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									Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                          1




      Work, Write and Fight: Why Pedagogy 2.0 Has Failed and How to Fix It

                               Owen Williamson

                         University of Texas at El Paso
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                     2


                                Table of Contents

                                     Page
ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………..3

CHAPTER
 1. INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………….4

2. WEB 2.x: PROMISES UNFULFILLED……………………………………………...7
     The myth of the digital native...…..……………………………………………..10
     Disempowerment and atomization………………………………………………13
     Ideological blindness....………………………………………………………….14
      Questions of quality……………………………………………………………..15
     The crisis in Pedagogy 2.0………………………………………………………17

3. DANGERS FOR DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION……………………………..18
      Noise…………………………………………………………………………….18
      Predators....……………………………………………………………………...22
      Pedagogy 2.0 or Exploitation 2.0?..……………………………………………..25
             Serious ethical concerns.….………………………………………..……28

4. THE UNEXAMINED IDEOLOGY OF PEDAGOGY 2.0.………………………….33

5. DEAD-END ALTERNATIVES TO PEDAGOGY 2.0……………………………..39
      Commercial ―walled garden‖ software...……………………………………….39
      Opting out of the twenty-first century..…………………………………………43
      Cultural jamming……………………………………………………………….45

   6. WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT: A CONTRALIBERTARIAN VISION FOR
PEDAGOGY 3.0…………………………………………………….…………………47
      Theoretical platform…..………………………………………………………..51
      Praxis...…………………………………………………………………………54
              Meeting our ethical responsibilities...………………..…………………60
              Maintaining quality control…………………………………………….63
              Encouraging civil discourse and free speech.......………………………68
              Promoting solidarity and participation…………………………………73

7. CONCLUSION....……………………………………………………………………78

REFERENCES CITED.……………………………………………………………..…80
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        3


                                              Abstract:

        The past decade‘s dream of a ―Pedagogy 2.0‖ that would successfully harness

Web 2.0 for developmental education purposes has resulted in severe disappointment.

Some problems are related to the very nature of today‘s distracting, narcissistic, trashy,

shallow and sometimes dangerous open Net. But the root of the crisis is ideological.

Libertarianism, the hegemonic ideology of Web 2.0, seems never to have been seriously

interrogated before being imported into Pedagogy 2.0 unexamined. Thus, most

contemporary theorists of Pedagogy 2.0 privilege an exaggerated form of libertarian

social constructivism and a bogus ―wisdom of the crowd‖ over educational depth and

quality-control standards, remain oblivious to the qualitative difference between public

and ―free‖ commercial services, and substantially fail to address the exigencies of

teaching college students in an economy and a world in crisis.

        The solution is not to wait with arms crossed for the dawn of some sci-fi

―semantic web,‖ much less to call for a mass retreat into the closed, profit-driven iPad

kindergarten of restricted ―apps‖ and ―walled gardens‖ that some are pushing as the

inevitable future of the Net. Much to the contrary, those of us who wish to build a

progressive, next-generation ―Pedagogy 3.0‖ must work to build countercultural and

contralibertarian principles of rigorous quality control, social solidarity and organization,

civil discourse and proud support for public higher education on an open, public net

available to all.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        4




               1. Introduction:

       In the second decade of the 21st century the glowing promises of Pedagogy 2.0

have disappointed us. Pedagogy 2.0‘s dream of teaching students to swim like fish in the

vast Web 2.0 ―ocean‖ of blogs, wikis, podcasts, social nets, ―folksonomies‖ and fun has

proven illusory. Pedagogy 2.0 seems to have never really gone anywhere but in circles.

Unfortunately, from the very beginning the real point of the whole exercise rarely seemed

to be a destination, any destination, just the swimming itself: great fun, but virtually

pointless except as exercise.

       Plus, this new pedagogy never offered (or even purported to offer) much for

developmental students and the differently-abled, for entering college students who fear

they cannot swim well enough to outdistance the ever-present sharks and predators, those

who are easily disoriented among the roaring of the waves, or those whose immune

systems simply won‘t cope with the immense volume of raw sewage that is being

gleefully pumped into the water every day in the name of unfettered personal expression

and free enterprise.

       Instead, when we go online for educational purposes we encounter a world

dominated by ever-more-proficient online predators (both commercial and criminal, often

both at the same time!), an intellectual environment of rampant ―truth decay‖ and phony

―wisdom of the crowd,‖ and the chaotic ―white noise‖ of billions of shrieking voices all

clamoring for attention.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        5


       Unfortunately, this is happening at a moment when fewer and fewer working- and

middle-class students can afford to approach college as four years of carefree postmodern

play. While a meat-grinder economy creates a job market in which hundreds of graduates

may be competing for one entry-level opening and entire college-educated professions

and occupations are ―never coming back,‖ the use of computers in college developmental

education is still largely limited to either standardized, off-the-shelf commercial ―walled

gardens,‖ or else to open commercial ―social networking utilities‖ and video hosting

services enlisted for educational use, although the result of this latter is always the

reverse: these commercial sites automatically and inevitably end up drafting educators

and students to serve their bottom line.

       Under such conditions, the 21st century romantic dream of Pedagogy 2.0 (a

concept never truly defined or realized in practice) has already given way to

disillusionment and to urgent demands to either create pedagogies 2.1, 2.2 or higher, or to

withdraw altogether from the open Net, this in order to address the truly novel social,

economic and educational conditions of the 2010‘s.

       The present study will interrogate fields as diverse as hard science, law, computer

technology, sociology and political science in order to propose practical ways out of the

current dead-end of Pedagogy 2.0. The goal will be to propose parameters for a practical

next-generation Pedagogy 3.0 that can utilize the vast technical, educational and social

capabilities of today‘s and tomorrow‘s Internet for our own pedagogical purposes. While

eschewing sci-fi speculations about dreamed-of next-generation ―semantic web‖

wonders, it will attempt to take full advantage of developments, challenges and

opportunities that are already becoming available to educators and students. The primary
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        6


focus will be on a Pedagogy 3.0 for face-to-face or hybrid college classes, not necessarily

for asynchronous, purely online education (although most of the discussion herein is

easily adaptable to that pedagogy as well).

        As readers of this paper may be aware, there is at this moment a very lively

debate both in scholarship and public opinion (well described by Bilton, 2010) regarding

the overall benefits and drawbacks of Web 2.0. On the one hand, there is a strong

intellectual current lamenting the many woes and dangers of the Web (some imagined,

some exaggerated, some only too real). The present study should definitely not be

dismissed as a pamphlet for that movement, even though a number of the movement‘s

key works and standpoints (Bauerlein, 2008; Carr, 2010; Grasso, 2010; Hefferman, 2010;

Hodgkinson, 2008; Keen, 2008; Lehrer, 2010; Millán, 2020; Parker-Pope, 2010; Richtel,

2010; Schwartz, 2010; Stoll, 1995) are repeatedly cited herein. The present paper is by no

means a jeremiad against all things digital, much less a reactionary call for retreat to

some imaginary, pre-computer Garden of Eden, ―back to the good old days, when

everything was better.‖

        On the other hand, nor will this paper be yet another starry-eyed ―silicon priest‘s‖

(Paech, 2009) prophecy of digital salvation if only one embraces the newest software,

proper hardware, and a positive enough attitude toward technology. Instead, the present

work is intended as a practical, instrumental effort to spark urgently-needed discussion

and action toward the development of a new-generation Pedagogy 3.0, a digital paradigm

of teaching and learning that can truly and effectively enable our students to ―work, write

and fight‖ both online and offline for their own survival and that of civilization during the

rest of the 21st century.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       7




        2. Web 2.x: Promises unfulfilled

        It is worth noting that social interactivity has been the hallmark of digital

communications since its earliest beginnings, which one may trace all the way back to the

nineteenth century invention of the telegraph, the very first digital communications

network, and then to ―ham‖ radio in the twentieth century. As Fuchs et al. note (2010),

                ―What seems obvious is that Web 2.0 is not a technological novelty since

        the technological basis of these platforms and networks (such as Wikis, Ajax,

        etc.) have been developed years before terms such as Social Software and Web

        2.0 have emerged. . ... So far it remains unclear what exactly is novel and what is

        social about it.‖ (p. 42).

        By the first half of the 1980‘s, computer BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) were

already being described (Ruben, 1985) as ―a medium in which interpersonal relationships

can occur‖ (p. 203). Quarterman wrote in 1985 that ―there is constant discussion… in

the DARPA Internet mailing list …which appears on the USENET network as the news

group net.unix-wizards; both the Internet and USENET are international in scope‖ (p.

383).

        During that distant era the author of this paper (an English scholar who has never

had formal training in computer technology or software) was actively posting online

articles and photos and joining real-time instant message discussions on both BBS and

Internet, belying the idea that in the pre-World Wide Web period personal interaction and
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         8


creativity on the Net were the exclusive preserve of ―geeks,‖ working scientists and

trained experts.

       Now, as Mayadas, et al. (2009) point out, ―the millennials are changing the way

teaching and learning must be approached. Mobile learning with podcasts, text

messaging, and virtual worlds will be the future norm, giving faculty new tools through

which to extend and enhance the educational experience.‖ (p. 85) Responding to this

challenge, in the middle of the last decade a number of scholars (e.g., Limbu, 2010)

introduced and popularized the concept of ―Pedagogy 2.0.‖ This allegedly novel

paradigm, described by McLoughlin and Lee (2008, 15), finally ―recognizes the power of

social software tools,‖ uses the open Net to its true educational potential, and facilitates

―personalization, participation, and productivity‖ in ways not possible before the latest

online technology was available.

       According to McLoughlin and Lee‘s definition,

               Pedagogy 2.0 capitalizes on the core energies and affordances of Web 2.0

       – a raft of tools that support user autonomy, increased levels of socialization and

       interactivity, access to open communities, and peer-to-peer networking – in order

       to move beyond instructor-centered classroom environments, prescribed curricula

       and content, and the ―walled garden‖ approach of learning management systems.

       (p. 15-16)

       Here, the term ―walled garden‖ refers to a password-protected program, service or

server, usually reserved for registered students or paying customers only.

       As described in McLoughlin and Lee‘s study, characteristic and qualitatively

novel aspects of Pedagogy 2.0 would include educational use of podcasting, homemade
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                           9


online videos (here idiosyncratically described as ―vodcasting‖), blogs, wikis, social

bookmarking, tag-based folksonomies, rss, media file sharing, YouTube, Flickr, and

social networking sites. The authors contend that these tools make ―students …capable of

creating and generating ideas, concepts, and knowledge, and it is arguable that the

ultimate goal of learning in the knowledge age is to enable this form of creativity and

productivity‖ (p. 17).

       Caverly et al. (2008) comment that ―Millennial students now entering college are

very comfortable blogging to keep in touch with their friends, write about their lives, or

complain about their teachers.‖(p. 34) However, despite their enthusiasm for Pedagogy

2.0 and its innovations, these authors did include an important caveat: ―Although there is

little research on the effectiveness of blogs with developmental students, it is logical to

use a medium that is familiar and comfortable to the millennial generation. The potential

for blogs is great for building on what it means to be literate in a Web 2.0 world‖ (p. 35,

emphasis mine).

       From 2006 through 2009, ―Pedagogy 2.0‖ briefly became one of the watchwords

of the day, even though, as Dron and Anderson (2009) remind us, ―Pedagogically, there

is virtually nothing new in what these [Web 2.0] platforms offer when compared with

hand-built systems developed in the 1990s.‖A scholar.google.com® search on June 9,

2010 showed some 14 scholarly papers published between 2006 and 2008 mentioning

Pedagogy 2.0, all of them highly adulatory. In 2009 nine additional papers mentioning

the term were published, none of which were negative or even mildly critical in tone.

However, for the first half of 2010 Scholar Google located only one paper mentioning the
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                     10


term. [In contrast, a regular www.google.com search on the same day showed some 6,800

entries for ―Pedagogy 2.0,‖ a large majority of which seem to deal with K-12 education.]

       The myth of the digital native

       Even by 2007 there were cautionary warnings that all was not well in the new

paradise of Web-driven pedagogy. That year, Kennedy wrote:

              Established applications of technologies, such as searching for information

       on the web, email, mobile telephony and SMS messaging are used very frequently

       by a large majority of students. However newer technologies, such as Blogs and

       Wikis that allow students to collaborate and to produce and publish material

       online are used by a relatively small proportion of students. While there was

       evidence that social networking and digital file sharing was popular among a

       small minority of students, few students were regularly using social bookmaking

       or creating and publishing podcasts.

              There is clearly a greater diversity in the patterns of technology use within

       members of this group than the existing literature proclaims and importantly no

       widespread use of some of the flagship technologies of Web 2.0. In fact, during

       the interviews and focus group sessions a number of students indicated that they

       were unsure what some of these tools actually were. For example, when one

       student was asked how a blog could usefully support her studies, she responded

       by saying: ―What‘s a blog? I don‘t know what it is‖. Similarly, in focus group

       discussions about podcasting, two students from separate focus groups reported

       being unfamiliar with any such technology or service. (p. 522)
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      11


       The following year, Vaidhyanathan (2008) strongly concurred with these

observations in his letter in the Chronicle of Higher Education, titled ―Generational

Myth.‖ He argues that ―college students in America are not as ‗digital‘ as we may wish

to pretend.‖ He notes that ―Every class has a handful of people with amazing skills, and a

large number who can‘t deal with computers at all. … Many use Facebook and MySpace

because they are easy and fun, not because they are powerful (which, of course, they are

not).‖ Most alarmingly, he underlines that ―women, students of Hispanic origin, African

American students and students whose parents have lower levels of education tend to

have less mastery of the inner workings of digital technology than other groups do.‖

       All this information closely agrees with this writer‘s informal classroom

observations during seven years‘ use of the Internet in teaching developmental English.

Most recently, in spring semester, 2010, out of some 75 students I informally asked in

three different first-semester composition classes at the University of Texas at El Paso,

none acknowledged ever having created or posted to a blog, wiki, social bookmark site,

folksonomy or ―tag cloud,‖ and most did not clearly know what these were or how they

worked. Only two or three had active Twitter® accounts, and none had ever created or

posted a video or audio podcast online or had ever felt the need to do so. Less than fifteen

percent reported ever viewing an amateur video on line for any purpose other than

entertainment.

