As I was browsing through the Huffington Post I was trying to find an article that dealt with a significant issue and that people cared about. There were some articles that had thousands of comments but were about Kim Kardashian while others had ten comments but dealt with the long term effects of the BP oil spill. I wanted to find an article that dealt with a meaningful topic but also had large online participation.
The article I chose discussed another form of Latin discrimination found in Maricopa, Arizona and triggered a response of over 1,000 comments. In this instance, Maricopa, Arizona printed out a Spanish translation of information to inform the citizens of the details of election day. Every word in the article was translated accurately except the election day. In the Spanish version, the flyer stated that election day was on the 8th of November while the English version correctly informed the English speaking citizens that election day was on the 6th. The local government claims that this was an honest mistake and they were in no way attempting to discriminate the Latin community. However, considering their past and other actions they have taken to oppress Hispanics, I believe it was an intentional and unacceptable ‘mistake.’ I made this clear in my comment that I posted.
The majority of people that commented saw injustice and discrimination in this act. However some insensitive and ignorant people, like the comment posted below, felt as if the government was at no fault and that the Latinos should be discriminated against for several reasons.
I think the beauty in online participation is in the fact that people can say whatever the want, whether it is productive or not. In the news world some people seem to be active in the commenting process because they genuinely care about the issue and what their input to be heard. Others seem as if they want to instigate an argument and play devil’s advocate. However that is the beauty in all of it. People are present in this online space for several different reasons and can use it however they want. Along the way they interact with people that agree/disagree with them. This process broadens perspectives and allows for the growth and development of problem solving, opinion development, and simple arguing.
On Monday, December 3rd, I participated in #engchat. I am not very familiar with Twitter and never had an account until I joined this class but soon found out it wasn’t very hard to figure out. Through tweetchat all the people that wanted to be apart of this massive conversation could simply be united under one #. Going into this conversation, I had no idea what to expect except an intrinsic conversation amongst nerdy English teachers. As soon as 7:00 hit I soon learned that the topic for that night was going to be Global Collaborations. I soon picked up on the fact that a guy named William Kist played the role of ‘guest speaker’ and @meenoorami was the moderator. Throughout this chat I felt like I would appreciate the conversation a lot more if I knew half the things these experienced teachers were talking about. I would rarely tweet simply because I was confused by all the abbreviations and conversations going on at the same time. I did really appreciate the topic though. We often talk about a Eurocentric literature world within schools and I think it’s a great idea to combine interpretations of students all across the world.
My opinion in terms of using twitter as a mode of communication for teachers remains a little bit shaky. I love the fact that a mass of people are able to join in on a single topic and converse. However I felt like there was a lot more breadth instead of depth in the conversations. I felt as if an idea would be brought up and would never get fully addressed or would be diverted from when someone else tweets something of a different nature. This could be due to the fast pace conversations or the limited word count. Overall I think it was a great experience and great tool for all future teachers.