Social Media, Learning ... and the 'Always On' Generation
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Social Media, Learning ... and the 'Always On' Generation

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This presentation is a keynote presented at the Future of Sport Conference, held at Northampton University on 12 June, 2013.

This presentation is a keynote presented at the Future of Sport Conference, held at Northampton University on 12 June, 2013.

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  • [There are no digital natives. We are all in this together #ICL2012]


  • 1. Social Media, Learning… and the ‘Always On Generation’ Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth Plymouth University
  • 2. Can we predict the Future...? “One day every town in America will have a telephone!” -U.S. Mayor (c 1880)
  • 3. The First Mobile Phone
  • 4. Photo by Steve Wheeler
  • 5. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him an iPhone.” - Abraham Lincoln (on the ‘selfie’) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 6. Image source: “This is for everyone” London 2012
  • 7. “The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed” – William Gibson
  • 8. Ubiquitous Connectivity ccSteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2010
  • 9. User Generated Content
  • 10. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Sentiment tracking
  • 11. “If you think of the Web mainly as a place to ‘look up things’, you are missing the point”. – Alec Couros (2012) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 12. “Where digital communication has fractured the tyranny of distance and computers have become pervasive and ubiquitous, identification through digital mediation has become the new cultural capital”. - Wheeler (2009) Digital cultural capital – Membership of the Tribe SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 13. Source:'s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Human Needs
  • 14. Source:
  • 15. Global Social Personal SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 16.
  • 17. Social Media use in 2013 Sources from service providers and also 3.5 Billion views/day 70 hours/minute >400 Million SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 18. “The average digital birth of children happens at about six months.” SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Courtesy of Steve Anderson
  • 19. Learners taking notes Photo: Lori Cullen SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 20. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 21. Power users 14% Ordinary users 27% Irregular users 14% Basic users 45% Source: Kennedy et al (2010) Beyond Digital Natives and Immigrants: Exploring types of net generation students, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26 (5). n = 2096, mean age range 17-23 years SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 22. Digital Residents or Visitors? SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 23. “We all fall somewhere along a continuum between Digital Visitor and Digital Resident, from very occasional online interaction, like accessing your bank account, to the evolution of a complex online presence through a variety of platforms.” – Judy Bloxham (JISC, 2013) Digital Residents, Digital Visitors (White & Le Cornu, 2011) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 24. Personal Learning Networks Photo by Steve Wheeler SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 25. “I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge.” – Seymour Papert SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 26. CHALLENGE SKILLSLow High LowHigh Anxiety Boredom SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Adapted from: Csikszentmihalyi (1991)
  • 27. CHALLENGE SKILLSLow High LowHigh Anxiety Boredom SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Adapted from: Csikszentmihalyi (1991) and Killi (2009) P1 P2 P3 P4
  • 28. Beyond my reach What I can learn with help (ZPD) ZPD and scaffolding What I can learn on my own Technology and toolsKnowledgeable others SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 29. CHALLENGE SKILLSLow High LowHigh Anxiety Boredom SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Adapted from: Csikszentmihalyi (1991) and Killi (2009)
  • 30. Celebration One tribe or many?
  • 31. Costume echo = group identity SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 32. Postural echo = Identification SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 33. Tribal Nature of New Media “New media ... have made our world into a single unit... The world is now like a continually sounding tribal drum. Media point us away from individual man and toward tribal man.” - Marshall McLuhan (1960) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 34. “Twitter and blogs ... contribute an entirely new dimension of what it means to be a part of a tribe. The real power of tribes has nothing to do with the Internet and everything to do with people.” Internet Tribes “A tribe needs a shared interest and a way to communicate.” SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 35. “The internet eliminates geography. This means that there are now more tribes: smaller tribes, influential tribes, and tribes that could never have existed before.” - Seth Godin Tribes SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 36. Digital Tribes and Virtual Clans There is one digital tribe ... But there are may subsets of this large digital tribe – what we can term ‘virtual clans’. - Wheeler (2009) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 37. Totems “It is easier to project your feelings of awe towards a totem than something as complex as the tribe.” - Emile Durkheim SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 38. Digital Totems? • Gathering places • Rituals and rules • Celebration and fun • Transmission of customs, social mores and values (storytelling) • = Tribal identity • = Social networks Source: Wheeler (2009) Digital Tribes SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 39. Digital Totems For digital tribes ... their totems are their social networking tools within the World Wide Web. Source: Wheeler (2009) Digital Tribes SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 40. Wikipedians (Deletionism + Exclusionism) /Inclusionism = Source: Survival of the fittest content SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013 Darwikinism
  • 41. Flickrites and Facebookers SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 42. Smart Mobs “Smart Mobs consist of people who are able to act in concert even if they don’t know each other. [They can] cooperate in ways never before possible.” Rheingold, H. (2002) Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. The ‘Thumb Tribe’ – one thumb signalling SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 43. Flash mobs The power of txting to organise collective action SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 44. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 45. Image source: ‘Some get fans, and some get fines’
  • 46. Source:
  • 47. Source:
  • 48. SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 49. “Lee Harvey and the Wailers” (Lee Harvey did not jam alone) SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 50. “60% of all Internet pages contain misleading information.” - Thomas Edison We need ‘digital wisdom’ SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 51. language personal data language Managing identity name images netiquette reputation avatar interaction privacy identity legacy reputation name privacy images interaction LOL – let’s post this up on Facebook SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 52. We all need new ‘literacies’ • Social networking • Privacy maintenance • Identity management • Creating content • Organising content • Reusing and repurposing • Filtering and selecting • Self broadcasting • Transliteracy SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 53. “Knowledge that is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” - SocratesPlato SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 54. “All too often today we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” - John W Gardner The future? SteveWheeler,UniversityofPlymouth,2013
  • 55. Thank you