Foursquare Giving Power

Education and knowledge is power. Poverty often comes a loss of resources. One is due to money itself, for example it costs money to buy peer reviewed articles and many schools cost a lot of money. Also more financially stable people may have many computers/phones/tablets in comparison to others. A large disadvantage comes with lack of availability of information. According to Light and Luckin “Social justice is the formal expression of the feeling that the world does not treat all people fairly and society should be made fairer (p.2).” Fewer resources take the convenience out of learning. Therefore people who do not have easy access to education and information feel disadvantaged.

One application that addresses this education injustice is foursquare books. Foursquare books do a great job of pulling resources so that many are available in one place. According to Huff Post’s article “10 Mobile Apps for Social Good” the app uses Literary Manhattan’s database of libraries, bookstores, libraries, bookstores, publishing house, literary themed bars, restaurants, hotels, and apartments. It uses over 300 locations to gain resources (2015, p.1). If you would like to see the other apps for social good, click Here.

The application seams to incorporate different themes that Light and Luckin highlight to address this social justice. The largest way that the App addresses social injustice is through Technology-Enhanced Learning. Light and Luckin describe this as “the way in which it [technology] can be used to enable more people to communicate, socialize, join in debates and play a greater role in society (p.5).” Foursquare Books certainly uses Technology-Enhanced Learning because it gives access to so much information. This allows people to educate themselves, allowing them to take part in higher quality discussions. An example of what the website version of the app looks like can be seen below.

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 8.09.05 PM

Stanziani, Sabrina. (2015, March 5). “Foursquare App.” Screenshot.

The app is also connected to social media, relating to Light and Luckins description of using technology to socialize and communicate. Light and Luckin discuss a shift from a “freedom from’, or emancipation, and ‘freedom to’, or the empowerment of individuals with different needs and desires.” In this case Foursquare Books certainly aids in helping this newly revamped approach to social justice. This is because it helps to empower people by making books and information easily accessible. The app also allows for fun interactive features such as sending birthday books, which is exemplified below.

 Play Ink. (2012, July 29). “About Happy Birthday Book.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdIoxU9DYNI

In order to access the books, Foursquare Books uses geolocation as well as social media. The privacy issue with geolocation is best exemplified in the article “How hard should it be for cops to track your location? A new lawsuit revives the debate.” This article describes a lawsuit against the Florida police department over privacy. The issue was “over a controversial surveillance technology that, they say, improperly lets authorities track the movements of thousands of cellphone users without a warrant. (2014, p.1).” Because this app needs access to GPS, some may see it as a privacy concern.

In the aspects that “Why mobile Web accessibility matters – best practices to make your mobile site accessible” discusses, the site is generally easily accessible. The site is easy to read and has straightforward links and bottoms. Although I am not sure if the books incorporate aspects like zooming in the actual texts themselves, the app seems simple enough for most to navigate efficiently.

Fung, Brian. (2014, June 3). “How hard should it be for cops to track your location?” Washington Post.

 

Light, Ann and Rosemary Luckin. (2008). “Designing for Social Justice: People, Technology and Learning.” Report for Futurelab.

 

Play Ink. (2012, July 29). “About Happy Birthday Book.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdIoxU9DYNI

 

Soederquist. (2012). “Why mobile Web accessibility matters- best practices to make your mobile site accessible” from mobiForge.

 

Stanziani, Sabrina. (2015, March 5). “Foursquare App.” Screenshot.

Tsao, Ciara.( 2015, March 5). “10 Mobile Apps for Social Good.” Huff Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clara-tsao/top-10-mobile-apps-social-good_b_1913126.html

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