We hold a number of academic research seminars about specific aspects of learning and new technology during term time.

All are welcome – there is no need to register.

Developing digital literacy by mapping controversies: revealing echo chambers and the machinery of the internet

09 May 2017 16:00 - 17:30
Seminar Room D

Speakers: Dr Thomas Hillman, Learning and IT Group, Department of Education, Communication and Learning, University of Gothenburg.

Convener: Dr Rebecca Eynon Learning and New Technologies Research Group

This talk will discuss ways that engaging students in a process of systematic mapping of online socio-scientific controversies, such as fracking and vaccines, can help to reveal the actors, structures and machinery at play as controversial issues are performed on the Internet. It will be based on work from a classroom intervention project that aims to investigate what it means to learn about science and engage with issues of technoscientific innovation in a world that relies heavily on digitized information. Scientific findings, arguments and claims from different fields are available through digital media raising issues of concern and controversy that are not only part of science-in-the-making but also generative of new dilemmas in the lives of citizens. The project introduces to classrooms and investigates a digital method where rather than browsing the web in an unstructured fashion to gain information about a particular controversial issue, students use tools to track their online movements as they search for information and then graph or map the resulting network of interacting actors. This invites students to engage with the complexity of issues as they are performed online, to investigate the relationships between actors of differing viewpoints, and to reflect on the technologies of the internet and their role in how controversies are performed.