Emerging participatory culture: Making sense of social media use for learning in, across and with Higher Education and the cultural heritage sector

Emerging participatory culture: Making sense of social media use for learning in, across and with Higher Education and the cultural heritage sector 

Dr Narelle Lemon, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

12 noon - 2pm, Tuesday 6 June 2017

Narelle's slides

Audio from the seminar


Social media promotes a participatory culture whereby there is support in the construction and development of a networked environment through which what becomes visible is “a shift from matters of fact, to matters of concern or matters of interest as the various agendas and opinions are brought together through networks” (Latour, 2005, p.5). The use of social media collapses boundaries between educators, institutions and students, and changes patterns of communication. In this presentation, Narelle will share experiences from multiple research projects where social media was central to learning, including community development Twitter and blogging projects with museum eductors, teachers, and pre-service teachers (#MuseumEdOz, #visarts12 and #visart13, #ConnectedLearning and Community Professional Experience); and research projects exploring the experiences of museum educators and academics (#AcademicsWhoTweet; Cultivating social media use with GLAM educators). 

Key findings from these projects concerned the formation of a digital identity, mutual respect, sharing and curating of practices, peer-to-peer learning, visibility of learning, and reciprocity. Narelle will frame the notion of digital interaction through Tim Ingold’s lines, intersections and meshworks (2015), show how social media enables meaning making to be socially distributed (Rowe, 2002), and discuss how emergent participatory culture offers advantages for ongoing learning with like-minded individuals, new partnerships, collaborative problem solving, and the development of a more empowered sense of citizenship (Trembacj & Deng, 2015).

Bio: Dr Narelle Lemon is an Associate Professor in Education at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Narelle’s research agenda is focused on engagement and participation in the area of building learner capacity to engage with cultural organisations and community arts programs; arts education; and social media for professional development including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and blogging. She is especially focused on social photography and the generation of visual narratives to shared lived experiences. Narelle has worked extensively with the Australian GLAM sector including Melbourne Museum, Immigration Museum, National Gallery of Victoria, Australian National Maritime Museum,Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Australia Museum, Shepparton Art Museum, State Library of Victoria, Heide Museum of Modern Art, and Ulumbarra Theatre. She is currently working on a three year funded project with Castlemaine State Festival to promote arts and cultural awareness in regional young people. Narelle is currently an executive member of the national board Arts Education Australia, and has previously been on the executive of the state board Arts Education Victoria. She works with the Creative Women’s Circle, a national non-for-profit organisation that supports creative women in their business and entrepreneurial endeavours. Narelle has received over $1.2 million worth of nationally competitive grants and awards.  She has been successfully awarded research awards including: La Trobe University Mid Career Researcher Excellence Award (2016); La Trobe University Early Career Researcher Excellence Award (2013); Early Career Supervisor with Most Publications Award within the School of Education, RMIT University (2012); and Early Career Researcher International Travel Award from RMIT Research and Innovation (2012). She is often invited as an expert speaker and commentator in the media and for online communities on research culture and education issues. Narelle blogs at Chat with Rellypops, Tweets as @Rellypops, and has recently begun a new project to promote stories of how creativity and mindfulness are applied to people’s lives from various disciplines in the community. This Explore and Create Stories series is curated on Instagram through @exploreandcreateco.

Date of Event 
06 Jun 2017
Event Leader 
Narelle Lemon
Paterson's Land 1.21
Research Area 
Digital Cultures
Event type