Digital Guyana

Week 1 course – Social networking

Posted on: July 30, 2009

After a morning introducing the students to HTML, the afternoon session in week 1 gave the students a chance to step away from the computer screens and have a general discussion around the uses of social networks.

As a way of sparking dicussion we showed a film called Us Now, a film project about the power of mass collaboration and the internet.

The film featured the following examples of Internet-based group collaboration/organisation:

The film isn’t a perfect teaching tool – it’s overlong in places, in some cases some better examples could have been used and not everything chimes with the realities of Internet access in the developing world.

However, the general themes raised are good, in particular the possibility of using the internet to enable mass collaboration.

Many themes came out in the discussions, with the different classes of school students, teachers and community organisations all bringing a different perspective. Topics included:

  • the pros and cons of crowdsourcing
  • privacy issues
  • the lack of ubiquitous access to the Internet (especially vulnerable people in developing countries)
  • spam, malware and viruses
  • the reliability and accurracy of Wikipedia as an educational tool
  • organisations following their audiences by establishing a presence on social networks
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