[join nlab]

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The world of technology moves quickly. Choose to be on the cusp of new narrative and technological developments by joining the NLab Network. You will have the opportunity to attend four seminars geared to generating partnerships between small creative businesses and authors, poets, designers, and other creators. Creativity is the key for these four seminars and membership is free of charge. Find out more at http://www.narrativelab.org/.

All seminars are hosted by the new Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, Leicester, and include a keynote speaker, panel discussions, and workshops.

Mandy Rose: Broadcasting & Publishing, Friday, 31st March 2006
Mandy Rose is editor of New Media for BBC Wales. She co-produced the BBC 2 documentary Video Nation before moving to Wales in 2001. The New Media Department produces websites and interactive television for Wales - www.bbc.co.uk/wales and www.bbc.co.uk/cymru and for the UK - www.bbc.co.uk/voices with a focus on public participation. It has pioneered digital storytelling in the UK through the Capture Wales project.

Suw Charman: Blogs, Communities, and Social Software, Tuesday, 25th April 2006
Suw Charman is blog consultant, journalist and author and has written for The Guardian, BBC Wales and the Melody Maker. She also blogs at Strange Attractor and HeardSaid, writes about Palm smartphones at All About Palm, and co-hosts The Movie Show podcast.

Ernest W. Adams: Games, Monday, 22nd May 2006
Ernest W. Adams is an independent game design consultant. He co-founded the International Game Developers Association, writes his Designer's Notebook column for Gamasutra, gives workshops and lectures, writes books on game design, and has 17 years’ experience in the game industry.

Ross Parry: Tourism and Heritage, Thursday, 29th June 2006
Ross Parry is Programme Director for the University of Leicester’s campus-based Museum Studies programmes. His research is in the area of ‘digital heritage’. Crossing the fields of history, art history, architecture, history of science and new media studies, Ross is interested in the relationship between new technology (including pre-digital technology) and the ways memory institutions, such as museums, manage information and display knowledge.

International Conference – July 2006
Network Members will also be invited to the NLab National conference planned for July 2006.

Email Jess Laccetti, jess@narrativelab.org, with the following information:
* how membership of NLab would contribute to your professional development
* your name, address, email, url, and artform / profession.

Please note that priority will be given to applicants from the East
Midlands, but if you live outside the region do still apply because we may
need your skills in the mix.

Deadline for applications: 1st March 2006
Notification of decision: 13th March 2006

NLab Team
NLab is managed by a team of writers and researchers at De Montfort University:
•Project Director: Professor Sue Thomas
•Project Manager: Gavin Stewart
•Research Assistant: Jessica Laccetti
•Consultant: Kate Pullinger

NLab is affiliated to the Online MA in Creative Writing & New Media - http://www.dmu.ac.uk/faculties/humanities/pg/ma/cwnm.jsp - and the PgDip in Publishing and New Media - http://www.dmu.ac.uk/faculties/humanities/pg/pgd/publishing05.jsp.
NLab was created with funding to De Montfort University from HEIF 2. HEIF 2 is a partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry/Office
of Science and Technology (DTI/OST), HEFCE, and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Funds are awarded to support universities and
colleges in their third stream engagement with business and community partners, increasing their capability to respond to the needs of business,
public services and the wider community, and to transfer knowledge.

Email info@narrativelab.org to join our mailing list.

[my office]

Proof I do work....(mum!):
my desk in clephanmy desk in clephan


[institute of creative technologies]

The next IOCT (where I'm based) seminar will take place on Tuesday 21st February at 5 pm in Clephan 3.03. It will be given by Ted Nelson, of the Oxford Internet Institute, who will speak about his 'Floating World' project.


[new media literacy?]

