While authors like Nick Carr warn us of the long-term dangers of the time we spend online, Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, the man who coined the term virtual community, acknowledges the issues and presents strategies for successful digital citizenship in the broadest sense, for mindful use of technology.
Rheingold believes that we must be empowered digital participants rather than passive consumers. That the emerging digital divide is between those who know how to use social media for individual advantage and collective action, and those who do not.
- crap detection
- network smarts
The book is essential reading for professionals responsible for teaching digital/media literacy (all of us?), because as Rheingold says, educational institutions cannot change swiftly and broadly enough to match the pace of change in digital culture. He concludes with the hope that at least some simple form of crap detection finds its way into K-12 classrooms. And he shares the additional hope and belief that knowledge and know-how can spread through online networks as swiftly as well as pervasively as a viral video.
Though Rheingold doesn’t actually mention it, his hopes validate our mission.
Also on my night table:
This first major explanation of how the unconference movement is changing the way professionals network, learn, and grow. Boulle examines the drawbacks of traditional conferences, and makes the case for taking the power away from the talking heads and valuing collective intelligence. She shares strategies for planning and executing successful camps, presents case studies, and applies the new unconference philosophies to the classroom. This is an important book that will help us spread word of important options for professional development in our schools.
UContent offers librarians quick professional development on a movement that has forever transformed how we search for and use Web content. Tomaiulolo covers such timely topics as blogs, wikis, self-publishing, citizen journalism, tagging, folksonomies, social bookmarking, cybercartography, and custom search engines. This is a primer for new and retooling librarians on mining, participating and teaching about participation in new information landscapes. The author promises to update his moving-target content with a website.