Developing social media literacy: How children learn to interpret risky opportunities on social network sites. (@Livingstone_S)

The widespread use of social networking sites (SNSs) by children and young people has significantly reconfigured how they communicate, with whom and with what consequences. Drawing on cross-national interviews and informed by the tradition of research on media literacy, I will discuss the idea of social media literacy. The empirical material reveals a social developmental pathway by which children learn to interpret and engage with the technological and textual affordances and social dimensions of SNSs in determining what is risky and why. Their changing orientation to social networking online (and offline) appears to be shaped by their changing peer and parental relations, and has implications for their perceptions of risk of harm.

Streamed live from the London School of Economics yesterday. Professor Sonia Livingstone endorsed my book

Online Mission and Ministry: A Theological and Practical Guide by @revpamsmith

pam-smith-mission-ministry“Many clergy and churches are now taking to the internet and social media to promote their churches or ministries, but few have thought through some of the difficult pastoral and theological issues that may arise.’Virtual vicar’ Revd Pam Smith guides both new and experienced practitioners through setting up online ministries and considers some of the issues that may arise, such as:Are relationships online as valid as those offline? Is it possible to participate in a ‘virtual’ communion service? How do you deal with ‘trolls’ in a Christian way? What is it appropriate for a clergyperson to say on social media?”

I reviewed this book before publication, and here’s what I wrote:

‘Pam Smith has an enthusiasm for sharing the gospel of God rather than worshipping technology. She challenges those who fear online ministry both theologically, and with practical advice, identifying opportunities and areas that need respectful thought. In order to meet people where they are online – Pam emphasizes the need for resilience in our own Christian development, and highlights quality interactions over quantity. I recommend it to all who are interested in or involved in online mission and ministry.’ –Dr Bex Lewis, Research Fellow in Social Media and Online Learning, The CODEC Research Centre for Digital Theology

Officially out on 19th Feb, but already available in ‘certain online stores‘.

Digital Fingerprint: Social Media Consultancy

dfp-logo-352Digital Fingerprint is a Social Media Consultancy, working particularly with those in the Higher Education, Christian and voluntary sectors, and particularly focused upon attitude change, identifying the possibilities of the digital:

As featured on The One Show (BBC1), Steve Wright in the Afternoon (BBC Radio 2), BBC News, The Telegraph, Church Times, Best, Financial Times, Premier Radio, UCB and more

Find out more here.

[MEDIA] Top 10 Internet Safety Tips for #SID2015 (@PremierRadio)

A little something created this morning with Chris Byland from the Premier Team:

[Conference Abstract] MediaLit: Engaging Faith and Media in a Digital Age #ECSM15

Keywords: Social Media, Learning and Teaching, Mature Learners, Digital Age, CPD

medialit15-250MediaLit is a week-long conference held at St John’s College (Durham), designed for those training for Christian leadership and those already engaged in Christian ministry. The course explores Christian ministry and the media, encouraging media literacy amongst those who (will) hold public positions within and related to the Christian church. This intensive conference, deliberately kept small, has attracted 18-30 delegates per year since 2010, with delegates including ministerial students, ordinands, ministers, media professionals and diocesan and district communications officers. The course addresses media as a whole, including mass media, broadcast media, social media and community media.

Delegates are reassured that they do no need to know how to ‘do technology’ to partake in the course, but are encouraged to engage with the learning opportunities provided via social media, through both discussion and practice. For the last five years, a hashtag based Twitterfall (wall of tweets) has run in the sessions, which has encouraged a large number of delegates to develop their own (on-going) Twitter profiles, as well as conversation as to the nature, purpose, benefits and drawbacks of both the Twitterfall’s presence in the classroom, Twitter’s reach beyond the classroom, and what this means more widely about digital culture, and our contemporary age.

The overall structure of the programme is focused upon learning and teaching outcomes. Students are expected to gain an understanding of media theory, theology, and practice within a digital age through interaction, participation and engagement, especially facilitated peer-to-peer conversation. The majority of students are mature students with life experience from a range of sectors to share. Using an andragogical approach, the learner’s background is viewed as an essential component to both what they learn, and what they can contribute to the cohort’s learning.  Feedback from 2014 included:

If you want to be challenged in your thinking; be at the cutting edge of thought in media literacy, experience discussion and practical sessions on creativity and broadcasting you need to be at MediaLit15!

Social media also offers scope beyond the immediate classroom, including live blogging sessions as reflective practice and/or to reach a wider audience, opportunities to collate outputs via Storify or Epilogger, lists of wider reading and films, and the opportunity to continue conversations for group alumni via a Facebook group. This session will reflect upon the course, and how it has developed in order to provide the strongest learning outcomes for each cohort, as media continues to change.

For the European Conference on Social Media (5,000 word paper due by 5 Feb, conference in July).

Social Media Time Savers from @TallieProud


I love Tallie’s new site, which is gradually developing simple digital and social media advice for churches. One of the most recent posts focuses on social media timesavers (as you can’t always do everything right here/right now, and planning ahead can produce better quality content):

  • Create a backbone on tweet content
  • Follow the ‘right’ people
  • Plan Ahead
  • ‘In Case You Missed It’
  • Tweetdeck/Hootsuite
  • Store the good stuff

Check out more of her content, and suggest things that you might find useful.