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There's no I in YouTube: social media, networked identity and art education

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Social media represent a paradigmatic shift in the use of digital technologies, and provide new possibilities for art educational application, implementation and interrogation. These technologies also challenge notions of authenticity, authorship and authority that have been central to the modernist core of the field. Individuals who are using social media as a medium challenge the authenticity of the art object, the authorship of the artist and the authority of the museum/gallery system. This article first provides an overview of three forms of interaction of social media: tagging, the mash-up and simulated environments. These forms then provide a context for discussion of the potential uses for social media within the field of art education, as well as pointing to the limitations of such technologies. Then there is a consideration of the pedagogical possibilities and problems inherent to three specific aspects of social media: Flickr and the hyperlinked image; YouTube and the moving image; and Second Life and the immersive image. This examination of social media may help other art educators to understand the importance of networked digital technologies in the lives of individuals and groups worldwide. More importantly, they may see pedagogical implications in the visualities such technologies produce, the identities formed in virtual environments and the epistemologies that develop from networked social media.

Keywords: MMORPG; art education; hypertext; mash-up; networked identity; simulation; social media

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Publication date: 2009-12-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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