Digital literacy 9: Broadcasting yourself

In the last in the series on digital literacies, we explore how through the web, each of us can become our own broadcasters and publishers.

The social web has shifted the balance of power away from commercial production companies in favour of the individual. The shift is from push to pull. This is a characteristic of the Web 2.0 and Edupunk movements - the do it yourself culture in which costly proprietary systems and tools are spurned in favour of haphazard, unbranded, informal mashups and loose aggregations of tools. There is a huge array of social web tools to choose from and many of them are free at the point of delivery. But more than that, it's participatory. Web 2.0 tools have made it possible for a massive, unprecedented surge in self-publication and broadcasting. The video sharing service YouTube's usage statistics should convince even the strongest sceptic that people really want to share their content. YouTube now boasts over 2 billion views over each 24 hour period and receives 24 hours of uploaded video each minute. The photosharing service Flickr claims that between 3-5 million images are uploaded every day, and hosts well in excess of 2 billion photographs and other media such as short video clips. The blogging sentinel service Technorati lists 1.2 Billion blogs at the time of writing. These are staggering statistics. People everywhere are using the web to broadcast, publish and share their ideas, opinions and creative works to the rest of the world. It may not all be great content, but here and there, you will find gems if you search for them.

The music industry has had to learn the hard way that it no longer has the monopoly on music production and distribution. It now coexists alongside independent companies and individuals, all of whom are just as intent on selling or in some cases, giving away their music to the public. Many teachers and students are doing the same thing, with educational content. Traditional publishers are having to sit up and take notice - particularly to the open access movement. Public awareness has been raised about the openness and availability of educational content. When students encounter a paywall, they will simply go elsewhere for similar content.

Podcasting, and its visual equivalent, vidcasting, are very quick means of getting your ideas out there for others to listen to or watch. Blogging your ideas over a period of time attracts readers, and if you are lucky, and produce consistent quality and quantity of posts, you will garner a loyal following of readers who will return again and again, and also comment on your posts. For many bloggers, this is all the spur they need to persist. But beware, for the social web can also be the not-so-social-web. Peer review is very informal, and can be anonymous. Either way, it can also be harsh and even abusive, so bloggers, broadcasters and publishers need to be thick skinned. This kind of digital literacy enables learners and teachers to fully engage in the social web culture, and all its rewards. Every time they post or upload new content, authors and producers makes a mark on the web and the influence of their digital footprint increases.

If you are already creating podcasts or videos, writing blogs or uploading images to the web, you will be keenly aware of the benefits and challenges. But I think you will probably agree that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

Image source

Creative Commons Licence
Broadcasting yourself by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I agree totally.

Without my blogs, podcast, tweets I would not have the opportunities or occupation that I have now.

I would still be in my classroom doing the things that wonderful teachers do everyday that go largely un-noticed.

Broadcasting and sharing have made enormous changes to what I do and how I do it.


Allanah King

Commenting on your blog is problematic for me cos I have a Blogger account for my class and I don't want to sign in with that and I have a personal Google Account for family matters and I don't want to sign in with that.

I have a Wordpress account for my 365 photo blog and that's the only way I could actually leave a comment.

There is no Name- Blog URL or anonymous option??

Feel free to not approve this comment but I didn't know any other way of writing to you.

Cheers

Allanah
David Koehn said…
"The video sharing service YouTube's usage statistics should convince even the strongest sceptic that people really want to share their content. YouTube now boasts over 2 billion views over each 24 hour period and receives 24 hours of uploaded video each minute."

Great data insight!

In Social Learning this is exactly the premise.

The organization can benefit from this impulse.

Keep up the great posts!

David Koehn
Director of Product Strategy, Saba People Learning
t: @davidkoehn

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