Seeking Knowledge in a Bubble: A Filtered Online World

Week #1 Reflection

This post reflects on learning during the first week of class. It highlights a topic that I have been learning more about this week – seeking knowledge in a filtered online world.

Seeking Knowledge in a Bubble: A Filtered Online World

The way we acquire information has been revolutionized by the internet, online search technology as well as social media. This TED talk discusses how the information that we see online can be customized according to digital algorithms. For example, what we see our Facebook news feed or our Google searches can be customized based on many factors such as our previous searches, what we clicked on in the past and our locations. This has implications in what we are exposed to online.

Awareness of how our search results and social media streams can be affected by filtering is important to consider when seeking knowledge online. I wonder what our how our Google searches would compare if all of our classmates goggled the same thing, like the speaker did in this talk?

Facebook Groups for Education

I have used a Facebook group once before in an education setting. The group was formed in order to organize work on a collaborative video project with Hawaii ETEC students and students from Japan.  The group worked quite well because the students from Japan did a lot of their electronic media access via mobile devices, and Facebook worked quite well for this in terms of prompt and effective communication as well as sharing videos for the project.

I found the posts on the Facebook discussion question to be very interesting. On one hand I appreciated being able to read through my classmates’ posts relating to the discussion topic all in one place in the comment feed. On the other hand, since we have a relatively large group of classmates, it can be a little overwhelming to be faced with a long stream of posts.

I think one of challenges for me in working with social media is how avoid feeling overwhelmed by the volume of social media information streaming and available at all times.

Group Collaboration Time

Something that I appreciated during our first class meeting was the time to meet with team members to begin talking about our team assignment. The breakout meeting time flew by and it would be great to have some more time to meet with team members during class time since we have collaborative projects on very short time scales in this course.

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6 Responses to Seeking Knowledge in a Bubble: A Filtered Online World

  1. nankc says:

    Thanks for sharing the TEDtalk, Anne! What a great find.
    And thanks for the feedback regarding the course meeting. We will try to continue providing time for group meetings during class time.

  2. kelleydudoit says:

    The Ted Talk video on the filtered online world was fantastic and shed significant light on a problem that I didn’t even know existed. Perhaps this can be a social issue for next weeks team assignment? The idea that programmers are building technology to make assumptions on our behalf is ludicrous and insulting to human intelligence. I like when Amazon makes recommendations on previous purchases I have made, but I think this is crossing the lines. I enjoy how Eli Pariser made the comparison of maintaining healthy online information consumption to maintaining a healthy diet. Too much information dessert can lead to a mentally overweight society who have lost the ability to exercise their intellect and judgement. What a scary thought! I am sure these algorithms have been developed with the intent to make peoples lives easier, but easier does not always equate to better. I also wondered how this impacts public learning environments, like the student computers at the UH libraries? I would not want google responses based on previous queries made by another user. Thank you for sharing this very thought provoking resource.

  3. ceeceekay says:

    Hey Anne!

    I agree that social media can be very overwhelming–especially if you’re subscribed to many different things. I subscribe to some really great blogs by other educators but I only check my feed every now and then and when 100+ posts pop up, it gets to be a bit much.

    I find it interesting to scroll through our classmates discussion points as our classmates have come up with some great points. So great that sometimes I read through before I post my own points and find that I’m just rehashing the points that have already been made!

    I also find the format of Facebook’s posts to be difficult to see a real discussion happening because you are not able to just reply directly to a post that was previously made. I much prefer how discussion boards are set up where you can see multiple threads for one post because you can see the conversation going on between multiple people. When I see someone refer to another classmate’s post above them, I have to go search for the original post and then reread the reply again to fully understand what’s going on.

    Group collabo time is always a plus! 🙂

  4. lisa says:

    back when i was book blogging, i had a chance to participate in a roundtable Twitter chat with Pariser. it was really engaging, and his book, The Filter Bubble, is really great, if you are interested in the ideas he presents in the TedTalk.

  5. kuuipod says:

    I totally agree with your feeling of being overwhelmed by the stream of comments. Sometimes, when I look back on our weekly posts, I need to scroll up to see whose posts I missed or if I am responding to the correct person. With some of our topics, our responses can be quite long! I was wondering how you have felt since you had posted this. Do you still feel overwhelmed into our 5th week of class? Or have you adapted to the notifications/streams? I’m really interested in hearing how you have learned to deal with it. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Pingback: Responses to my classmates’ blogs | S-O-C-K-S

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