Publishing with Friends: Exploring Social Networks to Support Photo Publishing Practices

Publishing with Friends: Exploring Social Networks to Support Photo Publishing Practices

Paula Roush (London South Bank University, UK) and Ruth Brown (London South Bank University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-826-0.ch013


London South Bank University; London South Bank University, UK
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The roots of the read/write web were described by Berners-Lee and Cailliau (1990); they explained hypertext and foresaw two phases in its development: firstly the use of existing browsers to access information (the read web) and also ease of publication on the web (the write web) with “the creation of new links and new material by readers. At this stage, authorship becomes universal.” The authors predicted that “this phase [would] allow collaborative authorship” facilitated by the annotation of existing data, linking and adding documents.

Almost two decades later, their vision has become a reality. Online participatory culture is ubiquitous, and evidenced by the popularity of social network and media-sharing sites, multi-player games and other applications generally know as social software.

The academy is slowly entering this stage of “collaborative authorship”. The term “classroom of the read/write web,” coined by Richardson (2006), uses a familiar metaphor to translate this into a teaching and learning construct. Educators can assemble their own toolbox of freely available applications using the self-publishing technologies now abundant on the Internet; these may include weblogs, wikis, aggregators, social bookmarking, photo-sharing, rubric-making tools and many others. In his model, Richardson provides a pedagogical framework for the integration of these technologies in teaching and learning, in the context of the publishing affordances of the read/write web, and emphasizes the four core literacies – reading, publishing, collaborating and information management – that can be developed in the online environment.

In practice, the read/write web classroom demands major shifts in the ways we think about content and curriculum. Richardson (2006) identifies these as follows: the web is viewed as an open classroom; learning takes place 24/7 in interaction between online peers and experts; collaboration leads to the social construction of meaningful knowledge; teaching is democratized, a conversation rather than a lecture; knowing where to find information takes precedence over the acquisition (and regurgitation) of facts; students aspire to edit information critically, to develop active reading and writing skills; web applications are used as digital notebooks to store and share information found online; writing is lent richness by augmentation with photography, audio and video; mastery of skills is demonstrated and assessed in the product (e.g. digital content creation) and marked tests are dispensed with; and, finally, course materials and coursework are a contribution to a larger body of knowledge (the web), can be reused by others, and are not completed and discarded at the end of the semester.

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