I guess I should be happy that finally the question of new media and literacy has made it to a mainstream(ish) broadsheet. I suppose it is good that The Times has published an article on Sony's latest technological endeavour: the Sony Reader. I also imagine that with the news of this new-fangled reading device people will become more accustomed to technology as a tool for literacy. (As classroom teachers have long known!). What I shouldn't find surprising is the choice of vocabulary used to describe this au courant gadget. I suspect the words used by reporters Amanda Andrews and Leo Lewis is an attempt to ease the technophobic reader into a pro-technology state. After all, the Sony Reader is about the size of a dvd box, the "electronic ink" has been improved to look closer to "the real thing," the virtual pages are quicker to "turn," and the "device has no internal illumination, which means that it needs to be read in the same light as a normal book, and so does not strain the eyes." Sony too, says the Reader has "paper-like legibility" and is "as small as a paperback." It's a "digital book that's actually a pleasure to read. Now there's a novel idea." Puns aside, the most important aspect of the definitive innovation, at least according to Tak Sugiyama, the man in charge of the project, is it's ability to offer "the same emotional attachment as books." Sounds a bit like Electronic Arts' founding question: "Can Computers Make You Cry?" I think new technology will only become mainstream when we stop trying to make it like old technology.



Tomorrow I'll be teaching my first seminar at DMU - MEDS 1000: Introduction to Media, Culture and Society. I'm going to use group work to stimulate discussion. I've also got loads of pretty slides, a film (thanks to the course director!), and a handout. Hopefully all learners - visual, kinesthetic, auditory - will enjoy the session.


[postgraduates who teach]

duh! On Thursday (Jan. 26) I'll be teaching my first seminar at DMU. So, I'm taking the postgrads who teach course and Friday was our first lesson. After covering interesting topics about the different kinds of learners we might have the pleasure of teaching (I was teacher's pet with my wizzy words: kinesthetic, aural, and visual learners!), we were able to discuss how we each thought we learned best. At the end of 8 hours of discussion which totally focussed on the variety of learners able and disabled (dyslexia, adhd, aspergers, etc...) out there, in the final 5 minutes we were given a task: "prepare a presentation for Monday." As you can imagine I was already thinking about colourful powerpoint presentations, overheads, handouts, anything *fun* and anything to reach all kinds of learners. Well, there's always one in the class isn't there? A guy who said his goal was to become the next Ironman says: "so, I can just stand there and talk then?" 'Nuff said.



Who says you don't make your own history. Check out this quote I found close to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.



On the way back from South Africa we stopped in Washington for the weekend. It is a city devoted to dead people. Statues and pillars and obelisks and chaples and buildings devoted to dead (mostly) white guys (oh ya, one woman). Apparently, Washington's primary industry, after the federal government, is tourism. That's a funny one as when we were there, early Jan. (i.e. holiday season), there was no one. We had an action packed weekend though and enjoyed a (bumpy) journey on a red trolley. Some of the sights we saw (and yeah, even walked around!) were:

●Union Station ●U.S. Capitol/Supreme Court, ●Air and Space Museum/Museum of the American Indian, ●Jefferson Memorial, ●FDR Memorial, ●Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Memorial/Korean Memorial/WWII Memorial (Transfer to Arlington Cemetery Shuttle), ●Museum of American History/Washington Monument, ●Museum of Natural History/National Archives, ●Washington Welcome Center (Transfer Station - Mall/National Cathedral), ●White House Visitors Center, ●International Spy Museum.

library of congresswashington tubesmithsonian castlearchive building


[for whom the bell tolls]

Yup. So another year has passed. I think I'd rather have a birthday in July, not too early, not too late. What WERE my parents thinking. Well, they do say you're as old as you feel - in that case I think I'll always be 18!

A Birthday
Christina Georgina Rossetti
My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.


[returning from south africa]

I've recently returned from a wonderfully insightful and inspiring journey to South Africa. I already miss the sun, sea, and sand, but welcome leaving the extreme and obvious poverty. What an experience.

This is an image of the Cape of Good Hope - the most south western point of Africa. An amazingly beautiful landscape.