       Yet these were unquestionably the ―digital natives‖ described nine years earlier

by Prensky (in 2001), when many of these same students were eight or nine years old, as

opposed to the supposed ―digital immigrants‖ of older generations. Every one of my
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       12


students was, to a greater or lesser degree, Web ―literate‖ and a large majority used social

network accounts (on Facebook or MySpace) for recreational purposes.

       However, precisely as described by Crook, et al. (2008), ―the extent of this

recreational interest need not imply that young people themselves orient to technology

with the same singular interest that is apparent among authors of the Web 2.0 literature‖

(p. 23). As Crook notes, ―1 per cent of the user population produces the Web 2.0 content,

10 per cent comment on it, and 89 per cent consume it. Similarly while viewers of content

on YouTube and Wikipedia tend to be the 18–24 group, content generators tend to be the

35-54 generations‖ (p. 18, emphasis in the original). One may safely conjecture that this

productive one percent tends not to include many first-year or developmental college

students.

       Crook, et al, also reported in 2008 that at Brighton University, in England,

―although 36,000 students are registered as blog users only 4.5 per cent are active and

only 13,700 posts were registered in the year considered in this survey.‖ In June, 2010, a

similar observational survey by this author of the University of Texas at El Paso‘s two-

year-old http://wiki.utep.edu service found only 278 activated wikis among 21,000

students and faculty, an activation rate of less than 1.5%.

       Even more interestingly, of the fifty or so non-class-related UTEP wikis open to

public viewing at wiki.utep.edu, only two or three at most appeared to be student-created,

and none of these had been active in the past six months; an effective public activity rate

of zero! This dismal figure may suggest much more about the current absolute hegemony

of the immensely-popular commercial PBWiki® service over the university‘s less-

familiar but comparable in-house system as it does about total real activity rates.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          13


Nonetheless, the general level of online engagement of these real 2010 ―digital natives‖

seems to strongly validate Paech‘s 2009 observation (offered in a more global context)

that ―we are nowhere near the planet of emancipated power-surfers some silicon priests

would have us believe‖ (p. 209).

       Disempowerment and atomization

       While Pedagogy 2.0 initially promised ―a raft of tools that support user autonomy,

increased levels of socialization and interactivity, access to open communities, and peer-

to-peer networking‖ (McLoughlin, 2008, 15), it became almost immediately evident that

the on-the-ground reality would be something quite the opposite. Writing in the same

year, Thorne and Kouzmin (2008) observed that on the Net,

               The individual is privileged over the communal with devastating

       implications for the possibility of any civil or political action. The individual does

       not have to be coherent or contained as no meta-narrative is able hold sway. Yet,

       this leaves disembodied, de-physicalized, experimental, technologically-obsessed

       ―selves‖ floating around physical or, more likely, cyber space, interacting with

       unlimited, ―little narratives‖ (p. 13).

       These warnings were echoed a year later by Bauerlein (2009), who noted

acerbically that

               It isn‘t enough to say that … young people are uninterested in world

       realities. They are actively cut off from them. Or a better way to put it is to say

       that they are encased in more immediate realities that shut out conditions

       beyond—friends, work, clothes, cars, pop music, sitcoms, Facebook. Each day,

       the information they received and the interactions they have must be so local or
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       14


       superficial that the facts of government and foreign and domestic affairs, the

       historical past and the fine arts never slip through. (p. 13)

       Concurring with this highly disturbing observation, Gye (2009) writes of the

―increasing concern I share with others over the turn that digital media seems to be taking

away from the collaborative and the networked towards an increasing emphasis on the

personalized and the individualized.‖

       And, while Mejias enthusiastically predicted in 2005 that ―social software can

positively impact pedagogy by inculcating a desire to reconnect to the world as a whole,

not just the social parts that exist online‖ (p. 1), Lovink and Rossiter (2005) almost

simultaneously sounded a dire, seemingly-prescient contrary warning:

               Networked multitudes create temporary and voluntary forms of

       collaboration that transcend but do not necessary disrupt the Age of

       Disengagement. … Networks foster and reproduce loose relationships - and it's

       better to face this fact straight in the eye. They are hedonistic machines of

       promiscuous contacts. … Blogs can thus be understood as incestuous networks of

       auto-reproduction.

       However, ―a primary purpose of academic writing is learning and testing ideas,

not simply venting opinions one already holds‖ (Sherwood, 1999). Promoting an

―incestuously‖ romantic ideology of the self and the central importance of self-expression

(or an exaggeratedly social-constructionist pedagogy of ―the wisdom of the crowd‖) risks

undermining the core purpose of higher education as learning to ―stand tall on the

shoulders of giants,‖ rather than simply to look into one‘s own and each other‘s hearts
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        15


and minds, ―creating and generating ideas, concepts, and knowledge‖ ex nihilo

(McLoughlin and Lee 2008, p. 16).

        Ideological blindness

        How and where could this seemingly odd view of life and learning have arisen?

As Fuchs et al. (2010) remind us, ―All software is social in the sense that it is a product of

social processes. It is produced by humans in social relations. It objectifies knowledge

that is produced in society, and it is applied and used in social systems.‖

        Here it is important to note the remarkable similarity between the strong Web 2.0

(and thus, Pedagogy 2.0) bias toward ―the wisdom of the crowd‖ (from student

collaboration, to the much larger crowd of Wikipedians, to the ―blogosphere,‖

Facebook® and Twitter®) on the one hand, and the now-discredited intellectual and

economic fad (some would say, idolatry) of ―market fundamentalism‖ on the other. In

fact, the latter was a practical application of this very same ―infallible wisdom of the

crowd‖ ideology in the macroeconomic sphere, a ―metaphysical concept that can be

traced to [its] libertarian roots,‖ (Keen, 2008, p, 42) that, it is now generally agreed, may

have been largely to blame for provoking the current world economic crisis (Soros,

2010). The pernicious effects of libertarian ideology on Pedagogy 2.0 will be discussed

in detail later in this paper.

        Questions of quality

        Obviously, Web technology has made distance learning immeasurably easier and

more efficient and has permitted the rise of institutions like the University of Phoenix®,

founded in 1976 and now the largest private higher education corporation in the United
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      16


States (University of Phoenix, 2010). And, even in traditional face-to-face settings, new

resources are now available that past generations of educators could only dream about.

       Nonetheless, it is hard to find anyone who has noted any measurable

improvement in the actual quality (or even ease) of college-level teaching with the advent

of Pedagogy 2.0. In fact, the consensus seems to be quite the opposite. Writing from the

field of ―hard sciences‖ in an article that is otherwise strongly positive toward new

pedagogical technology, Schneps et al. (2010) seem to express what many in higher

education (including the author of this paper, who has used Web 2.0 extensively in the

college classroom for the past four years) have found in practice, that ―using this medium

[Web 2.0, including online video tools] to teach for understanding can be extraordinarily

difficult. [And,] challenges may only be exacerbated in online settings where student-

teacher interactions are often curtailed‖ (p. 1119).

       Alba Rico (2010) goes as far as to propose that the Net has reduced us to a

―postliterate condition.‖ Fuchs et al. (2010) observe that real ―networked digital

technology that supports human cooperation‖ (p. 1), a future technology which they

identify as ―Web 3.0,‖ has in fact not yet come on line, and that ―notions of Social

Software and Web 2.0 have thus far been vague; there is no common understanding in

existence‖ (p. 42).

       Schnepps‘ observation above (emphasis on ―to teach for understanding‖)

accurately describes what has become a very strong critique across today‘s educational

milieu. As it always has been, teaching superficial knowledge or even promotion of

mastery of a comprehensive body of objective information remains relatively simple no

matter what educational technique is used, whether online, paper-based, or chalked on a
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        17


slate and ―taught to the tune of a hick‘ry stick.‖ Given access to information, sufficient

study, good memory, and enough motivation, teaching by rote is rarely problematic.

         In contrast, the task of teaching for depth of student understanding, always

difficult, has proven to be particularly problematic in Pedagogy 2.0, so much so that in

his just-published book (2010), information technology scholar Nicholas Carr, certainly

no technophobe, vehemently dismisses today‘s Internet-based learning as ―the shallows,‖

echoing Bauerlein‘s 2008 warning in the Chronicle of Higher Education, that ―online

literacy is a lesser kind.‖ Bauerlein, author of a 2009 book titled The Dumbest

Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our

Future, (Booklist, 2009) quotes cognitive scientist Donald A. Norman as rhetorically

asking ―how users read on the web,‖ and then answering bluntly, ―they don‘t.‖

         The crisis in Pedagogy 2.0

         Pedagogy 2.0 is clearly in crisis. The task now before us is to envision and then

apply a qualitatively better and more effective upgrade to Pedagogy 2.0 in order to

eliminate the serious ―bugs‖ and shortcomings in the current version and anticipate future

challenges. Any next-generation ―Pedagogy 3.0‖ for coming decades must be crafted to

enlist the power of existing and future digital technology, with all its real capabilities and

even realer limitations, to the task of helping our students succeed, individually and

collectively, in an ever harsher, more challenging and increasingly dangerous online and

material world in decades to come. This will be the focus of the following sections of this

paper.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          18




       3. Dangers for developmental education:


       Noise

       As noted above, Pedagogy 2.0, has, from its very beginning, never purported to

serve developmental students especially well. However, given the problematic

characteristics that the Net has acquired in recent years, an innocently uncritical open-

Web-based pedagogy appears to serve developmental education less each day.

       Perhaps the most obvious stumbling-block to use of Web 2.0 technology with

developmental students is the tremendous ―noise level,‖ the omnipresence of distractions

(see Parker-Pope, 2010) including attractive but irrelevant advertising, games, demands

for trivial ―chat‖ and ―interaction‖ with friends and strangers, the total lack of quality

control, the stark dangers of cyber-thuggery, and the sheer, incomprehensible volume of

the open Net.

       Hefferman (2010) astutely compares today‘s Web to a

                …teeming commercial city. It‘s haphazardly planned. Its public spaces are

       mobbed, and signs of urban decay abound in broken links and abandoned

       projects. Malware and spam have turned living conditions in many quarters

       unsafe and unsanitary. Bullies and hucksters roam the streets. An entrenched

       population of rowdy, polyglot rabble seems to dominate major sites.

       In this supremely chaotic, often dangerous metropolis, ―Information is not in short

supply ... We‘re drowning in it! What we lack is the human attention needed to make
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       19


sense of it all. … Attention is the commodity in short supply.‖ (R. A. Lanham, quoted in

Greenberg, 2010)

       Keen (2008) describes Web 2.0 in these terms:

               Everyone was simultaneously broadcasting themselves, but nobody was

       listening. Out of this anarchy it suddenly became clear that what was governing

       the infinite monkeys now inputting away on the Internet was the law of digital

       Darwinism, the survival of the loudest and most opinionated. … What I‘ve been

       watching is more like Hitchcock‘s The Birds than Dr. Doolittle: a horror movie

       about the consequences of the digital revolution.

               The information business is being transformed by the Internet into the

       sheer noise of a hundred million bloggers all simultaneously talking about

       themselves. … The real consequence of the Web 2.0 revolution is less culture,

       less reliable news, and a chaos of useless information.

       As Greenberg (2010) notes, ―Attention is commonly described as the ‗currency‘

of the internet [sic].‖ And, as most developmental educators are well aware, attention is

precisely what most developmental students lack. As far back as the 1970‘s (Alley et al,

1979), clinicians and educators were using a ―Ross Test of Higher Cognitive Algorithms

Processes - Test of Relevant and Irrelevant Information‖ to diagnose possible learning

differences in students.

       In a 2003 study, Swanson found that ―LD readers may use more capacity than

skilled readers to inhibit or resist potential interference from irrelevant items.‖ And even

for students without a clearly-identified learning difference,
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      20


              The reading process [is] a balancing act between the reader‘s limited

       attention or working memory and the need for coherence. … readers with relevant

       background knowledge or good reading skills remember more from a somewhat

       incoherent text than from a very coherent text, whereas readers with little

       background knowledge or poor reading skills show the opposite pattern. (Van den

       Broek 2010).

       Yet Web 2.0, and thus necessarily, Pedagogy 2.0, has become the arch-example

of an incoherent interruption-machine.

              As the blogger Cory Doctorow, a co-editor of the wildly popular Web site

       Boing Boing, has observed, the typical electronic screen is an ―ecosystem of

       interruption technologies,‖ encouraging us to peek at our e-mail in-box, glance at

       Twitter and waste away the day on eBay. And so we lurch from site to site, if only

       because we constantly crave the fleeting pleasure of new information. But this

       isn‘t really the fault of the Internet. The online world has merely exposed the

       feebleness of human attention, which is so weak that even the most minor

       temptations are all but impossible to resist (Lehrer, 2010).

       As Pesce et al, warned us early on, ―The amount of ‗depth‘ present in a subject

before it exceeds human capacity for comprehension (and hence navigation) is finite, and

relatively limited‖ (quoted by Dyehouse, 2008). On the open Web not a few

developmental students quickly find themselves ―out of their depth.‖

       And compared to traditional reading, Pedagogy 2.0

              …demands a much weaker and more superficial attention; a dispersed,

       fugitive attention, sprayed, if you wish, over a simultaneity of many screens open
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        21


       at the same time before our eyes. No finite brain will ever be equal to the infinite

       technological power of the network; no finite reason will be able to find there the

       linearity and sequence that was provided by the written phrase and the sheet of

       paper‖ (Alba Rico, 2010. Translation: O.W.).

       Emphasizing the point, Lovink and Rossiter (2005) note that although ―browsing,

watching, reading, waiting, thinking, deleting, chatting, skipping and surfing are the

default conditions of online life‖ in the 21st century, ―total involvement implies madness

to the highest degree.‖

       However, the point here, as elsewhere in this analysis, is that it does not have to

be this way. A great library, even with tens of millions of volumes in its stacks, is

ordinarily not ―noisy,‖ either in an information sense or in a physical sense. Nor does the

Net necessarily need to be so. Only if one essentializes or ignores the commercial nature

of Web 2.0 does noise seem to be an insurmountable obstacle. As Carr (2008) writes,

               The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing

       machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network‘s

       reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more

       links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other

       companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements.

       Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in

       collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the

       more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage

       leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to

       drive us to distraction (Emphasis mine).
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      22


        Noam Chomsky (quoted by Ingenería sin Fronteras, 2010) has issued a dire

warning that:

        If we do nothing, within ten years Internet and cable will be monopolized by

        commercial mega-corporations. People do not realize that they have in their hands

        the power to do what they wish with these technological instruments, rather than

        abandoning them to the big corporations. But to accomplish this, what is needed

        is coordination among groups that are opposed to this monopolization, creative

        use of technology, intelligence and initiative to promote, for instance, education

        (p. 119, translation: O.W.).

        If one is to believe Anderson and Wolff (2010), Chomsky‘s timeline is vastly

overestimated; they contend that the monopolization that Chomsky warns of (but which

these authors strongly celebrate!) is already under way and irreversible.

        Only new online pedagogy that is divorced from the commercial imperative, one

that can empower students to identify and consciously choose to deal with or reject

cooperation with this sort of crazy-making ―business model,‖ will have the potential to

keep the online ―noise‖ problem down to manageable proportions without abandoning

the immense richness of the open Net for a walled garden. This option will be discussed

later in the paper.

        Predators

        Nor is ―noise‖ the only danger involved in introducing Pedagogy 2.0 to the

developmental classroom. Dron and Anderson (2009) point out that in Web-based

pedagogy, as in any other, ―if the teacher is not in control then, along with the developers,

the crowd dictates the form and structure of the system.‖ According to Dron,
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       23


               In education, groups typically inhabit controlled, safe spaces, like

       classrooms and equivalent virtual spaces. Tools that support networks run the risk

       of invading those spaces. To some extent they may be seen as the virtual

       equivalent of open-plan classrooms, but without the safeguards and environmental

       and systematic controls that keep them controllable (2009).

       This may seem like welcome news to those educators who dream of moving from

being the ―sage on the stage‖ to the ―guide on the side,‖ relying on the ―wisdom of the

crowd.‖ But sadly, this ―crowd‖ is neither wise nor necessarily well-disposed. In today‘s

Net 2.0 spaces, as Hefferman (cited supra) reminds us, ―Bullies and hucksters roam the

streets.‖ And, as Keats Citron (2007) warns, ―Web 2.0 technologies provide all of the

accelerants of mob behavior but very few of its inhibitors [and] destructive groups will

not view their victims as persons with whom they should empathize. … Destructive

online groups prevent the Web from becoming an inclusive environment.‖

       Whenever we talk about online safety we must also be aware that, although now

seriously outmoded, there still exists in some cobwebbed corners of developmental

education a deliberate ―pedagogy of disclosure‖ (their terminology) that proposes that

(Bleich, quoted by Miller, 1998), ―what each person brings to the classroom must become

the curriculum of that course‖ (p. 98). And, students with emotional, cognitive or

learning differences may sometimes be even more likely than others to self-disclose

inappropriately. ―Some people have never learned to recognize, and respect, their own

discomfort. They don‘t know what it feels like to keep themselves safe. We have a

responsibility to maintain boundaries for our students, even when they cannot do it for

themselves‖ (Miller, 1998). As Miller writes, ―All of us have private stories that mean a
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          24


lot to us. A writing class is not necessarily the safest place to share these stories.‖ We

and our students must be clearly aware that Web 2.0 is inappropriate and often positively

dangerous for self-disclosure, or for any pedagogy of same.

       Dickerson (2006) points out that on line, ―Most bullies attempt to take advantage

of the victim‘s perceived weakness, whether it be gender, race, religion, sexual

orientation, perceived strength, physical appearance or dexterity, intellectual ability, or

something else.‖ This is not yesterday‘s childish and petty-seeming ―schoolyard

bullying‖ of ―wedgies,‖ silly rumor-campaigns and locker-thefts. Today‘s online assaults

can include vicious sexual harassment (particularly directed against women and gblt

students), character assassination, and even up to Federal crimes (as when perpetrators

falsely incriminate a victim by creating a phony e-mail or social network account in his

or her name and then making incendiary statements or even false threats against the

President or government officials in the victim‘s name) (Aftab, 2008). As Paech (2003)

warns, ―There are pathologies of varying complexities at work. The scale of their [cyber-

thugs‘] actions is vast – from tongue in cheek belligerence to criminal malevolence.‖

       This danger is real, and is of particular ethical concern to developmental

educators who assign our students to use popular social networking services for class,

services that Mann (2008) describes as ―A Concatenation of Impersonation, Denigration,

Sexual Aggressive Solicitation, Cyber-Bullying [and] Happy Slapping Videos‖ [i.e.,

homemade videos of physical assaults on helpless victims]. Both Crook (2008) and

Dickerson (2009) describe how even professors (in Dickerson‘s case, a respected law

school Dean!) can be subject to character-assassination by cyber-thugs on the Web.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          25


       If even distinguished professors of law can be savaged on Web 2.0, much more

vulnerable populations such as developmental students obviously need ―safe spaces‖

where education can go on securely and uninterrupted. To this end, Crook (2008)

indirectly suggests how truly problematic Pedagogy 2.0 has now become in practice by

suggesting that

               Institutions need to decide whether to contain Web 2.0 activities within the

       local areas of their learning platform, rather than risk learners publishing in the

       open internet [sic]. That decision is closely linked to the widespread anxiety felt

       regarding the threats to safety that arise from unconstrained internet interactions.

       Pedagogy 2.0 or Exploitation 2.0?

       Pedagogy 2.0 as theorized and practiced to date has remained blithely (or

ideologically) oblivious to the crucial difference between public platforms on the one

hand, and ―free‖ for-profit services on the other. Writing about ―cloud computing,‖ a

quite different Web 2.0 innovation, Stallman (2010) accurately, albeit sarcastically,

describes the attitude that seems to characterize the most enthusiastic devotees of

Pedagogy 2.0: ―‗Don't ask questions; just trust every business without hesitation. Don't

worry about who controls your computing or who holds your data. Don't check for a

hook hidden inside our service before you swallow it.‘ In other words, ‗Think like a

sucker.‘‖

       Ultimately, as Ippolita et al. urgently remind us (2009), Web 2.0 is not free. As

they put it, the Web is neither ―free as in free beer‖ nor ―free as in freedom.‖ ―Open does

not equal free. These days 'free' is just another word for service economies. … Pervasive
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                           26


profiling is the cost of this opening to 'free market values'. … Our tastes and preferences,

our opinions and movements are the market price to pay.‖

       Here one is reminded of the familiar libertarian axiom, ―There‘s no such thing as

a free lunch.‖ Van Dijck and Nieborg (2009) put it more directly: ―Facebook does not

want to link friends to friends, it is in the business of linking people to advertisers and

products.‖ Of course, any for-profit corporation is, in the final analysis, in business to

make money, as much money as is legally possible. All other considerations are

secondary.

       Hodgkinson (2008) makes the connection between what he calls Web 2.0

―prosumers‖ (those who produce data while consuming services) and naked exploitation

even clearer: ―Clearly, Facebook is another uber-capitalist experiment: can you make

money out of friendship? … The creators of the site need do very little bar fiddle with the

programme. In the main, they simply sit back and watch as millions of Facebook addicts

voluntarily upload their ID details, photographs and lists of their favourite consumer

objects. Once in receipt of this vast database of human beings, Facebook then simply has

to sell the information back to advertisers.‖

       There has been intense recent discussion (e.g., Bilton. 2010; Opsahl, 2010,

Moglen, 2010, Romero, 2010) about the question of ―privacy‖ on social networking sites

(Answer: there is none! Today‘s Web 2.0 is ―all spying, all the time, whether you like it

or not‖ [Moglen, 2010]), the far more fundamental ethical issue of exploitation seems not

to have been seriously addressed (or even mentioned!) in any of the existing scholarly

literature of Pedagogy 2.0. Particularly worrisome is what Colombia University Law

School Professor Eben Moglen (2010) describes as ―data dandruff‖:
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                           27


                 Facebook workers know who's going to have a love affair before the

       people do because they can see X obsessively checking the webpage of Y. … My

       students ... show constantly in our dialog they still, think of privacy as the one

       secret they don't want revealed. But that's not their problem. Their problem is all

       the stuff that's the ... data dandruff of life, which they don't think of as secret at all

       but aggregates to stuff they don't want to know. Which aggregates not just to stuff

       they don't want other people to know, but to predictive models about them which

       they would be very creeped out to know exists at all. The data that we infer is the

       data in the holes between the data we already know if we know enough things.

       [Ellipsis in the original.]

       Of course, as Elliot Schrage, a Facebook executive, very correctly notes (as

quoted by Holson, 2010), ―We are not forcing anyone to use it [Facebook].‖ But (writing

as one who has used Pedagogy 2.0 intensively for the last four years) we are forcing

people to use it if, as educators, we assign students to use Facebook (by far the most

popular Web 2.0 social networking site at this moment) or other advertising-driven social

networking or hosting services, as educational tools. Closely paraphrasing Van Dijck and

Nieborg (2009), the logic of commercial economics (shareholders‘ value, company

profits) is inherently at odds with the logic of public higher education (free inquiry and

student participation). Using popular advertising-driven commercial services like

Facebook or YouTube in Pedagogy 2.0 transposes educational values onto commercial

values and renders completely irrelevant the crucial distinction between public and

private space.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          28


       Unfortunately, any time one wishes to engage Web 2.0 for classroom purposes

this sort of dilemma is difficult, perhaps impossible to avoid. While many, if not most,

developmental students seem to be familiar and comfortable with Facebook or MySpace,

existing non-profit social networking sites tend to use unfamiliar platforms and

terminologies that add an additional ―learning curve‖ to that already inherent in the

course content itself. This alone is especially problematic in the developmental

classroom. In-house Web 2.0 services such as the UTEP wiki space described above lack

the ethos and familiarity, the fun and games, (and yes, the attractive profusion of bright

advertising!) found on Facebook or MySpace, and are missing some of the ―neat‖

functionalities and perceived user-friendliness of popular commercial services.

       Serious ethical concerns

       Although students are exploited from the moment they log on to for-profit,

advertising-supported Web 2.0 social networking media, this exploitation intensifies

when students are asked or assigned by educators to post their creative work on these

services.

       Sadly, here is precisely where some of the greatest benefits of Pedagogy 2.0 are

reputed to lie, in the contention that Web 2.0 provides students for the first time with a

rhetorical sense of audience for their work. As Cohen writes, (2008), ―Even more

exciting, perhaps, is that students seem to be more committed to excellence when their

work is available for anyone to peruse or comment on in the 2.0 world.‖ (p. 472). This

precise possibility is what prompted the present author to begin utilizing Web 2.0 in

developmental English classes.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       29


       However, here again there are glaring ethical issues. Most educational institutions

have regulations and practices that treat students‘ coursework as confidential. Requiring

students to post creative work (written, graphic, audio or video) of possible value online

to the open Net raises significant ethical questions. Even when students are invited to do

so ―voluntarily,‖ instructor and peer competitive pressures to comply are far from

negligible. Yet, ironically, the putative ―sense of audience‖ to be gained may be purely

illusory. Although anyone on the Net from Chicago to China can indeed see a student‘s

online homework text or YouTube® home-brew video, with billions of web pages, blogs

and postings online what is the real probability anyone (other than the student‘s friends,

family, instructor or classmates) actually will? Probably less than that of being struck by

lightning. As Tulley and Blair (2009) emphasize, ―merely publishing student texts to the

Web may be essentially equivalent to publishing class booklets, where visitors to the site

would likely be restricted to students, proud parents and friends, and perhaps other

writing teachers.‖

       Still more troubling is the fact that student creative work posted as an assignment

on for-profit social networking or hosting sites thereby comes under the control of the

website owners. The student‘s text, graphics, or creative production instantly become

merchandise, the better the quality of the work the more valuable, and the more

additional profit generated for the site owners. As Van Dijck and Nieborg (2009)

emphasize, ―customers in the Web 2.0 economy often provide free labour; user-generated

content simply means that consumers are taking a lot of work out of the hands of

producers.‖ However, in reality these ―consumers‖ (in this case, our students) are the real

producers, while the site owners simply host the product and rake in the profits. If a
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         30


student creates and posts an extraordinarily captivating video, a brilliant logical analysis,

a breathtakingly beautiful poem or even an interesting restaurant review, he or she is in

effect working as an unpaid volunteer for the site owners.

       At the dawn of the Web 2.0 era in 2005, Lovink and Rossiter were already

correctly describing this phenomenon with brutal frankness: ―you give everything away

for nothing and we'll take the money.‖ To choose to do this oneself, knowingly and

voluntarily, for ―fun,‖ politics, friendship or prestige, or as part of an imagined Web 2.0

―gift economy‖ (Hamel, 2009) is certainly one‘s freedom. According to Hamel,

               To gain influence and status, you have to give away your expertise and

       content. And you must do it quickly; if you don‘t, someone else will beat you to

       the punch—and garner the credit that might have been yours. Online, there are a

       lot of incentives to share, and few incentives to hoard.

       Described this way, Web 2.0 has a startling resemblance to the academic

publishing world. But, academics are at least paid by their employers. Students are not.

Thus, assigning students to (directly or indirectly) work as volunteers to increase the

value of private corporations is ethically disturbing in the most grave sense. As Costa

Morata (2010) underlines, this so-called ―voluntary sharing‖ is in reality an especially

intense form of exploitation.

       When students upload their creative content to commercial Web services, they are

not only doing unpaid and unrecognized volunteer work for the corporation but they are

also actively devaluing (or displacing) the work of those writers, artists, reporters and

professionals who might otherwise be doing this sort of thing for a living. As a concrete

example, Rice (2010) reports that online freelance journalists are now ―paid a pittance
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        31


relative to the salaries offered at established media organizations.‖ A typical example

Rice cites is Demand Media, which, she found, pays freelancers $15 or $20 an item,

which is better than most ―journalistic‖ blog-sites, which pay nothing at all for

contributors‘ work. Meanwhile, journalism graduates populate unemployment lines. But,

as the popular refrain has it, ―Why buy a cow, when you can get the milk for free?‖

       As Cardon and Aguiton (2007) remind us, when analyzing ―the meaning of Web

2.0,‖ ―It is useful to look at the concrete wage relations—with all their differences,‖

instead of conjuring up some ideal online ―immaterial economy.‖ (p. 63) Thus, when

educators assign or require students to post creative work, is this Pedagogy 2.0‘s concrete

equivalent of requiring volunteer community service hours, is it an unpaid and

unrecognized apprenticeship or internship, or is it materially and ethically closer to

peonage?

