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Net Smart: How to Thrive Online
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Net Smart: How to Thrive Online

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  289 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Like it or not, knowing how to make use of online tools without being overloaded with too much information is an essential ingredient to personal success in the twenty-first century. But how can we use digital media so that they make us empowered participants rather than passive receivers, grounded, well-rounded people rather than multitasking basket cases? In "Net Smart," ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 16th 2012 by MIT Press (MA) (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Joyce Seitzinger
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Must read for anyone working in higher education....
Brad Johnson
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking to get into or understand online social media.
Recommended to Brad by: Karen Tobin
This book covers what seems to be very familiar ground to anyone that spends time on the Internet these days, but as one get s further into it, the author takes a deeper look at the Internet, society, and psychology. A good look at how the Internet has affected and will affect our daily lives is presented, accompanied by reasons why it did/will do so.

The subject matter is very complex and technical, but for the most part presented in a very readable fashion for those who don't live for the those
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Net Smart is an interesting take on the potential of the Internet. It is optimistic in its outlook of what we as humans can do together through the web. But Rheingold also points out that each person has the responsibility to participate and contribute to the online communities, because what people do on the internet and what they use it for now will influence how the web develops. That is, we can directly contribute to what’s available on the web as well as direct how the web will work in years ...more
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
This was another book that I assigned for my Composition course, but this one did not go over as well as Hamlet's Blackberry. My students really wanted to like this book better, seeing as they agreed more with Rheingold's central argument--that the answer to being over-connected is to become BETTER at it--than they did with Powers'--that the answer to being over-connected is to strategically disconnect. However, Rheingold's dense and hard-to-follow prose frustrated them so much that they had a v ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-reading

A fun and relevant guide for living meaningfully and productively online. With so much (valid) criticism from media scholars about the dangers and pitfalls of hyper connection and social media, this was refreshingly different. Rheingold offers a measured and calm look at how one can mindfully adapt to the connected world and benefit from connecting to social and learning networks.
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tech, 20-favorites
A must-read for anyone interested in being a wise digital citizen and sticking it to The Man.
read for school and I’m not letting all this pages go to waste
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book came to my attention from Beth Kanter, social media author and blogger, whom I respect very much. Kanter referred to Net Smart as the one book on social media to read this year; that was enough of an endorsement for me!

Howard Rheingold immediately won my attention with his call for mindfulness; something I've been working on in other areas of my life. My biggest take-away is that if I really want to get something out of social media and make it work
Mar 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like other books by Rheingold this one provides an excellent overview on recent developments in social media and offers ways through the jungle of opportunities these new media offer. Rather than focusing on the challenges and problems that social media confront us with Rheingold explicates ways to deal with the vast amount of information, the constant possibilities for distraction and challenge to differentiates the useful and informative from the disinformation and misinformation that is outth ...more
Ms. B
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, nonfiction, 2012
A dense read that is worth your time. It will make you think how about you how to use the net and how best to educate your students and children to use the net. In each chapter (with the last chapter being a recap), author Howard Rheingold outlines five digital literacies that he believe are needed to be a digital citizen; they are 1) attention, 2) crap detection, 3) participation 4) collaboration, and 5) network smarts.
For those who do not have time for the entire book, Rheingold does a nice j
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
What a great book for all of the audiences its aims to address! Rheingold does an excellent job explaining why he is optimistic about the Internet and all it affords, with the proviso that users are responsible for maintaining that optimism. He provides excellent background and synthesis of research into the Internet's development and functioning. But, more important, he provides great advice that is both theoretical and practical. The book is accessible and could be easily used in an undergradu ...more
Jim Parker
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must for anyone teaching media literacy especially Internet literacy. A excellent read for anyone who just wants to find makes to keep their use of the Internet from becoming an obsession. Plenty of great information on how to sort out the absolutely overwhelming amount of information we have at our fingertips at any moment.

Rheingold's other works such as The Virtual Community and Smart Mobs were well written and very readable. Net Smart clearly moves him into the realm of academi
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Next semester my Intro to Social Media class will be reading this book (an adjunct who is teaching this course selected this book). Rheingold devotes this book to what he calls "digital literacy". Unfortunately it feels to me like he is "all over the place" in his writing. He did share an interesting perspective on some concepts, but I feel as though if the reader is not already familiar with the literature on "living life online" they may walk away from this read confused. I'll be interested in ...more
Harry Fulgencio
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Very informative and well researched.. Having been exposed to a lot of IT related topics, I particularly liked Chapters 1 for mindfulness, Chapter 4 for social digital, Chapter 5 for social network analysis.

