eCitizenship Conference: Liveblogging Wrap-Up Session


Student Forum:

Students suggest creating a student alliance, within universities and among universities at this conference and will start twittering each other to track each others’ progress

Students suggest educating teachers, getting them engaged in the community.  They need to understand the technology so that they can use it.  Get things started within community, encouraging professors and students to use technologies together.

“College is supposed to prepare us for the world.  Technology is such a big part of the world that our professors need to understand the technology.”

Social media, however, is the focus, not the main goal of the project.  The goal is to use social media to amplify civic engagement.  Link social networking to the overall problem.   Text messaging.  Here’s something that I can do right now to help, especially if it’s using technology.

How do you engage students, how do you engage the community.

What are key incentives:

  • These will help you prepare yourself for the workplace
  • These will give you a place to do things that they are passionate about, making the world a better place from their own perspective.

What should faculty do:

  • Workshops where students become the professors, teach faculty how to use this.

What tools should faculty use:

  • Faculty don’t even use blackboard, other things.  Inconvenience to students.  Students want to be able to find assignments, grades.  Distance delivered courses mean that they need other means of connecting.
  • Students were hesitant to engage faculty.  Students need to bring issues to faculty who really care so that they can bring it to the administration: “a student project backed by this university” or tell other faculty members, or tacit support through student organizations, lends an air of professionalism
  • Participants are concerned about where to start.  At Rhode Island they thought about starting an alliance among student groups (Amnesty, Habitat) to get the news out.

Campus Ideas:

  • Wayne State proposes a research project to study our own program of civic engagement to perform a network analysis to develop tools for cheaper and more extensive
  • Borrow the IUPUI idea of a democracy plaza—faculty write provocative questions and students respond—and go electronic.
  • Take video screens in studio center.  Post ideas, have them text responses onto the board.
  • Western Kentucky, website with interactive map that lets residents know about navigable waterways, tells about facilities, etc.
  • Spanish language students translated library materials into Spanish.
  • Use eCitizenship tools with regard to the census
  • Connect graduates to local communities.
  • University of Michigan-Flint, adding technology-based education to existing civic skills conference and export idea of civic skills conference.  Rather than start eCitizenship conference, how do we use the tools to do what we’re already doing.
  • Wave of the future is learning how to work together.  Civic skills are career skills and civic technology skills are some of the most important skills you could get.

Plans for follow-up:

ADP Conference will reconvene this group on Thurs. June 17 and have panels to discuss this throughout the conference.

Faculty students and everybody should feel free to get directly involved creating systems, setting up systems, working with systems to make this work.

1 thought on eCitizenship Conference: Liveblogging Wrap-Up Session

  1. I found the conference/institute very informative. As an academic, when something is this informative, I began to think about issues pertaining to eCitizenship that I thought I didn’t quite understand or got from the conference.

    What exactly is eCitizenship? Is it confined to the title of the conference…”New Tools, New Strategies, and New Spaces”? Is there an eCitizen? What is the difference between an “eCitizen” and a regular “citizen”?

    I think that defining eCitizenship is important in that it leads to the conclusion that there is such a thing as an “eCitizen”…for which I argue there is none…there are just citizens of a particular nation state. I doubt that everyone who attended the conference agrees with my conclusion.

    Although I am not a lawyer, I’d rather not use the term eCitizenship which assumes certain rights, obligations, and responsibilities as an “eCitizen” when the underlying basis of our internet connectivity is driven by the profit motive. Am I a “citizen” when I have a $35.99/month DSL contract with AT&T or Verizon? I do not think that many people would point to corporations as examples of participatory democracies!

    I don’t know if you have any examples of research or discussions pertaining to the psychology of the perception of “free stuff” online when we all pay for the connection…or at least someone is.

    The real reason why I have raised all this pertains to my understanding that words matter in meaning that is inferred. You are obviously familiar with political rhetoric (death panel/advisory board)!

    Are “eCitizens” just “eConsumers”?

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