Digital Pedagogy, Identity, Networks, and Scholarship – Week 2

Building a learning network – How?

Next step in this digital identity process is to figure out how I’m going to learn from others on these networks.  In my mind, I’ve broken these networks into two different levels of learning

  1. fast food
  2. restaurant

Fast-food learning consists of information that can be concisely presented and quickly ingested (hopefully healthier than most fast food…. but that’s a different post). I would put Twitter and Facebook into these categories.

Restaurant learning is information that requires extra time for reading and processing.  I would put journal articles and lengthy blog posts into this category.

Now, how to construct a network that will benefit me (an applied microeconomist, athlete, mom, dog lover) and my professional identity (research, teaching, etc). I’ve chosen to focus on how I’m creating these the fast-food networks, specifically Twitter, for this post. I’ve found Dave Cormier’s 5-step guide to succeeding in a “Massive Open Online Course”… which I believe we can agree that the internet is considered massive and open.  In the steps, I’m completing the first step (orient yourself in the network)

kitty GIF source:


and moving on to the second (declaring that “I’m here!”).


Step 1:

I used some of Twitter’s suggested connections.  These were mainly for running, fitness, momming, and pups.

Next, I searched for some well-known Econ sources.  For instance: Bloomberg Econ, Brookings Econ, The Economist, Resources for the Future,  Freakonomics, and Micro Econ.

Then, I searched for a few of the economists I’ve met at various conferences and other professional settings.  One extra step I took here was to look at the people who THEY followed in order to hopefully find other connections.  If I respect these people who I’ve met in real life, I’m more likely to trust their connections compared to a brand new connection.  Also, this cuts down on my search time to find other connections!


Will Luther (@WilliamJLuther)  who follows @KenyonEcon and @NortonEconomics.

Doug Wrenn (@DHWrenn) at Penn State Ag Econ who follows AEI Economics (@AEIecon), Nature Conservancy (@nature_org), Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) and Tyler Cowen (@tylercowen).

Dirk Mateer (@dirkmateer) who is a phenomenal economics lecturer/professor.  I used his connections to find some great economics teaching accounts.  Such as, @economicsgames and @econteaching.

Lastly, I began following some organizers of conferences I am going to or would like to go to: EconEd – @MacmillanEcon and Nick Flores – @Nicholas_Flores

Step 2:

Hello!  Anybody out there??

I’m beginning my “step 2” by hitting publish on this post and linking it to my Twitter account.


Buddy the Elf GIF source:


Sounds like I have it all handled right?  Naaaaahhhhhh…….

In the future: I need to get alternative points of views and other disciplines such as sociology, psychology, finance, math, environmental, and NON-ACADEMICS to be represented in my networks.

Why do I need other points of view?  So that my news feed doesn’t become an echo chamber. I’m loving the game from Nicky Case – Wisdom/Madness of Crowds, that illustrates how crowds can spiral into madness very quickly. With an echo chamber, if my information is wrong and I only surround myself with people who are, in essence, carbon Katie Jo’s then I’m going to continue to reaffirm my incorrect information.

Conversely, if my group has a great piece of information, then I WANT to share it! And sharing it into an echo chamber doesn’t benefit anyone except your group.  And, as I tell my 4 year old: Sharing benefits others and it isn’t going to hurt you.  Any ideas how I can get her to believe me??

**I’m also loving the  Nicky Case – Wisdom/Madness of Crowds in a research framework because I’m interested in how, given a cost/benefit problem, we can get people to adjust their behaviors and make the rational decision, since we know that people are irrational.  The question is, are they irrational because they lack information, are they getting the WRONG information, or are they calculating the cost/benefits incorrectly?  This game and social network theories in general, gives me a lot more to think about as far as complex contagions or bonding and bridging are concerned.

Anyone else interested in social networks and information dissemination?? (This is another step 2!)


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