TIKTOK’S PEER PEDAGOGIES - LEARNING ABOUT BOOKS THROUGH #BOOKTOK VIDEOS
Keywords:TikTok, Peer Pedagogies, Media Pedagogies, Reading, Books
This paper eschews normative constructions of formalized ‘online learning’ to argue that learning with ‘the internet’ is mostly vernacular, ordinary, messy and constant. It uses the example of #booktok short videos to argue that individuals frequently learn from and with peers in online spaces, where ‘peerness’ is defined broadly. The paper draws on traditions within education, media and communications research such as theories of media pedagogies that refuse to see learning as pedagogically isolated within formal learning arrangements. I build on these foundations to conceptualize how TikTok viewers learn about books and reading via ‘peer pedagogies’. ‘Peer Pedagogies’ recognizes that in digital contexts individuals often learn from other individuals, regardless of if the ‘teacher’ in the relationship is directly known to the learner, and regardless of if ‘teaching’ is intended or purposeful. For instance, peer pedagogies and learning are frequently central characteristics of the relationships that form between ‘micro-celebrities’ and their fans. The paper discusses findings from an ongoing nationally funded Australian study which is mapping the digital ecology of teen reading in Australia. The project argues that one avenue for teens to find out about books is on digital platforms via peer pedagogies. That is, teenagers may purposefully or casually learn about books and reading from everyday users and micro-celebrities on digital platforms. The TikTok #booktok hashtag is therefore being investigated to identify examples of how young people learn about books and reading via TikTok videos and associated communities.