonder comes from the same idea–why are FOSS communities so influential? The article implies that they are more influential than other sources of information or community that educators may use. I have to wonder why this is; is it because the views in these communities are so strong? Is it because they emphasize things that make sense, like sharing and openness? I think that these are really important things to people, but I know that there are other things that encourage and foster openness as well. Perhaps it is because FOSS communities put such a strong emphasis on these principles that they are so influential.

Wow and Wonder 6

My wow for this week:

The statement from the Russian Embassy in Canada is rather startling. I knew that there was and has been a misinformation campaign going on, but to see such blatant lies stated was shocking to say the least.

My wonder for this week:

Mike Caulfield’s four moves article (https://hapgood.us/2019/06/19/sift-the-four-moves/) is the source of my wonder for the week. It is unfortunately easy to accept what we read online, especially if the source appears reputable at first glance. I know that we would all do well to remember that we need to search out a reliable source rather than accepting the first source that reaches us. We also have to consider why a certain source might be the one that reached us–this could go back to the ampliganda topic that was touched on last week. All of this has me wondering how many things I have read and taken for the truth that were, in fact, not the truth. I try not to simply believe everything I read, but I know that it happens, so I am wondering this week about the frequency. And I definitely will be even more cautious now.

Wow and Wonder 5

Apologies for a very late post!

My wow and wonder post is based off of Renee DiResta’s article here: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/10/disinformation-propaganda-amplification-ampliganda/620334/

My wow and wonder from this article both stem from DiResta’s term ampliganda. DiResta defines ampliganda as “the shaping of perception through amplification.” This is a unique perspective on propaganda that I had not thought of – it’s still propaganda, but done so by pushing others to spread your message. This is really interesting to me, as when I reflect on this term I can see how widely it is used in the age of social media. However, I never really thought about how it’s a slightly different vehicle for spreading a message than just plain propaganda. Ampliganda also seems extra powerful to me because of the fact that there is no one person or one organization responsible for it. This is also where my wonder comes in, as it got me thinking about how ampliganda may shape and evolve overtime to create other new subcategories of propaganda. Some, perhaps, that may be occurring now, but that we don’t quite yet have a way to describe.

Showcase Post #1

This Showcase Post is based on the very first Wow and Wonder post I wrote, located here. I chose this one because I wanted to do a deeper dive on networked privacy, specifically as it is discussed in Danah Boyd’s article.

While there is a lot that we take from the internet, whether it be stories, research, funny pictures, anecdotes, or facts about our friends and family, I think that sometimes we forget that there is also a lot that we give to the internet. Boyd speaks of using the serviced 23andMe to find out more about her genetic lineage, but makes a key point about the personal and deeply detailed information she has now given to 23andMe. She points out that she “never asked [her] future grandchildren” (Boyd, n.d.) for their consent to their genetic information floating out there in cyberspace, but it is now out there. There are a lot of cool things about myself that I have felt the internet has “given” me knowledge of through personality testing, quizzes, and genetic testing. However, I realized after reading Boyd’s article, that I have failed to consider what I was giving it.

What information of mine is out there that I don’t know, perhaps can’t even fathom, would be knowable to anyone? Is my shoe size out there? The type of car I drive? What about my fears and desires; my relationship dynamics? I have taken the love language test, the Myers Briggs test, the enneagram test. Are these attached to my identity somewhere out there? Or are they truly anonymous quiz results sitting in dark, boring corners of the internet for no one but me to ever know the details of? I have a feeling it’s the former.

In this article by Marissa Lang, she discusses how nothing we choose to share online can ever be fully private. Only 9% of social media users remain fully confident that their personal information is safe and secure online (Lang, 2017). It is comforting to know that others are concerned too. In a way, though, it’s disconcerting at the same time. Nearly everybody is concerned about their privacy online, but not much is being done about it.

How does this relate to privacy that is networked, and not just individual? I believe that the two are deeply intertwined. I would argue that most people do not exist online fully independently. They communicate with others, whether it’s with family and friends on social media or strangers in forums. We are linked to so many people, and this can help create a more realized image of us. If anyone is looking, that is.


Boyd, D. (n.d.). Networked Privacy. Surveillance and Society. https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/networked/networked

Lang, M. (2017). There is No Such Thing as True Privacy In the Digital Age. San Francisco Chronicle. https://www.govtech.com/security/there-is-no-such-thing-as-true-privacy-in-the-digital-age.html/

Featured image via SecurityToday

Wow and Wonder 3

Wow, this is a week late! I didn’t realize until I came to write my fourth Wow and Wonder post that I completely forgot to do last week’s. My apologies and here it is:

My wow:

Creating a visitor map was hard and forced me to think critically about where and how I exist online. I chose it as my wow because I didn’t think it would be difficult, but it was! Some websites are kind of ambiguous in where they fit, and I did a lot of thinking and pondering.

My wonder:

All of the readings on digital privacy really got me thinking about my place in cyberspace and how much of my information is really out there. I know that I have always agreed to terms and conditions without reading them. I wonder now what more sinister things I have agreed to and how much of my privacy I have given away without knowing.

Wow and Wonder 4

My wow for this week:

The way that Shelley Moore chose to represent true inclusivity was my “wow” for this week. I like that she chose a different pattern for each “person” in the inclusivity diagram, as opposed to only identifying some as different. This concept was also my wonder for the week, because it wowed me as well as made me think.

My wonder for this week:

In Shelley Moore’s story, the comment about the student got me thinking about inclusion and “othering”. Before I read what the student’s issue with the diagram was, I looked at the diagram, and did not see why it was a problematic representation of inclusivity. Then, reading the student’s comment that there should be no “other” at all for true inclusion, I really got it. It got me thinking about what other social issues I may think that I am well-versed in, but am actually misled.


Wow and Wonder 2

My wow:
What interested me most this week comes from the Siemens article (https://www.itdl.org/Journal/Jan_05/article01.htm). I found the limitations of the learning theories to be an interesting consideration, especially the point about the theories not making room for learning that occurs “outside of people”. They seem to be only concerned with individuals’ learning, but I think there is a lot that may be missed if you are discounting how entities like organizations and technology learn. Further, I never thought about the fact that learning theories do not consider the value of what’s being learned. This is vital and a big oversight.

My wonder:
In the same vein as my Wow, I am wondering if there is room for these theories to be modified to be inclusive of types of learning that are separate from the person. Especially in the modern world, technology’s ability to learn is vital and arguably foundational to a lot of aspects of our society. These theories should perhaps be edited or modified to include technological and organizational learning. I think that this would help them to be more accurate when it comes to people, too.

Wow and Wonder 1

The thing that caught my interest most this week (my “Wow”) came from Danah Boyd’s article about Networked Privacy. I found the whole article to be a particularly interesting read. I had never thought about data and privacy in terms of being “networked”, that what we share tells us about others. DNA data was an obvious example to me, but it was interesting to consider that even appearing in the background of strangers’ pictures is in fact personal data that is floating around out there without our knowledge or consent. While something like this is probably low-risk, it is still worth considering.

My Wonder for the week comes from this same line of thinking. It is less something that I can research and more something I want to be introspective about–how much of my data may be out there that I know nothing about? Not just pictures with me in the background, or DNA information, but more subtle information that I may not even realize could be out there? This is definitely something I will be pondering thanks to Boyd’s paper.

This Wow and Wonder post references the following article: https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/surveillance-and-society/article/view/networked/networked