Bonnie StewartEducation professor Bonnie Stewart researches digital life and participatory engagement. Photo by Nobuko Fujita.

Discussion to explore communities of practice and participation

In an era marked by fake news and data surveillance, what does it mean to teach and learn in the open?

“Maybe the only thing worse than being on the web with students in 2018 is not being on the web with students in 2018,” says Bonnie Stewart, assistant professor of online pedagogy and workplace learning in the Faculty of Education.

“It’s a difficult space, an attention economy, a radicalization engine… all those things are true. But if we refuse to engage its real capacity as a learning space, the negative effects will be just as pervasive… but how will the next generation get any opportunity to turn it around?”

Dr. Stewart’s work begins from the premise that digital life is real life, and therefore a space for teaching, learning, and scholarship. Focused on participatory engagement as historical model and digital method, her research ranges from massive online open courses (MOOCs) and academic Twitter through community media literacy initiatives.

Stewart is guest speaker at the on-campus Community of Practice fika event on Friday, Dec. 7. Fika is Swedish for coffee break, but it is more than drinking coffee. It is having a legitimate reason to set aside time for socialization and quality conversation.

“Come enjoy coffee and Scandinavian sweets,” says organizer Nobuko Fujita. “We are so excited to have Bonnie share her ideas about community-oriented approaches to knowledge creation and social media navigation in contemporary institutions. @bonstewart is an academic Twitter account that you should be following.”

Register for the on-campus event at , or join the webinar online at

For more information, contact Fujita by email or phone 519-253-3000, ext. 2105.

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