       At this point, a committed ―2.0‖ theorist might counter that such an analysis

deliberately and maliciously mischaracterizes the abundant, playful, postmodern ―gift

economy‖ of surplus that rules on Web 2.0. Some ―business gurus‖ (as cited by Van

Dijck and Nieborg, p. 856) would even go as far as to call today‘s Web economy ―dot-

communism,‖ a regime of unlimited abundance where the rule is ―from each according to

their abilities, to each according to their needs.‖ If this were so, and if our students have

the ability to produce valuable creative work and the willingness to share it, why

shouldn‘t they freely meet the corporation‘s needs for creative content, personal data and

increased profit? After all, it is no money out of the student‘s pocket, and the corporation

charges them not a penny for the invaluable (but in monetary terms, effectively free)

service of hosting and sharing student work.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       32


        However, at this point it is once again crucial to remember that the Net, however

great its abundance, is not ours. In material terms, our students do not own or control the

means of production (Van Dijck and Neiborg, p. 864), neither the social networking

―utilities,‖ web-hosting sites or search engines, nor the service-providers, servers or trunk

lines, nor even (usually) the operating systems or word processors that run on ―their own‖

computers. If in the praxis of Pedagogy 2.0 we assign students to post creative work on

Facebook, YouTube or the like, students are forced to relinquish control over their own

original intellectual labor by ―grant[ing] … a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable,

royalty-free, worldwide license‖ to the host site (Facebook, 2010). By that act they

(students) become materially poorer, and the private owners of Facebook become just a

bit richer.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        33




       4. The Unexamined Ideology of Pedagogy 2.0

       Crook, et al. (2008) correctly suggest that for any Web 2.0 pedagogy to work,

―the enthusiastic uptake of web [sic] 2.0 tools will, first, depend on the acceptance of

particular attitudes towards knowledge and knowing,‖(p. 57) that is, heartily embracing

the ideological basis of Web 2.0.

       However, Ippolita, et al. (2009) urgently remind us that before we

―enthusiastically‖ uptake everything that Web 2.0 has to offer, ―We need to question

naïve campaigns [and naïve pedagogies! O.W.] that merely promote 'free culture' without

questioning the underlying parasitic economy.‖ Dron (2006) adds that ―an awareness of

the ways that learning environments can insidiously constrain our teaching is the first,

best weapon at our disposal.‖ We desperately need to closely interrogate the ideology that

underlies Web 2.0 in its current form (and thus necessarily constrains Pedagogy 2.0) if

we ever hope to create the future generations of effective and progressive online

pedagogy that we so desperately need.

       Fortunately, identifying the ideological underpinnings of Web 2.0 is not a difficult

task. As Crook, et al. emphasize, (2008) ―Technologies and social forces exist in intimate
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        34


harmonies,‖ (p. 56) and in reality, many of the technological ―movers and shakers‖ of

Web 2.0 rhetorically wear their ideology on their sleeves, so to speak. Hodgkinson (2008)

writes that ―Facebook is a well-funded project, and the people behind the funding, a

group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, have a clearly thought out ideology that they

are hoping to spread around the world. Facebook is one manifestation of this ideology.‖

Borsook (2000), Hodgkinson (2008), Lovink and Rossiter (2008) and others concur in

identifying this ideology as libertarianism.

       An in-depth discussion or deconstruction of libertarianism is beyond the scope of

the present paper, but suffice it to say that the libertarian ideology, as rooted in the works

of the late novelist and theoretician Ayn Rand, is currently enjoying increased public

favor in some sectors, as evidenced by the recent election to Congress of Rand Paul in

Kentucky. However, one cannot avoid noting that libertarianism, an ideology whose

cardinal virtues are selfishness, ambition, avarice, tireless accumulation of wealth and

cutthroat competition, all highly appropriate survival traits for an economy of desperate

scarcity and cruel need, seems uniquely unsuited for a Web 2.0 information economy that

is supposedly characterized by virtually limitless abundance, generosity, open sharing,

playfulness and cooperation.

       Fiercely opposed to government intervention in commerce (or for that matter, in

anything except strict-sense national defense and control of the borders, resolution of

legal and criminal disputes, and control or elimination of those who would threaten the

wealth of the prosperous), libertarianism reserves just as much scorn for developmental

education as for the disadvantaged themselves, individuals who are seen as, at very best,
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       35


born to serve the noble rich, and at worst lazy ―bums‖ to be left to suffer the well-

deserved consequences of their alleged obtuseness and sloth (paraphrasing Rand, 1999).

       A quasi-anarchistic ideology, libertarianism privileges private property rights

over all other considerations (Attas, 2005, p. 2), and seeks to return America to

something resembling the laissez-faire economy and virtually powerless government that

existed in the 1880‘s. Libertarian theory strongly privileges above all, ―the virtue of

selfishness‖ (Rand, 1964). According to Chan (2010) and a number of other mainstream

analysts, this was the very ideology, as faithfully applied by former Federal Reserve

chairman Alan Greenspan, that was largely responsible for the current economic crisis.

Although Greenspan himself has since renounced strict libertarian ―market

fundamentalism,‖ in 2010 an extremist ideology of ―unreconstructed,‖ ―wisdom of the

crowd‖ techno-libertarianism (Lovink and Rossiter, 2005) appears to still reign supreme

on Web 2.0.

       Here, the theory behind ―the wisdom of the crowd‖ is precisely that of

libertarianism‘s ―virtue of selfishness‖ (Rand, 1964). Broadly paraphrased, it first

proposes that the instinct of individual self-preservation (here identified with ―naked

greed‖) is the strongest and most universal of human drives, and thus the one most likely

to recruit the greatest degree of intelligence, creativity, drive and stamina in each

individual. And, when a number of sovereign, freely and ruthlessly competing

individuals, each one reasoning independently out of pure self preservation and naked

greed, reaches the same conclusion (e. g, that sub-prime mortgages are a good

investment, that gold is worth $1254 an ounce today, or that climate change is a myth),

that conclusion is far more likely to be true than the studied conclusions of ―experts‖
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      36


who, after all, are only pretending to be disinterested but who are themselves ultimately

driven only by their own individual greed for power, prestige, selfish control over

knowledge, or need for a job.

       As this writer has suggested (Williamson, 2010), libertarianism is a seductive

ideology for intelligent rebel-minded youth who may well feel they are surrounded on all

sides by incompetents, hypocrites and schemers. But libertarian ideology ―has proven

incapable of explaining simple, everyday human cooperation, not to mention incidents of

heroic altruism or self-sacrifice (or even human care for animal pets!).‖ As cited in that

article, there is also significant scientific evidence emerging that cooperation and

solidarity, not predatory competition, is the default state of human behavior.

       According to Hodgkinson (2008), a prime example of the practical application of

libertarian ideology on the Web is the ―real face behind Facebook … Silicon Valley

venture capitalist and futurist philosopher Peter Thiel, ―a man who is ―widely regarded in

Silicon Valley and in the US venture capital scene as a libertarian genius‖ and a ―clever

and avaricious capitalist‖ who …co-wrote a book called The Diversity Myth, which is a

detailed attack on liberalism.‖ [―Avaricious‖ is here used as a compliment!] Hodgkinson

goes on to suggest that Thiel‘s philosophy, as materially written into the programming

(see also Flanagin, 2010) and expressed in the management of Web 2.0 pillars Facebook

and PayPal, is quintessentially romantic: ―that that you can find value not in real

manufactured objects, but in the relations between human beings.‖

       In Hodge and Coronado‘s (2005) succinct analysis, ―This ideology imagines what

it wants to produce: a world in which all human labour has ceased to exist, operated by

technicians whose work is indispensable to the new capitalists yet who do not exist in the
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       37


scheme.‖ Keen (2008) describes how this ideology functions in practice in the wider

Web 2.0 context: ―In one sense, it is a digitalized version of Rousseau‘s noble savage,

representing the triumph of romanticism over the common-sense wisdom of the

Enlightenment.‖

       On Web 2.0 social networking sites personal differences, economic and class

contradictions, and in fact all social conflicts have disappeared behind a sparkling curtain

of smiles, made-up ―friends‖ (Ippolita, 2009), and click-on ―causes‖ As Lovink and

Rossiter (2005) point out, ―So what if you have your anti-whatever Facebook group?

What does it change other than expanding your number of friends?‖

       Instead, you cavort through a libertarian lollipop paradise of ―cognitive surplus,‖

―creativity‖ and ―generosity‖ (Shirky, 2010) in a land where there is never any

unemployment, war, poverty or crisis, and where the mortgage company never forecloses

on ―your‖ space. Here you can always have anything you want, and everything you want

will always be in surplus. ―What Web 2.0 lacks is the technique of antagonistic linkage.

Instead, we are confronted with the Tyranny of Positive Energy. Life only consists of

uplifting experiences.‖ (Ippolita, 2009) Given the undeniable fact that, as Alba Rico,

reminds us, in the real world ―We break, we die, and there are some struggles that can

only have one winner‖ (2009), could a passive, uncritical acceptance of this deluded,

smiley-face paradigm of Web 2.0 be yet another reason why Pedagogy 2.0 is in crisis?
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        38




       5. Dead-end alternatives to Pedagogy 2.0

              Commercial “walled garden” software

       Digital technology has been used for educational purposes (albeit, by the most

technologically-oriented) since the earliest days of computers. In this writer‘s experience,

at the beginning of the digital age some knowledgeable instructors even wrote their own

educational programs (e.g., during the 1960‘s and ‗70‘s, crude electrical and later

electronic versions of then-trendy ―programmed learning‖ materials were not

uncommon).

       Later, with the development of what is now generally referred to as ―Web 1.0,‖

―the cottage industry approach [to using computers in education] that was popular with

enthusiasts in the mid to late nineties gave way to [an] industrial, possibly Fordist

approach (‗you can have any learning management system you like, as long as it‘s

Blackboard‘).‖ Dron and Anderson (2009) retrospectively describe educational

technology during that period as ―a traditional Web 1.0 learning environment such as that

provided by learning management systems such as WebCT and Blackboard,‖ with static,

read-the-module-and-answer-the-questions lessons and limited small group interaction,

all ―tightly constrained activities defined by the course designer.‖ Even as far back as

2003 Devedžić dismissed Blackboard as ―lack[ing] intelligent learner modeling,

reasoning and adaptivity.‖
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       39


       Of course, with the rise of Web 2.0 and ―catastrophic change‖ (Lepionka, 2009a,

p. 4) in the textbook industry, educational publishers are now rushing to push new and

much better developmental educational software, promising to personalize and improve

students‘ learning experiences, find their learning deficits and overcome them, and

deliver grades to instructors with a ribbon tied on them, all untouched by human hands.

       In fact, in August, 2010, Wired magazine‘s Chris Anderson and Michael Wolf

went as far as to proclaim that ―The Web is [already] dead.‖ According to their analysis,

               Over the past few years, one of the most important shifts in the digital

       world has been the move from the wide-open Web to semiclosed platforms that

       use the Internet for transport but not the browser for display. It‘s driven primarily

       by the rise of the iPhone model of mobile computing, and it‘s a world Google

       can‘t crawl, one where HTML doesn‘t rule.

       But is our panacea for the ills of Pedagogy 2.0 to be a ―white flight‖ (Hefferman,

2010) from the relentlessly profit-driven, ―unsafe and unsanitary‖ inner city of Web 2.0

into the quiet, but even more relentlessly profit-driven suburbs of ―walled gardens,‖

tranquil, well-designed and strictly regimented, gated campuses where education can

proceed uninterrupted? As Stallman starkly warns us (2010), ―Digital technology can

give you freedom; it can also take your freedom away.‖

       Yesterday‘s clunky, gray, user-hostile ―Web 1.0‖ educational utilities like

Blackboard are clearly not the answer for today‘s and tomorrow‘s cyber-pedagogy. But

what about more attractively tempting online options, particularly at a moment when ―the

business forces lining up behind closed platforms are big and getting bigger‖ (Anderson

& Wolff, 2010)?
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       40


       With flashy, up-to-the minute ―learning systems,‖ there is, for sure, a vastly

reduced risk of rude interruptions, distracting ―noise,‖ exploitation of student creativity

and surreptitious data-mining of students‘ coursework for personal information. Instead,

the commercial exploitation is simple, open and up-front: students or the university pay

an absurdly inflated fee for ―cyber-keys‖ to enter the walled garden (keys which cost less

than an ink-on-paper textbook, granted, but vastly more than it actually costs the

corporation to create and maintain the student‘s account on the ―learning environment‖),

One pays for the key or password and the transaction is supposedly complete.

       In this writer‘s experience, these commercial systems are marketed somewhat

duplicitously. To ―time-strapped teachers who want to incorporate more writing

assignments into their classes‖ (Miller, 2009), writing programs are pitched as welcome

solutions. Salespeople often appeal to (mostly untenured) developmental instructors‘

insecurity: ―This product is designed and tested by experts. Do you have all the latest

knowledge in your discipline?‖ (Probably not, since you teach four or five courses a

semester for relatively low pay, sometimes even on different campuses, perhaps as an

adjunct, and you have neither the time nor the money to keep up with the best scholarly

journals in the field.) ―Don‘t you want to save time and serve your students better?‖ (Of

course!)

       But simultaneously, to the university or college department the implied or explicit

appeal is that with these products the institution can get by with fewer and less-

experienced developmental faculty. Using computers as writing instructors reduces ―the

time it takes for teachers to grade and return writing assignments, [the very factor which]

limits the number of writing assignments they can dole out--and, therefore, the amount of
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      41


writing practice students get‖ (Miller, 2009). Institutions can thus intensify faculty work

and extend instructors‘ and students‘ work days (Costa Morata, 2010), allow for larger

class sizes, and still cut developmental education budgets. An extreme case is reported by

Schrecker (2010), in which U.C. Bakersfield ―decided to cut costs by replacing all the

sections of the remedial mathematics course in the fall of 2009 with an online computer

program overseen by a single instructor‖ who ―held a contingent appointment.‖ The

predictable result was that when ―the 700-plus ill-prepared undergraduates who needed

intensive work to bring their math skills to a college level… took their final exams only

about 40% passed, compared with a 75% success rate the prior year.‖

       Just as importantly, a black box is a black box, and relinquishing control over

educational processes (including grading), to anonymous computer programmers is a

highly undesirable option on several ethical levels. As Keats Citron warns in a legal

context (2008a, p. 1249), ―Automated systems jeopardize due process norms.‖ A student

whose writing, reading or learning has been judged and found wanting by a computer has

no reasonable recourse for complaint or review.