I am perplexed by the number of books cited in, chapter 6 and the number of quotations that dominated the entirety of the book apart from chapter 4 and 5. These two chapters shows where the author is truly passionate with.

Overall, I am happy to have learned or got reminded of a lot of interes
Andy Ehrensberger
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This book explains how one can benefit from the internet, and social media in particular, without getting overwhelmed by bad pages. He begins by discussing the concept of attention and why it is important to control where one directs attention while online. Then he goes on to provide meods for filtering out bad pages and for collaborating and sharing data. Very interesting ideas, but too many quotes and too mich text for the amount of relevant information provided.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall, useful content and important topics thoughtfully presented. I felt the writing could have been tighter and more concise, though. The academic tone was so tedious in places that it made me wonder whether the author was writing to impress his fellow professors or (as he claimed) to inform a general audience. What I appreciated most about the book were the copious end notes, citations, and supplementary online resources (including a high school syllabus).
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it
If you use the web, you probably unconsciously practice many of his strategies. That said, there were a few sources that were new & potentially useful for me. Also, his information on focus & attention in this world of distraction is useful.

Overall, it was interesting but I had a difficult time getting through it. Even the intro went on forever. "Here's what I will cover in the first chapter..." And so on, and so on, covering all the chapters for like the first 30-40 pages.
Roy Kenagy
Nov 14, 2011 marked it as to-read
Howard Rheingold's new book (3/12) ~Net Smart: How to Thrive Online Outlines 5 mindful "digital literacies" that go way beyond the concept of "information literacy," although that's included: attention, participation, collaboration, critical consumption of information (or "crap detection"), and network smarts. ...more
Esther Marie
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I wasn't sure how much I would get out of this book, but ended up really enjoying it and highlighting several pages for later reference. Chapters 3 and 4 were the ones that I found to be most useful- "Participation Power" and "social-Digital Know-How: The Arts and Sciences of Collective Intelligence".
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Howard does a really good job explaining literacy in a digital age. Maybe more than his other books, this isn't a fast read (which doesn't mean it's bad). You will need to sit down and dig into it, but he pulls so much from his other books that this almost feels like a summation of 30 years of his thinking on the Internet and Web.
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read that I recommend for anyone who is new to the internet or concerned about their child's internet usage. I considered myself fairly internet savvy before I began this book, but still learned a thing or two and was also able to rethink the big picture of my history as an internet user and more effectively allocate my online time and priorities.
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
(Disclosure: I skimmed, and I skimmed hard.) Some interesting points, but not as useful or eye-opening as I hoped it would be. But then again, I'm a pretty net-savvy power user. I liked the discussion on applying mindfulness in the introduction - it's not something I had previously associated much with internet use.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
An overview of the way the "net" functions today and how we interact with it - from the individual (searching, mindful attention, crap detection...) to the collective (Wikipedia, social capital, Facebook...) I liked the arguments, but the book is dense and hard to read. The best argument of all is that we need to teach people (both young and old) net literacy and basic net skills.
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm enjoying this one by a friend and colleague, Howard Rheingold.

very good stuff

Wrote a review and interview and posted it here
Benjamin Rosenthal
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Rheingold has studied online communities for more than 25 years and is probably one of the most influential authors in the field. This book is an update on crucial concepts in the area. Not a must read but certainly a good work for anyone entering in the field.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book will be on my "currently reading" shelf for a long time, because I will refer to it from time to time. A lot materials to pursue further, and use as background materials for some of the classes I am planning.
William Torgerson
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: digital-literacy
As a professor teaching a required First Year Writing course, I believe I must empower students to read and write and digital spaces. This book taught me a lot about navigating digital environments, and gave me a lot of ideas for class.
Chelsea Aldrich
Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really helpful book! Rheingold talks about the new literacies involved in understanding the net - ones that have always existed, but have become essential when accessing the web. He really backs his research up and presents a great argument for why we need a more digitally literate culture.
Jennifer Mangler
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: education, nonfiction
This book gave me a lot to think about as I attempt to incorporate technology into my classroom more & more. I want my students not only to use technology but to think about their use of technology in a meaningful way. I'm so not there yet, but at least now I feel like I know how to begin. ...more
Claudia Staude
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Vital thoughts about entering the technological landscape mindfully. Critical to my thinking as I work with my students in a 1:1 iPad classroom.
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