Developments in technology from the late 1960s through the 1990s facilitated the rise of information computer technologies in economic, political, and social spheres of engagement. Emerging in the 1990s, the term digital divide initially referred to the gap between those who had access to information technologies and those who did not. Yet in the ensuing years, the term digital divide has evolved and is symbolic of not only the socioeconomic disparities of access to technology on a national and international level but also of greater societal, environmental and political issues. Engagement with information communication technologies (ICTs) and increased digital literacy, including the skills to locate, evaluate and use digital information are critical to successfully navigating within a globally connected and networked world comprised of a multiple of information streams. Drawing upon social informatics and social network theory, this exploratory study contributes to the library and information science community of inquiry in the areas of cognitive inquiry, teaching and and social media engagement. Using network visualization and analysis tool, NodeXL and social network analysis this study analyzes the relationships between three high profile Twitter hashtags related to digital literacy, #ICT, #digitalliteracy, and #edtech. Examination of the relationships and patterns within these three Twitter hashtags reveals the development of relationships amongst network actors and communities, and migration of communication and information streams across social media boundaries through the use of social media hashtags.
This study is uniquely situated to illustrate the transformative power of social media in advancing awareness of library and information science issues, topics, programs, and information to both internal and external parties. Additionally, this study highlights how identification of pivotal actors within the social media network can directly contribute to successful outreach initiatives and successful marketing campaigns.
IIS-PhD Student // Graduate Research Assistant
University of North Texas
The Colony, Texas