       In fact, instructors are prohibited from even attempting to ―reverse engineer‖ (i.e.,

uncover) the programmed-in rules of commercial educational products. What is more,

widespread ―technology bias,‖ an assumption that ―the computer makes no errors‖ (a bias

that tends to become stronger the less one knows about the actual operation of

computers!) further exacerbates the risk of perpetrating injustice against vulnerable

students.

       And as Keats Citron notes, ―programmers inevitably alter established rules when

embedding them into code,‖ in ways that neither students nor educators nor
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          42


administrators can review. While every conscientious developmental instructor is now

aware that there is no longer one ―fixed notion of literacy, a single standard‖ (Nancy

Grimm, 1995, quoted by Sherwood, 1999, p. 55) across widely different disciplines,

audiences, occasions and discourse communities (see also Beaufort, 2004), and while

contemporary Developmental English instructors always tell students to ―write for your

audience,‖ it becomes totally impossible for students to do so with ―one-size-fits-all,‖

black box educational software.

       Richard Haswell (quoted by Miller, 2009) underlines that with use of digital

writing programs, ―expediency is trumping validity.‖ He warns that ―programs pick up

quantifiable indicators of good writing--average sentence length, for instance--yet ignore

qualities such as whether an essay is factually accurate, clear, or concise, or whether it

includes an element of wit or cleverness,‖ the very elements that distinguish good

composition from bad, and creative work from sheer busywork. At least until such time

as true, autonomous computer intelligence is developed, one cannot address rhetoric to a

computer, any computer, and thus one cannot expect anything approaching true writing

instruction from a computer program.

       Do those who wrote the ―writing instruction‖ program reward educated

vocabulary and complex sentence structure, or simple, plain English? Do they expect the

dreadful five-paragraph I-triple-P-C essay, a classic Ciceronian argument, an IMRAD

format scientific report, or a prose poem (any and all of which can be ―good writing‖ or

bad, depending on the situation)? Do they want vivid imagery, personal disclosure, verbal

preciseness, repeated key-words, or do they simply count ―average word length and the

number of prepositions,‖ (Miller, 2009) or the number of times the student uses the letter
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        43


―q‖? Or is it all of the above? We have no way of knowing, and we are, in fact,

prohibited from knowing! This is ethical? This is valid educational assessment?

       As Miller warns us, ―rigorous studies on the effectiveness of this writing-

instruction software are lacking.‖ (Miller, 2009). And, Beaufort (2004) reminds us that

―Learners need explicit guidance from experts in being able to select and structure

important subject knowledge.‖ As Devedžić (2003) concurs,

               It would be a mistake to conclude that current and forthcoming

       developments can make IES [Internet educational systems] replace human

       teachers. Given the fact that learning is a complex cognitive activity, learners

       certainly cannot rely solely on machines when capturing and mastering

       knowledge of a certain domain. …learners still have to talk to teachers and other

       learners.

              Opting out of the twenty-first century

       Van Dijck and Nieborg remind us (2009) that ―Most e-communities are actually

thinly disguised entertainment platforms.‖ Nowhere is it written that we must be

―edutainers,‖ eagerly rushing to embrace every new fad or pop culture innovation of the

moment. Ippolita, et al. (2009) underline that ―Social networking sites are as much

fashion victims as everything else. They come and go. …The moving herds that go from

one server to the next merely demonstrate an impulsive grazing mentality: once the latest

widgets are installed, it is time to move on.‖

       In response to this reality, Hodgkinson (2008) suggests one possible option:

               ―You might reflect that you don't really want to be part of this heavily-

       funded programme to create an arid global virtual republic, where your own self
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                            44


          and your relationships with your friends are converted into commodities on sale to

          giant global brands. You may decide that you don't want to be part of this

          takeover bid for the world.‖

          Or one can wait out the current social networking fad and hope for something

better:

                 Soon the Web 2.0 business model will be obsolete. It is based on the

          endless growth principle, pushed by the endless growth of consumerism. The

          business model still echoes the silly 90s dotcom model: if growth stagnates, it

          means the venture has failed and needs to be closed down. (Ippolita, 2009)

          A full pedagogical retreat from the 21st century is indeed possible, just as it is

possible to design a ―classical‖ college curriculum on the ―great books‖ of ages past,

pretending that this is 1710 a. d. or even 1310, not 2010 (see Fish, 2010). And, as

Mayadas, et al. point out (2009), ―Because the professoriate is aging, not all faculty

members wish to acquire the skills needed to engage with millennial students who

befuddle them with wikis, blogs, Web casts, virtual worlds, and course management

systems‖ (p. 87) For this reason, some long-time faculty may even be tempted to concoct

theoretical rationalizations for maintaining their developmental classrooms as the last

embattled reducts of a quill-pen and inkwell pedagogy, at least until their own retirement.

          However, whatever the negatives and difficulties of Web 2.0, the Internet is

unlikely to go away within our or our students‘ lifetimes. In 2010 even refuse collectors

have computers in their trucks, and pretending that the 21st century never arrived,

denying students the opportunity to achieve expertise at using the contemporary means of

making a living, appears so unethical it would seem close to criminal educational
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      45


malfeasance if such a charge would exist. As composition scholar Cynthia Selfe (1999)

direly warns us:

               As composition teachers, deciding whether or not to use technology in our

       classes is simply not the point—we have to pay attention to technology. When we

       fail to do so, we share in the responsibility for sustaining and reproducing an

       unfair system that … exerts social violence and ensures continuing illiteracy

       under the aegis of education. (p. xiv, ellipsis in the original).



              Cultural jamming.

       As popularized by Noemi Klein (2009) and other progressive ―culture warriors,‖

―cultural jamming‖ implies publicly ―throwing the finger‖ at the system, defacing or

painting graffiti over annoying or sexist advertising, mocking and de-legitimizing

advertising slogans, logos and corporate hegemony, all the while fighting for a new

―global commons.‖ This approach fits neatly within the popular culture image of Web

2.0, where ―Hackers are heroes [and] online communities frequently embrace those with

strong anti-authoritarian views. On the Web, muckraking malcontents are frequently

celebrated as champions of the Internet‘s democratic values‖ (Hamel, 2009).

       In 2005, Lovink and Rossiter described how cultural jamming might work on the

Net:

               If you must participate in the accumulation economy for those in control

       of the data mines, then the least you can do is Fake Your Persona.

               We need to promote peer-education that shifts the default culture of auto-

       formation to the nihilist pleasure of hacking the system. … To avoid the double
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                     46


       trap of blind technophilia and luddite [sic] technophobia, we have to develop

       complex digital identities. They have to answer to individual desires and satisfy

       multiple needs.

       Five years after these words were written, one may reasonably suspect that fake

personae outnumber real ones on Web 2.0. Yet, cultural jamming on the Web has become

so thoroughly co-opted that it has become yet another valuable and entertaining product

to be marketed, sometimes by the very corporations being jammed. And sadly, the still

un-subverted, overarching reality of today‘s Net remains precisely that described by

Paech (2009):

                ―Web 2.0,‖ for all its approbated populism and democratising rhetoric …

       has been forged by … venture capitalists, digital entrepreneurs, ―technorati‖, new

       media moguls – these are the silicon cowboys and girls … that create and corral

       the ‗main street‘ of virtual villages. Their decisions, their opinions, their

       geography (socio and spatial) are a core aspect of online community discourse

       and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

       ―No matter what you think of Derrida, networks do not deconstruct society. It is

deep linkage that matters, not some symbolic coup d'état‖ (Lovink and Rossiter, 2005).

And in the last analysis, Web 2.0 businesses like Facebook are still legal businesses, and

for educators to teach, encourage or even assign students to ―jam‖ them by violating their

corporate terms of service (e.g., ―You will not provide any false personal information on

Facebook…‖ [Facebook, 2010]) is ethically shadowy at best, illegal at very worst.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         47


       6.. Work, write and fight: A contralibertarian vision for

Pedagogy 3.0

       Hines (2009) reminds us that

               Although technology can be grand fun, the gee-whiz effect is only part of

       the story. Its real value lies in the underlying learning effects. Technologies that

       emphasize peer interactions can aid a collaborative approach to learning, as when

       soldiers build team function across distances using interactive training

       simulations. And technologies that place knowledge in the context of what a

       student already knows can aid learning. But technology is not a magic bullet for

       education: A fancy bit of electronics distributed without context and support may

       leave the laptop functioning as a doorstop.

       In 2010 the Internet is long past the ―Gee whiz!‖ stage and has become essential

for everyday life. It is likely to remain so, in one form or another, for the foreseeable

future. The long-promised ―Web 3.0,‖ a next-generation ―semantic Web,‖ has not yet

even been defined to anyone‘s satisfaction, much less developed, and at this point

remains a rhetorical fiction.

       Meanwhile, it is our task to develop a new generation of digital-based pedagogy,

which for convenience I will refer to as ―Pedagogy 3.0.‖ We, ourselves must build this

new paradigm in practice. And, this must not be simply a tweak or a ―fix,‖ a Pedagogy

2.1. What is required is not radically new hardware or software (e.g., some new Net that

―thinks‖ for us as well as works for us), but rather a radically new anti-romantic,

materialist, progressive and contralibertarian vision that not only deconstructs but then
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         48


firmly reconstructs the ideological and rhetorical foundations of what we as educators do

with and on the Web, on a basis of solidarity, quality and rigorous academic standards.

       Unfortunately, no pat roadmap can be traced from current practice to a next-

generation pedagogy. Nor can we as teaching scholars passively wait for ―them‖ to build

a way for us to follow. We must blaze the path ourselves as we advance. However, there

are some landmarks that we can follow in the journey, and benchmarks that we can use to

measure our progress. First of all, any successful, progressive Pedagogy 3.0 that we

build must recognize that the material determines the ideal, and not vice versa, a

proposition that, ironically, even doctrinaire libertarians accept. A Pedagogy 3.0 for the

―new normal‖ of today‘s material world must demand more of students than ever before.

For middle-class and working-class students, the kairos for narcissistic intellectual and

creative self indulgence (if it ever really existed) has passed.

       A New York Times editorial on May 21, 2010 (Jobs and the class…) describes the

situation our students face:

               …these are grim times. Over the past year, the unemployment rate for

       college graduates under age 25 has averaged 9.1 percent…. Worse, a deep labor

       recession, like this one, may be more than a temporary hardship. It could signal a

       long-term decline in living standards — downward mobility.

               Where you start out in your career has a big impact on where you end up.

       When jobs are scarce, more college grads start out in lower-level jobs with lower

       starting salaries. Academic research suggests that for many of these graduates,

       that correlates to overall lower levels of career attainment and lower lifetime

       earnings.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         49


        Krugman (2010) warns that we may be heading for a Japan-style lost decade,

trapped in a prolonged period of scarce jobs and slow growth. Even further out on the

horizon but already foreseeable within our students‘ lifetimes, political and demographic

change, longer-term employment problems, globalization, currency and debt issues, a

changing climate, ecological, water and resource dilemmas, disease, war and terrorism,

profound changes in the balance of international forces and the absolute certainty of a

coming end to ―cheap oil‖ all add up to the inescapable conclusion that tomorrow will not

be anything like yesterday or today.

        Under such conditions, ―taking a neutral, value-free stance in identifying the

necessary conditions for the possible future of the Net is not appropriate. We have to take

that into consideration, which is not only possible, but also desirable.‖ (Fuchs, 2010)

What and how much Web skills will be desirable or essential for the nurse, physician,

dental hygienist, or physical therapist of tomorrow? What forms of Net expertise will

tomorrow‘s K-12 teacher, law enforcement officer, coach, social worker or athletic

trainer need? These are occupations that cannot be ―globalized‖ or sent offshore, and are

popular career dreams among today‘s developmental students.

        Among certain academic circles it is fashionable to look down one‘s nose at

―career ed.‖ Speaking in favor of today‘s Pedagogy 2.0, Herrington (2009) sneers at the

―Oregon Technology Common Curriculum Goals: ‗access, organize and analyze

information to make informed decisions, using one or more technologies,‘‖ and

speculates that ―creative artists – ―the folks at Pixar Studios – would likely identify a

quite different set of skills, reflecting aesthetic and creative uses of sound, image and

text‖ (p. 206).
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      50


       And, of course, simply giving students occupational training in writing Wiki

Markup Language, navigating with Internet Explorer or blogging on MySpace is a

manifest waste of time and effort for all concerned. However, as Mejias emphasizes,

(2005) ―Learning about implies a passive consumption of knowledge in the form of facts.

Learning to be implies the application of knowledge in the development of skills that

allows us to fulfill a particular (professional or non-professional) role in society.‖

       Is it best to teach our students, developmental or mainstream, as though everyone

were destined to produce at Pixar Studios, write the Great American Novel, or become

the next Steve Jobs? If not, what do students need to learn in college to allow them to be

what they dream of becoming over their lifetimes? And how can and should Pedagogy

3.0 help form that next generation of proud American working people? ―Nurturing true

talent in a sea of amateurs may be the real challenge in today‘s Web 2.0 world. … The

reality is that we now live in a highly specialized society, where excellence is rewarded

and where professionals receive years of training to properly do their jobs‖ (Keen, 2008).

Our job should be to enable, empower, and yes, require our students to achieve precisely

that degree of excellence.

       And, our Pedagogy 3.0 must serve the larger society as well. Dron (2006)

suggests that ―increasing use of social software and informal instant communication

technologies may distribute control more evenly through the system.‖ Though the

―system‖ he refers to is the Internet, we must also apply his statement to the broader

―system‖ that is society and the working world. As DigiRhet (2004) puts it,

               To make sense of communication in digital spaces, students need to

       engage in ―real‖ digital communication — not only can they connect with people
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       51


       who can support them in their learning process, but they also can begin to use the

       technology in a meaningful way, with a purpose beyond fulfilling class

       assignments.



