06 SES 04.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
The poster presents the results of the cartography of virtual communities emerging from the project: “Comunidades Virtuales de Jóvenes: Hacer visibles sus aprendizajes y saberes” (“Virtual Youth Communities: Make visible their learning and knowledges”) - currently in development. This research project seeks to recapture and disseminate young people’s learning and knowledge outside of school based on the identification and in-depth analysis of their participation in virtual communities.
Virtual communities are digital meeting environments for young people and adults driven by their curiosity, concerns, personal motivations or needs. In these communities, some young people find a place of connection, exchange, self-regulation, belonging and acknowledgement (of the self and community), where in it is possible to collaborate, design, create and share but, most importantly, learn from and with others.
The goal of the project is understanding how and what do young people learn in virtual communities, from a social learning perspective and focusing on the relation between learning, knowledge and the world. Building upon the theory of situated learning (Lave and Wenger, 1991), which seeks to understand what kind of social encounters and commitments foster learning, several questions arise, such as: why are virtual communities created?, why do young people become involved?, how do they self-regulate?, what makes young people maintain their involvement?, and, what kind of knowledge is produced?, among others.
In order to answer these questions, our research focuses on exploring and identifying the elements that define virtual communities and their status as learning and knowledge production environments.
The research stages are: (1) virtual communities identification and cartography (2) field work stage, consisting of a detailed study of 4-6 cases and data collection (focus groups, detailed interviews, document and multimodal evidence gathering), with subsequent analysis and interpretation.
The poster describes the first stage of identification and cartography of virtual communities. To this end, a mapping of communities where young Spanish people participated was conducted.
We used Paulston’s Social Cartography theory (Paulston, 2001) as an approach that allowed us to identify and map the differences, similarities, points of agreement and disagreement, both visible and invisible, among the communities, and to establish how they interact or interrelate.
Roland Paulston (2001) understands the approach of social cartography as a standpoint that increases reflection capacity and apprehends the multiplicity of the subject of study, understanding the value of maps as spatial representations of knowledge standpoints and relations; entangled and intertwined rhizomatic representations (Deleuze and Guattari,1987).
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