Week 2 – Making connections: participating online

This week we will explore the importance of digital literacies and the practices and attitudes related to it.

On May 9th,  2017 at 11am (UK Time) we will host an online interactive session via Youtube. Direct link is available here.

Sue Beckingham talks about Social Media and Employability



How important do you think it is to make connections online? what impact do they have on individuals’ employment/employability?

In which ways do you connect online? What platforms/ networks do you use and why?

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2 Responses to Week 2 – Making connections: participating online

  1. francesbell says:

    I was sorry to miss yesterday’s session and am currently listening to the recording. I am really interested in what you are saying about communities and networking. If we think of them as practices rather than entities then we need to practice both in appropriate ways. I have found Ben Light’s Theory of Disconnective Practice to be very useful in understanding what is happening and also in forming my own practices – book very expensive but some of ideas here http://eprints.qut.edu.au/82817/3/82817a.pdf If we think about disconnection as well as connection in relation to employability it can help us to understand the ways in which structural inequalities persist, and in some cases increase, in employment despite the apparently democratising possibilities of the participatory web. It can also expose the hidden networks (in contrast to the visible networks of SNS) – the ‘old boys’ networks, Masons, tendency to appoint in one’s own image (colour, gender, class). Disconnection can also be a useful lens for managing diversity of connections. We can manage our exposure to different points of view and swamping by those we have affinity with.Those most invested in hyperconnection are those who benefit most eg SNS, celebrities and I think that the participation and learning, the nature of connection that you discussed are somewhat at odds with hyperconnection. As you said more possessing the means to connect relates to economic capital but appropriation is about how you connect, and I would say disconnect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cristina Costa says:

      I think these are extremely important points Frances. Thank you so much for sharing them. I will also be looking at Ben’s book.
      I totally agree with you. I also think that we are now at a point that being online is so natural that we no longer think about how and why we connect and/or why we should disconnect. Yet, sometimes I end up spending a lot of time going through my networks and leave with a feeling that I did not gain much from it. The issue of well being with regards to connectivity is also one that needs to be addressed in more critical ways. Depending on the purpose and type of activity, I think online connections can contribute to one’s well being, but the opposite can also be true and it is important we are aware of both possibilities. I see, for example, people who connect to be in touch with friends, family members that are physically distant, etc. Such connections are important because it brings those connections closer together. Professional networks however do not always provide that comfort and can sometimes create distance rather than connection, especially when the networks are already established and/or some people’s voices tend to dominate.
      Having said that, I believe in the benefits of online connections as a form of networking and also as a form of learning with and from others’ experiences (most times in vicarious ways). This would take us back to Wenger’s figure of the ‘Lurker’ to which I think I am more amenable now than I was 10 years ago! is lurking a form of disconnecting…?
      yet, it is in the visible connections we make that often count as Lisa will probably will tell us today in her talk.


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