       Theoretical platform

       Thiel‘s libertarian contention ―that you can find value not in real manufactured

objects, but in the relations between human beings‖ (cited above) closely corresponds to

Baudrillard‘s (1970) theory of a post-industrial economy of ―superabundance.‖ This was

then a largely theoretical construct but has now been realized on the Web, where the

―goods‖ are ideally ephemeral and exist primarily to be destroyed (in this context,

deleted) (p. 56). If, as libertarian economic theory would have it, commerce and trade are

what primarily create value (e.g., Carden, 2007, p. 37), as opposed to nature, need, work,

creativity and manufacturing, whatever has already been traded is by definition no longer

of any value unless it can be traded again. Baudrillard suggests that such excess goods

actually impoverish instead of enrich, just as an in-box with 500 unread e-mails, a search-

engine result with millions of responses, or a refrigerator with more fresh food than one

can possibly eat before it spoils impoverishes rather than enriches the consumer, or just

as a nationwide bumper crop of wheat or corn impoverishes rather than enriches farmers.

       On the Web, goods like blogs, wikis, instant messages and above all, relations

between human beings, are all ephemeral, and once traded are instantly consumed and

then effectively vanish. This is ideal merchandise, in high demand but involving

insignificant or no production, inventory, storage or shipping costs. Just as in the case of

television ―reality‖ or game shows, the ―suckers‖ (Stallman, 2010) eagerly produce the
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         52


goods for free to the corporation‘s profit, and occasionaly even pay for the privilege of

doing it!

        As Baudrillard eloquently puts it, in this new information economy (p. 62)

―abundance is democracy.‖ In the ―bad old days,‖ when all the best information was

supposedly locked away in ―inaccessible‖ university libraries and restricted-circulation

hardcopy journals, an aristocracy of scholars and professionals allegedly lorded it over

the rest in an environment of information scarcity, here used as synonymous with

information tyranny. Now, it is possible at long last for the ―crowd‖ to decide

―democratically‖ (in reality, each one for himself or herself) whether global warming is

real, whether HIV really causes AIDS, or whether humans and dinosaurs walked the

earth together, an approach superbly adapted to interpreting poetry or art but immensely

ill-suited to discovering and learning ―harder‖ data or intellectual and professional

survival-skills.

        In order to build a new-generation Pedagogy 3.0 we need to propose a quite

different and opposing theoretical platform. An alternative, materialist understanding

might take as a convenient starting point the so-called ―Law of Conservation of Wealth,‖

which briefly stated, recognizes that material wealth, like matter and energy, is neither

created nor destroyed in purely financial or commercial transactions, but only changes

form and/or hands (VadirajaRao, 2005). A theoretical foundation of this sort has the

impressive virtue of recognizing that as a community, nation or world we can never get

rich by commercializing each others social interactions (―taking in each other‘s

laundry‖). It also recognizes the resolutely material nature of true wealth, as opposed to

the phony ―virtual‖ wealth of goodwill, human relations, brands and logos (Klein, 2009),
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        53


information, trade and commerce, or reputation, none of which, absent natural resources

and material human work, ever raised a crop, built a building, baked a pie, changed a

baby‘s diaper, or put a bite of food in the mouth of a hungry child.

       Long before the Web era, Baudrillard correctly identified (1970, p. 28) our

nefarious postmodern ―cargo cult‖ consumption-fetish. Sadly, ―cargo cult‖ is a very

apropos description of Pedagogy 2.0, within which Web 2.0 and its marvels are most

often seen as ―gifts of nature,‖ ―manna‖ that a benevolent fate, God, or that even-mightier

21st century goddess, ―Technology,‖ has been kind enough to drop from the sky and place

at our pedagogical disposition.

       Applying this observation to our new Pedagogy 3.0, we should immediately and

wholeheartedly agree with libertarians (and teach our students) that ―there is no such

thing as a free lunch‖ either in Web 2.0‘s ―immaterial economy‖ or anywhere else. Then

we should assign our students to ―follow the money‖ that pays for their online ―free‖

lunch on Facebook, PBWorks or Twitter, either in the form of ―concrete wage relations‖

(Cardon and Aguiton, 2007), corporate profits, or advertising revenues.

       This is, for sure, a wildly unfamiliar train of thought for contemporary American

students (or even for many faculty!), but is key to building a material understanding of

the Web 2.0 world, and constructing a thoroughly materialist Pedagogy 3.0. The truth is

that few of us ever spare even a second‘s speculation on how much cashiers, managers or

owners earn at the supermarket where we shop, or where the merchandise came from,

who made it, or how much the actual producers earn for their production compared to

what we pay for their goods. In fact, unless we have worked there we have probably

never even looked at the store‘s loading dock or the grimy, smelly rear door, out by the
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       54


dumpster, back where the employees come and go. Most of us only look at the bright,

friendly, and utterly phony customer storefront, precisely the same fetishistic way that we

look at Web 2.0.

         In stark contrast, as part of any Pedagogy 3.0 that is worth the effort to implement

we need to walk with our students back to that gritty, but essential, service entrance.

After all, since we generate profits for the corporation, we work there too.

         Understood and taught in this manner, the essential, qualitative difference

between public and ―free‖ commercial web services should immediately jump into stark

contrast for students. The connection (and difference) between ―cyberspace‖ (a now out-

of-favor term) and real space-and-time becomes vastly clearer when we assign students to

foreground and deconstruct, not just ignore (i.e., subconsciously absorb) advertising

content on the familiar Web 2.0 commercial services they use. This also slightly

diminishes the risk of exploitation, as students become conscious of, and perhaps learn to

interrogate, their intended role as walking profit-centers for the corporation or as suckers

for intellectual charlatanism, ideologically-driven fraud and fanaticism, and scams of all

sorts.

         Praxis

         A starting point and one of our crucial tasks in Pedagogy 3.0 might be that of

encouraging, enabling and requiring students to learn from ―day one‖ how the working

world in their dreamed-of or chosen career field is different, materially and on line, from

the essentially entertainment-based ―life‖ they may experience on the Net. As Hamel

(2009) correctly notes, on Web 2.0,
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        55


               Tasks are chosen, not assigned. The Web is an opt-in economy. Whether

       contributing to a blog, working on an open source project, or sharing advice in a

       forum, people choose to work on the things that interest them. Everyone is an

       independent contractor, and everyone scratches their own itch. Just as no one can

       assign you a boring task, no can force you to work with dim-witted colleagues.

       Unfortunately, students must become aware early-on that here in the real world

boring tasks abound, and in fact, are most often the crucial work that keeps the world

running. In most real careers, even in the most ―creative‖ fields, or even in the libertarian

paradise of self-employment, one rarely if ever gets to choose all of one‘s colleagues,

customers, clients, patients or students. However, this is in fact a positive, given that vast

diversities of intelligence, abilities, ages, cultures, temperaments and ambition are very

real, and not at all the ―myth‖ that Thiel (quoted above) would have us believe.

       Yet, our Pedagogy 3.0 must be far more than simply preparing students to accept,

adapt to and personally survive in a cold, hard, wildly diverse world that is beyond their

control. In Pedagogy 3.0, students need to learn how to grab control of their corner of the

Web, and of the real world, and effectively use them, individually and together, to fight

to create a better world than the one they have been left by previous generations. This is

another factor that appears to been insufficiently imbedded in existing Pedagogy 2.0

praxis, which far too often privileges either postmodern ―puttering‖ and fun or else

consequence-free online virtual ―rebellion‖ as an excuse for material disengagement and

narcissistic individualism.

       In a kairos of seemingly unlimited material abundance and infinite possibilities it

would perhaps be reasonable to promote limitless personal expression as a primary
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        56


rhetorical and pedagogical ideal. Such an approach is definitely ―nice if you can afford

it.‖ However, for students who will be fighting for their economic and personal survival

in what promises to be an even less placid (and almost certainly less prosperous) period

of history than the one we grew up in, much ―harder‖ skills are required. To start, we owe

our students the rhetorical and intellectual tools and rigor that they can efficaciously use

to put an end, once and for all, to what Lovink and Rossiter (2005) have correctly

identified as the ―Age of Disengagement.‖

       Toward this end, any responsible Pedagogy 3.0 that we build must begin by

empowering students to identify, interrogate and materially resist today‘s hegemonic

Web 2.0 libertarian ideology, much as young theoreticians, writers, activists and students

of the last half of the twentieth century succeeded in deconstructing, de-legitimizing,

resisting and ultimately defeating (to varying degrees) the once-hegemonic ideologies of

smug middle-class conformism, white liberalism, imperialism, misogyny, homophobia,

McCarthyism and Jim Crow.

       Simultaneously, there is another task that we need to introduce to our students:

that of interrogating, deconstructing, and ultimately reconstructing the Web itself. Both

we and they need to be constantly and consciously aware that today‘s Net is not heaven-

ordained, eternal, the only way, or even the best way it could be, or the form it will

necessarily take a few years (or even a few months!) from now. We particularly need to

avoid essentializing, for good or for bad, fads of the moment like Facebook, Twitter, iPad

or Kindle. As Ippolita (2005, quoted above) warns us, the ―grazing mentality‖ of online

consumers is a constant, and today‘s fad is tomorrow‘s bore, turn-off or irrelevancy. For

example, ―tag clouds,‖ ―folksonomies‖ and social bookmarking seem to be already past
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       57


their peak of faddishness and will most likely soon be going the way of DOS 3.0 if they

have not done so already.

       And as Technology giveth, Technology also taketh away. Teaching

developmental students how to ―tweet‖ or to use Facebook will most probably be as

useful to them in a few years as knowing how to write a primitive do-loop in COBOL or

understanding the ins and outs of the long-forgotten Jughead search engine. While any

successful pedagogy must start from students‘ reality, tying our present or future

pedagogy to fads of the moment is a sure recipe for triviality and rapid obsolescence.

       So how do we avoid our new Pedagogy 3.0 being overtaken, trapped and

―fossilized‖ in the amber of old technology and software that quite literally can become

obsolete overnight? Writing from a pro-libertarian, pro-Web 2.0 point of view,

Hefferman (2010) laments one possible alternative:

                Many people are on their way to quitting the open Web entirely. That‘s

       what the 50 million or so users of the iPhone and iPad are in position to do. By

       choosing machines that come to life only when tricked out with apps from the

       App Store, users of Apple‘s radical mobile devices increasingly commit

       themselves to a more remote and inevitably antagonistic relationship with the

       Web. Apple rigorously vets every app and takes 30 percent of all sales; the free

       content and energy of the Web does not meet the refined standards set by the App

       Store.

       Does this imply that we, too, should now begin abandoning Web 2.0 as it now

exists, before it becomes as ―old fashioned‖ as traditional e-mail has now become to our

students? Subverting the Net, perhaps. But, abandoning it altogether for the walled
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         58


playpens of clean, carefully-vetted iPad apps and SmartPhone widgets? Not yet. Even

though Paech correctly points out (cited above) that today‘s libertarian ―silicon cowboys

and girls‖ materially own and run Web 2.0 and are likely to continue doing so in the

―foreseeable future,‖ activists (and pedagogical activists are what we as educators must

become to escape from our current historical dead-end) have a long history of ―grabbing

any tool that comes to hand,‖ and ―turning our enemies‘ weapons against them.‖ This

includes Web 2.0, which, as has been pointed out above, is already overdue for an

upgrade. In fact, upgrades will come whether we help create them or not, but the shape

they will take will depend on our own degree of effort, commitment and initiative.

         However, if we as educators remain passive consumers at the trough, faithfully

practicing and reproducing Baudrillard‘s consumer Cargo Cult ideology on the Web, we

can reasonably anticipate that any ―Web 2.1‖ may well be even worse for our purposes

than the current version. This may well already be happening by default, as discussed

above.

         For now, instead of retreating into ―walled gardens‖ and paid ―learning

environments‖ that we neither design nor control nor are even fully allowed to

understand, what we urgently need is a reasoned, collective risk / benefit calculus,

particularly when utilizing existing advertising-driven, data-mining commercial services

like Facebook, YouTube, Apple ―apps‖ or similar. Is the risk to students and instructors

(data-mining and lack of privacy, being ―bombed‖ by unsolicited, personalized

advertising for junk products, including tobacco (Freeman and Chapman, 2009) or even

pornography, risks of cyber-assault, temptations for inappropriate self-disclosure, etc.)

greater than the potential pedagogical benefits (―free‖ access, ease and familiarity of use,
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          59


plus whatever sense of audience that may be perceived by students for their work)? Is

Web 2.0‘s degree of material exploitation any worse than that practiced by hard-copy

textbook publishers and course-packet rackets? Do the number, intensity and character

of online distractions rise to the level of ethical concern?

        Here, it would be useful to recall that in 2010 few if any of our developmental

students are ―naïve subjects,‖ unfamiliar with online distraction. Most have already

arrived at personal solutions for ignoring unsolicited advertising, offensive or obscene

material or even mild harassment. And, many already know not to post information that

is too confidential. Our immediate role would seem to be that of helping students to

strengthen their existing online survival tactics, as part of a suite of rhetorical sales-

resistance and propaganda-proofing skills.

        However, as part of any really next-generation ―Pedagogy 3.0,‖ we must teach

active empowerment as well as passive critiques and techniques of resistance. A starting

point may be to assign students to use the Net not simply for entertainment or narcissistic

self-expression but for efficacious persuasion and organization. We need to apply sound

rhetorical principles, principles that are already part of most contemporary developmental

reading and composition curricula, to concrete situations by assigning students to practice

and ultimately perform real persuasive tasks online and face-to-face. As quoted above,

Mejias (2005) underlines that it is ―the application of knowledge in the development of

skills that allows us to fulfill a particular (professional or non-professional) role in

society.‖

        Of course, this has to be done within a well-thought-out strategy and with much

caution. Many ―open access‖ blogs and wikis available on the Net only a few years ago
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         60


have since closed or vanished. And, on those that still exist, student bloggers who post

opposing opinions are likely to be either ignored (―don‘t feed the trolls‖) or treated like a

mouse is treated by cats. Careful consideration of kairos, venue and audience are crucial.

