The Great Debate - Social Media & Desktop Publishing in a Connected, Online World

Debate Topic

Has the introduction of freely available online facilities and tools for publication (including desktop publishing and Web 2.0 forms of social media) been a positive step for society?

UPDATE Dec.16: Details about Step 4 - Individual Essay

Links to ITGS Guide

Strand 1: Social and ethical significance
1.3 Privacy and anonymity
1.4 Intellectual property
1.6 The digital divide and equality of access
1.8 Globalization and cultural diversity
1.11 People and machines

Strand 2: Application to specific scenarios
2.5 Home & Leisure
Social networking: Chat rooms, messaging, blogging, file sharing, wikis.
Published and broadcast information: Books, newspapers, digital radio and TV, e-books, podcasts.
2.6 Politics and government
Government control and use of information: Censorship

Strand 3: IT systems (see below in Step 1)

STEP 1: Technical Research

You need to know and understand the following:

3.4 Internet
Social networking tools (that may be used in place of tradition publishing): for example, newsgroups, message boards, chat rooms, forums, instant messaging

Web 2.0, Collaborative online tools (that may be used for publishing): for example, wikis, blogs, micro-blogs, RDF (resource description framework) site summary feeds, RSS (really simple syndication) feeds, mashups, forums, social bookmarking, online collaborative applications, podcasts, photocasts, vidcasts, social networking sites, webcasts.

Internet security: (blocking techniques that may be employed by Edtopia government and methods to get around these) for example, firewall, proxy server

3.6 Multimedia/digital media
• Text-processing software
• Formatting: for example, page layout, fonts, headers and footers
• File formats: for example, PDF, RTF, TXT
• Typography

Word processing and desktop publishing (DTP)
• Referencing and reviewing: for example, spellchecker, thesaurus, outliners, word count
• Inline and floating graphics

Please go to the DTP and Word Processing Technical notes page to help build the notes that can be shared and used for review. This is a collaborative effort - please read what has been contributed and then edit or add as required. Do not duplicate work. Do not COPY and PASTE from other sources. Make sure that you acknowledge each source that you use by adding links to the sources that you have used. Use <ref> tags to cite sources. See Citing Sources

Go to the Glossary wiki for further help and to contribute to the vocabulary and terms

Assessment for Step 1

There will be an IB-style test to examine knowledge and understanding of these technical concepts.

STEP 2: Great Debate scenario - Wiki Position Paper

Edtopia is a country that has a dictator ruling the people. Edtopia Press is a publishing company that produces newsletters and magazines for clients. Edtopia is moving into the 21st Century and starting to embrace more online and multimedia forms of publication, including the use of social media to attract more readers and therefore generate more profit for their clients. However, with the development of new forms of publication including online social media, many clients and businesses are now creating their own publications and managing their own online distribution.

In the great debate you are to take the roles of the following stakeholders and present a convincing argument. You will be teamed with other students from other schools and your research and position paper will be developed in a wiki page.
Debate Teams - add your name first!


1. President of Edtopia (a dictatorship where freedom of the press is not allowed).
2. Edtopia inhabitant who disagrees with the President (wants the freedom to publish/use social networking sites/blogs).
3. A typesetter at Edtopia Press who has been deskilled.
4. An editor at Edtopia Press who has suffered from RSI.
5. A well known author who is suing Edtopia Press for reproducing his work without permission.
6. A junior worker at Edtopia Press who has been retrained to use online publication media.
7. Manager of Edtopia Press who has promoted social media in the workplace.
8. A manager of a small business in Edtopia that now does all its publishing in-house using online tools and social media.
9. An Edtopian dissident who is in exile but wants to keep up with the news and happenings from all aspects of Edtopian society & politics as well as family and friends.
(NEW ROLE: Freelance Journalist_

Resources for writing a position paper
Suggested position paper template - to guide wiki collaboration
Update: December 4th - students please go to this link

Step 3: Great Debate - presentations

Voice Thread to present positions
Students to use voicethread to ask questions

Assessment for Step 2 & 3

Rubric for the Great Debate Voicethread and collaboration

Step 4: Individual Response

Assessment: An essay style paper that addresses and responses to the question.
Fair and just ITGS student who will weigh up the arguments presented and decide on the answer to the big question.