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Crown Buildings, Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, SA33 5ND,
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Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler is a Learning Innovations Consultant and former Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the Plymouth Institute of Education where he chaired the Learning Futures group and led the Computing and science education teams. He continues to research into technology supported learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on the pedagogy underlying the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, and also has research interests in mobile learning and cybercultures. He has given keynotes to audiences in more than 35 countries and is author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 6000 academic citations. An active and prolific edublogger, his blog Learning with ‘e’s is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education, learning and development. In the last few years it has attracted in excess of seven million unique visitors.

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Publications by Steve Wheeler

Learning with ‘e’s

In an age where young people seem to have a…

Don’t Change the Light Bulbs

Curated by Rachel Jones, Don’t Change the Light Bulbs offers…

Author Blog

An apple for teacher

September 20 2019

Photo from Pxhere
I had the pleasure to do an speak with Sophie Bailey recently, when we recorded a session for Edtech Podcast. Our entire conversation, sat out in the shade of an apple tree in my Dad's garden, was wide ranging, including (but not limited to) digital technology, marmalade making, schools and education, American teachers, studying art and music, (Picasso, Genesis, Supertramp, Ed Sheeran, Arcade Fire and Rihanna), vinyl records, philosophy and politics, can be heard on the link below. Go on. Have a listen.

Creative Commons License
An apple for teacher by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

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Yeah, right

September 17 2019

Photo from Pixabay
Or in other words .... meh. That's my response to a lot of news headlines these days.

Call me cynical, but a lot of content today doesn't impress me, and it probably doesn't impress you either. Just spotting some of the puerile wordplay headlines on the front pages of the tabloids as I walk past a newsagents is enough to put me off my morning latte. Newspapers and media channels in particular revel in pushing sensationalist headlines that attract people who seem to be starved of sensory input. But worse than that is the deceit.

A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on. It was always thus, but in the age of the web, smartphones, social media and connections at the speed of thought, the dumbing down of content and the spreading of lies seems to be accelerating. Content can be misleading, inaccurate, fanciful, or downright misleading. It's designed to make you click the link, spread the content.

The format is formulaic.

There is usually a click bait headline and/or image that has little or no connection to the actual content. Often the headline has '...what happens next will blow your mind...' or a similar phrase to grab your attention. There may also be an element of subtle blackmail - '95% of my Facebook friends won't bother to read this....' or 'Share if you care about this....'

People are gullible, and will often click on any 'interesting' content that appears without thinking, so the pernicious purveyors of pap are onto a winner every time. Every time you click, they make cash. They make money off people's curiosity, and this only encourages them to create more crappy content for us to consume.

The important thing to know is that you don't need to like or share content for it to spread. Often, simply by clicking the link to read the article, you can inadvertently spread the content to the timelines of your own small circle of social media friends. You probably don't want to do that. The content may be hateful and racist, or discriminatory in some other way, or more subtly, it may be an innocuous headline that has a deeper agenda and a extreme political organisation behind it (See for example the Britain First Facebook posts).

Every one of us is susceptible to this, but to safeguard our timelines, our reputations as professionals, and the hearts and minds of our friends and family, a simple strategy is available. Firstly, block and/or unfollow anyone who is an incessant trash content sharer. Don't engage with them. Simply cut them out of your timeline. However, the best strategy would be to question everything you see online - use your discretion, and check out the headlines.

If it looks too good to be true or looks unbelievable, it probably is.

[To be continued in the next blog post - Lies, damn lies and social media]

Creative Commons License
Yeah, right by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's

Read Blog