       Meeting our ethical responsibilities

       Simultaneously, as teaching scholars in the field of developmental education we

urgently need to produce a larger and more updated body of scholarship, popular writing

and speaking, and online commentary vigorously critiquing and deconstructing

libertarian rhetorical hegemony, both as programmed into Web 2.0 and in the public

arena. We can begin with a much broader, more energetic, higher profile and more

enthusiastic defense of public education at all levels, particularly higher education. We

must use our knowledge and communication skills not only among ourselves in micro-

circulation scholarly journals and at conferences, but much more importantly, at a

popular level in the public arena, in print, on the media, and online.

       A good example of what we all should be doing is Mayadas‘ 2009 article

implicitly attacking the now-hegemonic libertarian shibboleth that the private sector (in

education and everywhere else) is always and in every case more efficient, more

innovative and more successful than the public. Here, the author dares to argue that:

               Traditional institutions, especially public ones, do have some substantial

       advantages over for-profit institutions like the University of Phoenix, although it

       is clear that the distinction is blurring as the most successful for-profit institutions

       increase their focus on academic performance and as ―traditional‖ schools learn

       how to compete more effectively in the marketplace, particularly in the context of

       leveraging name recognition at a local and regional level and, in some cases, at a
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          61


        national and international level, as well as the ability of public institutions in

        particular to offer considerably lower prices (Mayadas, 2009).

        Of course, this article was published in Science magazine, a fairly small-

circulation scholarly venue where most readers could be expected to agree with the

author‘s standpoints. But, committed educators and professionals need to make this type

of facts public every day in personal discussions, in a rainbow of diverse discourse

communities, and in popular media.

        As an integral part of any successful Pedagogy 3.0 we as educators need to

promote not more ―walled gardens‖ (or, applying Beaufort‘s conceptual framework,

physically-closed discourse communities), but rather, a more robust and usable next-

generation public Net either in conjunction or in competition with the existing for-profit

Web 2.0. Almost all universities now have Information Technology departments and

programs, many at the graduate level, and any of these have enough qualified creative

and technical personnel and ample web-hosting capabilities to produce up-to-date and

functional in-house wiki, blogging, social networking and multimedia hosting sites for

institutional use.

                As Moglen (2010) urgently reminds us,

                We need to re-architect services in the net; we need to redistribute

        services back towards the edge; we need to de-virtualize the servers where your

        life is stored and restore some autonomy to you as the owner of the server. The

        measures for taking those steps are technical ... as usual the box builders are

        ahead of us. The hardware isn't the constraint. As usual, nowadays the software

        isn't a constraint either because we've made so much good stuff ... the bad
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                         62


          architecture is enabled, powered, by us the re-architecture is too. And we have our

          usual magic benefit. If we had one copy of what I'm talking about, we have all the

          copies we need.

          A good example of a working, locally-controlled Web 2.0 educational service was

the University of Texas at El Paso‘s CourseMine, http://coursemine.utep.edu, a little-

known and less-used, but still invaluable in-house resource that was eliminated by UTEP

in late July, 2010 due to technical reasons. Of course, as noted above, these types of

resource are necessarily different, less familiar to students, and much less ―flashy‖ than

comparable commercial sites with their hundreds or thousands of employees, bright and

seductive advertising, and unlimited financial resources. But, these resources, when

available, should always be preferred to commercial sites for classroom use, if for

nothing else, for their lack of those omnipresent distractions and data-mining activities

that make open-Net Web 2.0 sites so ethically and pedagogically problematic,

particularly in developmental education.

          And, both as individual citizens and in our professional organizations we must

start laying the axe to the taproot of today‘s hegemonic libertarian dogma that

government (necessarily including public higher education!) needs to be starved down to

“the   size where we can drown it in the bathtub.‖ (Grover Norquist, quoted in Dreyfuss,

2001) We can start to do this by loudly, consistently and proudly advocating and

lobbying for more and better government (public) educational services, online and off. As

a practical first step, as educators we also need to find and better utilize existing public

online resources. For instance,
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                            63


                A peer-reviewed national science education digital library initiative,

        supported for nearly a decade by the U.S. National Science Foundation, has made

        scant progress in getting the technology into the classroom and training teachers

        to use it (Hines, 2009).

        And, we must become more involved in day-to-day struggles to defend the omep

usability of the Net, such as the present fight over ―Net neutrality‖ in which commercial

service providers are attempting to replace the primitive, idealist ―dot-communist‖

techno-egalitarianism of the early Net with a more properly libertarian ―fee for service‖

access model. This is a battle that is now being fought in the public media, even quite

literally down to the ―Sunday supplement‖ level (Kelly and Robichaux, 2010). However,

on this issue neither major side really advocates a progressive standpoint: that as a true

public utility, the Internet must once again be made public, as it was in Quarterman‘s day

(1985). We need to learn to act (and empower our students to become powerful present

and future actors) in this larger public arena at all levels if we ever wish to see a better

pedagogy and a better world. Practical suggestions for this are discussed under the

heading of ―Solidarity‖ later in this paper.


        Maintaining quality control

        As Hamel (2009) points out, on Web 2.0

                Contribution counts for more than credentials. When you post a video to

        YouTube, no one asks you if you went to film school. When you write a blog, no

        one cares whether you have a journalism degree. Position, title, and academic

        degrees—none of the usual status differentiators carry much weight online. On

        the Web, what counts is not your resume, but what you can contribute.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                           64


       Thus, in Hamel‘s words, ―On the Web, authority trickles up, not down.‖ The

educational implications of this are problematic, not at all because we as educators wish

to tyrannize students as potentates of the podium or even ―sages on stages,‖ but because

an exaggerated social constructivism (the romantic, libertarian, ―wisdom of the crowd‖

ideology) has, as discussed above, demonstrably undermined educational quality.

       As Keen eloquently points out,

               History has proven that the crowd is not often very wise. After all, many

       unwise ideas—slavery, infanticide, George W. Bush‘s war in Iraq, Britney

       Spears—have all been extremely popular with the crowd. … With Web 2.0, the

       madness is about the crowd falling in love with itself‖ (p. 96).

       In material terms, education is part of the social reproduction process and quality

control is a key aspect of all real production as well as working-class discipline. Noted

conservative educational critic and theorist Stanley Fish (2010) contends that quality

education is (or ought to be)

               …informed and structured by ―the ideas that make us human‖ — math,

       science, language, history, economics and literature, grammar, the study of basic

       forms, logic, the skill of abstracting from particulars and rhetoric, the ability to

       ―speak and write persuasively and eloquently about any topic while integrating

       allusions and examples from one field of study to explain a point in another.‖

       Quality control and academic rigor is also a class issue. What distinguishes

ruling-class universities from their public, middle- or working-class counterparts is most

often not so much the quality of physical plants, the wisdom and experience of professors
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        65


or the variety of courses available, but rather the rigor and intellectual depth that is

demanded of students.

       It is gross educational malfeasance to foist off developmental (or mainstream)

undergraduate students‘ ‖wisdom‖ on each other as education, even under the pretense

that ―The best person to teach you something is someone who‘s just mastered it, or that

―you are just as likely to learn from the mistakes of fellow beginners, or from people with

just slightly more experience, as from wizened elders‖ Kamenetz, 2010), particularly

when ruling-class students learn physics from world-renowned physicists, Spanish in

Madrid, poetry from published poets, literature from the great authors of history, and art

from famous artists of past and present.

       And like it or not, our students know this perfectly well already: how many

college students watch each others‘ homemade videos on YouTube for any purpose other

than ridicule? How many bother to download and listen to each others‘ garage-band

music (or even their own!) on their iPods or cell phones, instead of professional-quality

recordings by their favorite hit artists? How many developmental students would ever

read each others‘ writing if not forced to do so in class for ―peer reviews‖? Students,

even developmental students, know quality when they see, hear, smell, taste or learn it,

and unlike Pedagogy 2.0, Pedagogy 3.0 must teach quality as well.

       And quality control extends to knowledge as well as to students‘ creative

productions.

        Disturbingly, Hamel (2009) claims that

               On the Internet, truly smart ideas rapidly gain a following no matter how

       disruptive they may be. The Web is a near-perfect medium for aggregating the
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       66


       wisdom of the crowd—whether in formally organized opinion markets or in

       casual discussion groups. And once aggregated, the voice of the masses can be

       used as a battering ram to challenge the entrenched interests of institutions in the

       offline world.

       As Greenhow, et al. (2009) enthusiastically proclaim, on Web 2.0 ―knowledge is

decentralized, accessible, and co-constructed by and among a broad base of users‖ (247)

Unfortunately, within Web 2.0‘s libertarian ―wisdom of the crowd‖ paradigm there is

absolutely no objective difference between the ―truly smart,‖ the truly foolish, the truly

bigoted, and the truly silly. Today‘s endemic online ―truthiness‖ (Manjoo, 2008, quoting

comedian Stephen Colbert) is deftly and thoroughly deconstructed from a more

progressive point of view by Manjoo (2008) in his polemic book, True Enough: Learning

to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

       Extremist social constructivism fairly begs for a reductio ad absurdum. On Web

2.0 a political analysis posted by a middle-schooler, a late-night TV comedian or a team

of bought-and-paid-for political-party public relations flacks is no less authoritative than

that of a President (Manjoo, 2008). An online ―flash mob‖ can discredit a thousand

eminent climate scientists from around the world speaking together, making them appear

less credible than a crank or an intellectual poseur (Jasanoff, 2010). Under such a

paradigm geology is no less a ―hard science‖ than theology and a mountain of geological

data is neither more nor less trustworthy than the ―spiritual beliefs‖ of the crowd. (Dede,

quoted in Greenhow, et al., 2009, 247). Whether I, personally, am 60 years old or 25,

whether I am 5‘2‖ or 6‘7‖ evidently depends on whatever is ―widely accepted by the

community‖ (Greenhow, 2009, 247). And, the ―true truth‖ about what may have
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                          67


happened yesterday in the Middle East, or whether anything happened at all, depends

entirely on whatever wisdom my particular crowd decides to co-construct today (Morris,

2010).

         This pernicious degree of subjective relativization of knowledge and decay of

objectivity on the Net, long predicted by postmodern theorists, is particularly ironic given

that libertarianism actually arrogates to itself the term ―Objectivism‖ as the name of its

formal philosophy (Rand, 1999).

         As conscientious educators we absolutely must not allow this pathological ―truth

decay‖ to infect higher education, particularly developmental education, where our

students may be less likely than others to possess the necessary background information

to refute phony, self-serving propaganda, cultish lunacy and intellectual charlatanry.

Pedagogy 3.0 must remain firmly based on the ideology that, in McInerny and Dourhert‘s

(2010) words, ―When facts conflict with beliefs, it is the beliefs that must give way.‖

Demanding this kind of objective quality control in higher education is hardly a wild-

eyed radical proposition (see Fish, 2010). In fact, supporting and demanding such

objectivity and rigor in education is a traditional conservative value, one that underlies

the current standardized testing movement in American K-12 education.

         However, one may suggest that in the case of higher education some political and

religious conservatives have now made tactical common cause with ―progressive‖ social-

constructionists out of pure expediency in order to strike back at what they perceive as an

overwhelmingly ―liberal‖ professorate. Questions of good faith arise, since half a century

ago ―objective standards‖ was a key conservative rallying-cry against student protestors‘

demands for ―relevance‖ in education. It is reasonable to expect that if conservatives
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        68


some day regain dominance in the field of higher education these same advocates will

quickly return to their more traditional stance of demanding ―objective standards of truth‖

and damning ―liberals‖ as ―relativizers of truth‖ just as strongly as they now embrace

―the wisdom of the crowd‖ at a moment when the ―crowd,‖ or at least its loudest throats,

are perceived as conservative.

       But even when confronted with the ―battering rams‖ of public prejudice,

ignorance, intellectual mob rule, obscurantism, fanaticism, or ―political correctness‖ of

left or of right, Pedagogy 3.0 and educators who practice it must stand firm. We must not

water down the facts, standards and rigor demanded by relentless material reality itself,

especially when these facts and standards are controversial and unpopular, or when

maintaining intellectual rigor risks taking all the ―fun‖ out of education. Pedagogy 3.0

must teach students, both explicitly and by example, how to stand firm against the

―battering rams‖ of ―crowd wisdom‖ and to hold firm to objective, evidence-based reality

and to what they know to be true.

       Encouraging civil discourse and free speech

       In any contralibertarian rhetorical approach to building a Pedagogy 3.0 we

desperately need to interrogate libertarians‘ gross essentialization of the idea of

―freedom.‖ To most Americans, ―freedom‖ is a ―god-word,‖ and to young students, many

of whom may be struggling against what they perceive as ―oppressive‖ control over their

lives by parents or authorities, ―freedom‖ is synonymous with life. However, the reality is

that the ―urban decay,‖ ―bullies and hucksters‖ and ―unsafe and unsanitary‖ conditions

that Hefferman (2010) regretfully blames for the incipient ―white flight‖ from today‘s
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        69


unkempt and unpoliced Web 2.0 online metropolis are in fact the direct and predictable

results of the dogmatic application of libertarian ideology.

       Doctrinaire techno-libertarians seem to happily ignore (or even celebrate as

―creative chaos‖) the fact that ―every Internet venue accepting user-submitted content

inevitably gets attacked by unwanted content. If left unattended, the venue inexorably

degrades into anarchy‖ (Goldman, 2006). Under such conditions, however rosy the

imagined libertarian dream of the Net ―metropolis,‖ the reality has all the charm and

creative juices of a grungy sports bar on game night, a roughhousing all-male student

fraternity, or a sweaty high school locker room. Or perhaps a closer analogy might be the

delights of ―unlimited freedom‖ currently ―enjoyed‖ by the un-policed, under-governed

residents of Mogadishu, Somalia or Ciudad Juárez, Mexico where the only real order is

that imposed by warlords or cartels on their ―turf.‖

       In 2007, Cardon and Aguiton warned (p. 63) that any network like Web 2.0

―always creates some new form of exclusion.‖ And precisely as predicted, and not

entirely unlike at sports bars and men‘s frat houses, or on the ―free‖ streets of Juárez

(where a decade-long wave of femicides continues unabated and largely unreported), one

far too often encounters a deep and ugly undercurrent of misogyny on today‘s libertarian

Web 2.0 (Guiller and Durndell, 2006; Aftab, 2008; Carstensen, 2009). And, appallingly,

Pedagogy 2.0 has not remained completely above this unconscionable influence. As

Keats Citron (2007) notes,

               Threats, lies, and the disclosure of private facts discourage women from

       blogging in their own names. Women lose opportunities to establish online

       identities that would enhance their careers and attract clients. Destructive online
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      70


       groups prevent the Web from becoming an inclusive environment.

