Howard Rheingold’s book Net Smart is a great conversation starter. Rheingold:
How can we use digital media so that they help us become empowered participants rather than passive consumers? In Net Smart, I show how to use social media intelligently, humanely, and, above all, mindfully.
Rheingold identifies 5 literacies necessary to be a fluent and responsible user of social media. They are:
- Attention - Rheingold begins by talking about how attention works and how distractions and multitasking might be making us dumb. These are thoughts that have crossed the minds of teachers, parents and students around the world. The question is … what is the answer? The answer to that question is yes AND noWe need to be mindful of the distractions that the internet provides. It opens up the world to us and we must be sure to attend what is important and not what is easily available and entertaining.
- Crap Detection - Just because it’s on the web does not mean that it is true. This chapter deals with the need to find ways to identify and classify the good from the bad of the millions of informational tidbits that are floating around on the net.
- Participation – The web has allowed us to learn with and from each other. We can now have online classrooms and communities that can house 2 people or 2002 people. Bloggers, Tweeters and Facebook posters have the ability to speak their mind and change the world.
- Collaboration – We now have the ability to pool all of our immense resources and … change the world. There is no longer a me and mine. We have the ability to SHARE everything and increase the momentum of a project by making it us and ours.
- Network Smarts - If we thought that telemarketers could make life unbearable because of how much they know about us; think what can be done when businesses know every key stroke and search that you make. We must learn how to protect our privacy so that we are safe and secure.