The debate over the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has taken place across all media, including Twitter. #Commoncore: How Social Media is Changing the Politics of Education, an ongoing project from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, examines the role that Twitter has played in the discussion, including how it can help ordinary citizens and social advocacy groups obtain greater influence than even education officials and legislators.
Major findings include:
- The #commoncore network represents a persistently active network of public discourse around major education reform in the United States.
- The Common Core has become a proxy war about broader cultural disagreements over the future direction of American education.
- Social media gives voice to anyone with a web access and a message. They felt that high profile people and organizations paid attention to their messages because of the networks that they were able to mobilize to share and diffuse their views.
- The growth of a social media-savvy network of activists has given rise to a new and influential faction in the struggle for political influence.
- Common Core supporters and opponents use different language to make their points and appeal to their audience.
- The metaphors in #commoncore tweets effectively communicate important issues surrounding the standards reform movement, but also distort the reality of the reform.
The authors found that social media helps create informal networks that can drive the narrative of the conversation. “By dissecting these networks, the researchers tell the story of how ordinary citizens and social media advocacy groups can gain greater influence than so-called authority figures who would have dominated this conversation even a decade ago,” states the press release about the initial release of information. “Some of the key people in this fight, they learn, don’t necessarily make the most provocative statements, but retweet information, both factual and not, to a large and diverse collection of followers.”
For more on how the Common Core Conundrum is affecting the learning resource industry, attend the PreK-12 Learning Group’s 2015 Content in Context conference, Development & Delivery for Digital Learners.