       Disappointingly, this phenomenon throws us back to the nineteenth century, when

       women wrote under gender-neutral pseudonyms to avoid discrimination.

       In response to the high school locker-room ideal of unlimited personal freedom of

speech that libertarians defend so passionately even when that speech is inappropriately

antagonistic, obscene or discriminatory, a number of colleges and universities have found

it necessary to offer courses and programs promoting ―civil discourse‖ (e.g., Wyatt, 2010,

at the University of Saint Thomas, in Minnesota). We should make this concept one of

the seeds of our new Pedagogy 3.0.

       However, we must recognize that creating or restoring a norm of civil discourse in

online communication requires much more than just programs or preaching; it demands a

qualitative change of ideological assumptions from those now underlying Pedagogy 2.0.

       Today‘s weak, virtual Web 2.0 ―communities,‖ true to libertarian principles,

rarely wish to and cannot effectively enforce even minimal expectations of behavior

(beyond what is absolutely required by law, such as banning child pornography),

resulting, precisely as Goldman predicted (cited above), in the brutish online discursive

environment we see today. However, as Bateman, et al. (2009) underline, ―members who

have a strong normative commitment to a community are more likely to moderate

discussions in that community… that is, to try to control negative behaviors.‖ As they

correctly point out, ―informal moderating behaviors are related to community justice,‘‖

which they define as ―self-policing and responding to crime via social control

mechanisms that enhance community life‖ (p. 6).
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        71


       Of course, such altruistic social control of speech and self-policing of behavior

are abhorrent to the existing techno-libertarian ideology of the Web, with its prevailing

―angry adolescent's view of all authority as the Pig Parent‖ (Borsook, 2000, p. 93), where

―No one has the right to tell me what I can and can‘t say, including my teacher and

including you.‖ (Sherwood, 1999, p. 51). Anticipating the inevitable loud screams of

―unconstitutional censorship‖ from these forces, any sort of civil discourse initiative must

of course remain completely voluntary, but in Sherwood‘s words (1999), as responsible

educators,

               We want to protect students from the practical and political effects of their

       words. We want to show them that their opinions have consequences, that using

       sexist or racist terms, espousing particular political causes, speaking carelessly on

       topics they don‘t fully understand and offending their audiences can cost them

       good grades and the esteem of their teachers and fellow students.

       Plus, as Rosen (2010) discusses at length, online behavior of the sort Sherwood

describes could potentially cost a student a job or a security clearance, even years later.

       A Pedagogy 3.0-related civil discourse initiative need not be an Anthony

Comstock-style ―moralization‖ campaign or a program of prissy ―manners‖ and

―common courtesy,‖ once-commonly-held, solidly conservative cultural concepts now

thoroughly demonized as liberal ―political correctness‖ by talk-show entertainers and

media demagogues. Civil discourse is inherent in very practical, everyday rhetorical

considerations of audience, gravitas and fitness of style (epitomized in the old Texas

axiom that ―You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar‖).
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        72


       However, at a deeper level, any sustainable civility initiative against bullying and

online thugs in Pedagogy 3.0 would require a new, strongly positive, contralibertarian

approach to community on the Web, and would have to be inherent within such a

pedagogy itself, not imposed as a ―program‖ from without. As Bateman, et al. (2009)

describe, individuals who are strongly invested in a given online or physical community

are much more likely to ―engage in behaviors that protect and enhance the community‖

(p. 6) than Mejias‘ (2007) Net ―nomads‖ would ever be. If a social reality of strong

community, student and community solidarity and some sense of greater (or even lesser!)

purpose and goal that are so utterly lacking in Pedagogy 2.0 can be established and

successfully promoted within Pedagogy 3.0, then committed students themselves can

begin to ―both winnow out unproductive members [of the online community] and retain

productive ones, socialize newcomers, and strengthen the community‖ (Bateman, et al.,

2009, p. 7).

       Parenthetically, one can even conjecture that as the generation of ―digital natives‖

described by Prensky in 2001 grows older and ―settles down,‖ this sort of issue will

eventually be more likely to solve itself simply by the slow process of demographic

change. If history is any guide, as the first generation of ―digital natives‖ age out of the

felt need for chest-thumping rudeness and obscenity, loutish pranks and macho displays

of aggression, and eventually become parents, working professionals, and ultimately

authorities themselves, they themselves will likely become much more supportive toward

effective policing and enforcement of social and intellectual standards on the Net.

Anderson and Wolff (2010) suggest that this moment is already arriving.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                           73


       Our job as educators is, of course, to encourage our students to grow up in

precisely this way, as expeditiously as possible but without ever crushing their creative

and ―rebel‖ spirits. In fact, even as seen from the most radically rebel perspective, it is

crucial for all students, particularly those who wish to be effective ―rebels,‖ to understand

the crucial, qualitative difference between antagonistic and non-antagonistic situations

(Basavapunnaiah, 1983), and when it is fruitful and expedient to use the rhetoric of one

or of the other. This concept, too, should form a key component of Pedagogy 3.0.

       Promoting solidarity and participation

       Howard Rheingold, as cited by Workman (2008), has very reasonably suggested

that ―virtual communities may actually be part of the remedy for loss of live community.‖

He argues that ―American community dissipated long before the Internet took hold,

leading to a sense of isolation and a longing for connection across all generations.‖

However, as Web guru Tim Berners-Lee (quoted in the British journal ITNow‘s article

―Web 2.0—fluff or phenomenon?‖ in 2006) declares to the contrary, this was not the

intent of Web 2.0. He explains, ―The web [sic] is more a social creation than a technical

one. I designed it for a social effect … We develop trust across the miles and distrust

around the corner‖ (p. 22, emphasis mine. O.W). Interestingly enough, precisely in line

with this disarmingly frank statement, Facebook appears to have now (2010) downgraded

college- or local-community-specific ―networks,‖ groupings which were once (circa

2007) seen as key to customer classification and ―friend‖ access on that popular social

networking site.

       Unsurprisingly, such ―communities‖ as have managed to form to date on deeply

libertarian Web 2.0 are almost universally characterized by what Cardon and Aguiton
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                       74


(2007) call ―weak cooperation.‖ According to these authors, a ―new context of innovation

in the digital economy‖ permits ―cooperation … in a specific context where it is possible

to attract a very large number of participants, allowing them to make very small

contributions with a granularity effect.‖ Here, one must parenthetically note that this not-

at-all novel but quintessentially libertarian description of ―community‖ accurately

describes both ―wisdom of the crowd‖ operations like Wikipedia and far more ancient

mob-behavior patterns common to humankind.

       Yet, once again it is necessary to point out that it does not have to be this way. In

stark contrast to Pedagogy 2.0, a successful future Pedagogy 3.0 must be a practical tool

for mobilization, for teaching students how to trust and work with others who are on their

side of an issue, whether around the corner, around the classroom, around the campus and

around the world. In a few words, the goal must be to create and maintain ―strong‖ online

and physical communities, the ―deep linkage that matters‖ (Lovink and Rossiter, 2005).

This concept of solidarity and efficacious cyber-activism is diametrically opposed to

libertarian narcissism, social atomization, weak, walk-away ―communities,‖ or phony

click-to-like social causes characteristic of Web 2.0 and thus of Pedagogy 2.0. As

Bateman, et al. (2009) suggest, to achieve this change, developmental and mainstream

educators must address what is for most an unfamiliar challenge: encouraging,

empowering, teaching and perhaps even requiring students to ―engage in the various

[online and face-to-face] behaviors that are key to community viability‖ (p. 13).

       This is particularly relevant in the case of developmental students, who in many

cases may be the least appropriate subjects for an extreme elitist ideology of the ―rugged

individual,‖ one that holds that ―the expert is born rather than bred‖ (Keen, 2008, p. 42).
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Extending the analysis of Bateman, et al. (2009, p. 13-14), a starting point might be for

proponents of Pedagogy 3.0 to begin now by strongly emphasizing a common student

pride, unity, activism, and ―a clear and consistent community identity (common values,

interests, or goals)‖ among college students, regardless of birth, culture, creed, challenges

or learning differences. This would require our cultivating a consistent, shared online

ethic of ―mutual respect and accountability‖ a strong ―sense of identification with the

community‖ [potentially either the community of college students, or else some larger

physical community, movement, ethnic group, social class or nation], and a shared faith

in the ―rightness‖ of that community‘s cause, all long-forgotten concepts that, almost half

a century ago, sparked and sustained broad and healthy student movements across the

Western world.

       Ingenería sin Fronteras (2010) suggests that key steps for such a student

mobilization, and thus key potential elements of Pedagogy 3.0 would include:

           1. Cognitive change: Change the level of collective consciousness about a

               certain issue, providing information and promoting knowledge. E.g.,

               Showing the causes of climate change.

           2. Change of action: Seeking to persuade the group we are working with to

               do a series of beneficial actions. E.g., Energy-saving measures at home, to

               limit carbon emissions.

           3. Change of behavior: Helping individuals to change a certain behavior.

               E.g., Encouraging use of public transportation.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                        76


           4. Change of values: Promoting the modification of deeply-rooted beliefs

               among a real audience. E.g., Wasting energy results in climate change,

               which affects us all (paraphrased translation of p. 120, O.W.).

       Here, we clearly enter the realm of rhetorical learning, but at a level that is rarely

reached or even dared in today‘s higher education. Instead, Noam Chomsky (interviewed

by Monge, 2010), speaking about Mexico, eloquently describes our current situation in

the United States as well:

               There‘s a lot of popular… concern and activism, but it is very fragmented.

       That the groups have very specific, narrow agendas and they don‘t interact and

       cooperate with one another. Ok, that‘s something you have to overcome to build a

       mass popular movement. And… media can help, but they also benefit from it,

       so… unless that happens, unless you get kind of an integration of activists‘

       concerns and movements… each one will be ―preaching to the choir‖… It takes

       organization. Organization and education, when they interact with each other,

       they strengthen each other, they are mutually supportive. [Ellipses in the original.]

       The organizing resources now at our and our students‘ disposal greatly exceed

those available to last-wave student activists. Flanagin, et al. (2010) reasonably note that

―as communication and information sharing costs are reduced [by using digital

resources], new opportunities that take advantage of the resources of collectivities—in

the form of everything from the provision of consumer information to political protests –

arise‖ (p. 187). However, as Molina Velásquez (2010) warns us, ―weak‖ online

collectivities must always function as tools for real organizing, never subjects in and of

themselves.
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      77


       Atiles Osoria (2010) recalls that Mexico‘s Zapatistas were the first force on a

global scale to succeed in using the Internet to organize practical political action

(worldwide material and discursive solidarity for their movement), back in the 1990‘s. In

2008, the Obama presidential campaign used Web 2.0 very effectively as an organizing

tool, even though the popular energy, excitement and organization of the campaign were

then allowed to utterly dissipate after Election Day. Currently, powerful online

organizing methods are being effectively used by causes as diverse as today‘s Tea Party

Movement (jointheteaparty.us, 2010), Venezuelan dissidents (Prensa Web RNV, 2010),

and even Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez himself (Prensa Web RNV / Prensa

Presidencial, 2010). According to Chávez, social networking sites are ―yet another

weapon that should be used by the revolution.‖

       Precisely as Monge (2010) suggests, Pedagogy 3.0 must:

               …create a space where different people and groups could discuss, no

       matter what ideology, our communities‘ troubles with sincerity. At the same time,

       we would remain conscious of the importance of not allowing [Pedagogy 3.0] to

       become an instrument for propaganda or self-interest. Here, perhaps, we could

       become masters of our own voices, and our word would be worth more than that

       of the politician on television, and our conversation would reveal more than any

       information we obtain from current mass media. Most importantly, we would like

       to expand our conversation until it reaches every possible corner so that we can all

       collaborate to form a movement or many movements that disrupt and transform

       the current state of affairs in our world.
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        A complete discussion of the rhetoric of popular organization and mobilization is,

of course, far beyond the scope of the current study. However, if they are to survive as

individuals and as a generation in the 21st century, students urgently need to learn how to

use the immense rhetorical and social potential of the Web to recruit and persuade

effectively, unite powerfully, mobilize efficiently and fight successfully for their own

future and whatever social causes that they, themselves may espouse.

        Without itself pushing any particular cause other than that of rigorous, relevant

education, Pedagogy 3.0 desperately needs to teach and empower students to ―disrupt and

transform the current state of affairs.‖ To this end, as scholars and educators we urgently

need to create, publish and distribute up-to-date Pedagogy 3.0-based texts, lesson-plans

and guidelines for how we can teach students to accomplish these goals, resources similar

to Ingenería Sin Fronteras‘ remarkable Campañas para la movilización social (2010)

[Campaigns for social mobilization], but in English and adapted to American political

and social realities.

        7. Conclusion

        The crisis of Pedagogy 2.0 is more ideological and rhetorical than it is

educational. Any real solution, if it is to be successful, must address the ideological and

rhetorical issues raised in this study.

        Any successful Pedagogy 2.1, 2.2, or even 3.0 that we build must dare to abandon

the fantasy that the Net is only an adult kindergarten of untrammeled self-expression as

pictured in a recent, widely-broadcast AT&T commercial (2010), a techno-libertarian

fantasy-world of absolute individual freedom, or a dot-communist free-beer paradise of

unlimited abundance that has fallen from the sky for our delight. Nor must we swallow
Running head: WORK, WRITE AND FIGHT                                                      79


the bait offered by those who would seek to make great ―fortunes‖ (Anderson and Wolff,

2010) by having us retreat for safety into tiny, commercially-ruled ―walled gardens.‖ Our

challenge is to act preemptively now to create an updated pedagogy that makes the Net a

truly public tool designed for the most rigorous style of learning, hard work, professional

standards, unity, social mobilization and student power for social change. Our ethical

duty is, together, to accept that challenge.




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