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Title: Workshop: “How do you break your filter bubble?”
Authors: Rajagopal, Kamakshi
Verjans, Steven
Keywords: filter bubble
learner empowerment
personal learning network
Issue Date: 6-Sep-2017
Publisher: ALT - Association for Learning Technology
Citation: Rajagopal, K. & Verjans, S. (2017, September 10). Results Filter Bubble Workshop at #ALTC [Blogpost]. Retrieved from
Abstract: In 2011, Eli Pariser presented his TED Talk on the phenomenon of the “Filter Bubble”, where search results and social media feeds (and by extension social networks) are highly personalized and become increasingly centered on values and key messages preferred by the user (Pariser 2011). Although this effect has benefits (most notably more optimal results relevant to the user), the negative consequence is that the user is not in contact with contrarian ideas and messages, thereby narrowing their perspective on ongoing discussions. Many have pointed to the filter bubble as the primary reason behind the limited and superficial societal discussions on recent political events (Brexit, US elections, etc.). Some mainstream broadcasters have started to explicitly “break the bubble” (Hess 2017). The filter bubble is of significant importance for online learners, as it touches on several key issues. Firstly, it questions how trustworthy the instruments are that help learners find information and peers online. Also, it forces learners to reassess the relationship between their agency and critical thinking (what is their own choice of resources) and their reception of information and opinion (Bakshy et al. 2015). Finally, it also draws into question the values underlying the algorithms that make up the tools that learners use (Rajagopal et al. 2016). In this workshop, aimed at practitioners and researchers in education technology, we will deal with the topic of breaking your filter bubble. Starting from the concept of the Personal Learning Network (PLN) (a personal network designed by a learner to continuously support their learning), we will create two outputs: 1) a Code of Conduct for online learners, with guidelines to prevent their PLN from becoming a bubble, and 2) a list of desired social media values and functionalities that can prevent filter bubbles. We will use a conversational knowledge-building format (with brainstorming, concept mapping and discussion) in which participants will be asked to reflect in groups on the following questions: - What is diversity in a PLN? - How do we actively maintain diversity in our PLNs? - What is the role of social media in this? - To what extent are social media a cause of filter bubbles? - How can social media be changed to help us in preventing filter bubbles? The outcomes of this workshop align with the conference theme “Empowerment in Learning Technology” by offering learners a useable Code of Conduct, and researchers a list of potential innovations to explore.
Appears in Collections:2. T2 Presentations at conferences and events

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