[recherche en littératies multiples - multiple literacies]

I recently received an invitation from Diana Masny at the University of Ottawa/Littératies Multiples to attend this amazing conference on multiple literacies. Colin Lankshear will be presenting his research on digital literacy (woo hoo!) from a sociocultural perspective. Check out the blog, Everyday Literacies that Colin writes with Michele Knobel.


[digital literacy and innovative educators]

The latest Innovative Teaching Newsletter has a list of Top Online Educators for 2008! Among the amazing teachers is Matthew Needleman of Creating Lifelong Learners fame. Congrats to Matthew. Thanks too to Matthew for including a couple of my posts in his Digital Storytelling Carnival (#3). He's asking for submissions for the next carnival so send your blog posts here.


[easter cake]

The death-by-chocolate cake I made for our Easter lunch with friends Julian and Della.

yes I'm proud of it! and no, there isn't any left...


[learning on screen - 2.1]

Rachel Isba, University of Manchester Medical School, "Fact and Fiction: The Use of Television Drama in Medical Education"

The gist: use House (the tv show) to help teach med. students about being a *good* doctor
(yay! she gave us an overview of her presentation)

  • What is medical education
  • drama as a teaching tool
  • house study
  • summary and questions
med. education - specifically the undergrad. degree, it's mainly a 1st degree and completed over 5 years, graduation and then students can start as a junior doctor

[bit of a break for tech problems, loss of sound... again I have to guffaw as in a room full of people who use *digital* tools for film/video/sound and teaching...no one seems to find the volume switch]

why use visual media to teach med students - varying exposure to rare or unusual cases, development of "alternative" formats, learning should be fun (I'm thinking of the international virtual medical school)

retention levels - proven that students retain only 5% from lecturing and 10% from reading but discussion group are 50% and practise by doing is 75% retention. In the middle is audio visual and demonstration at 20% and 30% respectively. Enter medical dramas.

*It's been shown that adults remember more if in a heightened state of emotion (interesting).*

Research Questions:
Can students learn from an episode of House and
How much do students retain?

Rachel says she believes House to be the most *factually* correct medical drama.

can be done in students' own time
perceived as fun
exposure to unusual or rare cases

poor role models
acceptability (medicine shouldn't be fun when you're learning it)
misinformation (you can't actually shock a flatline, it won't work)

Drama is a valuable educational tool but more research needs to be done.

Question: Are the graphics useful?
Answer: in House they're not far off and sometimes the close-ups of cells are quite helpful and accurate

Question: Do you use House on it's own or do you embed it into your lessons?
Answer: both ways are possible

Dr. Chris Willmott, University of Leicester, "Sharing the Vision: Exploiting Web 2.0 technologies in promoting the use of multimedia in bioethics education"
Central thesis - web 2.0 technologies are useful for sharing and using information

Stem Cell Research: educational south park video (Kenny Dies)

Advantages of using blog service:
don't need to know any HTML (but gosh it's soooo much better if you do!)
range of off the self style sheets
built-in facilities to search (by tags, categories and reader-selected keywords)
built in site stats and tracking (but this is easy to add using google analytics or sitemeter etc...)
high visibility in google searchers
it's free

check out the bioethics bytes blog (with a delicious feed!)

conscious decision to have all different kinds of posts with video, documentary etc...and posts which engage with "academic literature" (like this post here on transgenics)

but how to get useful online videos?
bbc iplayer - short life span
streamed news footage - in perpetuity but platform dependent
Newsfilm Online (live from May 2008?)
youtube, google video - provenance of material, is it ok to recommend it if you didn't post it (given that "ethics" is in the blog title), is it ok to embed it if you didn't post it (yes if the source code is provided)
bespoke videos - student work

conclusions: TRILT is an excellent database and web 2.0 technologies are idea for teaching bioethics

"User Generated content - Triple L Project," Dr. Jan T. Goldschmeding

TRIPLE L - about live events, learning objects and learning environments

content - captured lectures

(arg battery dying and the are no plugs anywhere...)

[learning on screen - day 2]

1st speaker of the day: Paul Maidment, BBC Worldwide, BBC Motion Gallery

check out: https://jisc.bbcmotiongallery.com (but this is the corporate site although there is a 30 day free trial), the accessible version is here.

(nb: am struck again how un-googleable some of these speakers are...)

One of the pros of using the bbc motion gallery is the ability to view a video (which are tagged with key words but the tags are more or a taxonomy rather than folksonomy as it is the bbc who ass the "search related keywords") and then choose the key words which allows an "intuitive" way to search.

Interesting is the ability to choose the "inspiration" link which provides a *concept randomiser* "spawning new keywords as fast as you can click."

500 new BBC clips added each month, feedback from establishments to dictate future content addtions, more content collections to be added each quarter, including both broadcast and niche archives, showcasing of student work, competition to encourage students to creatively use BBC material (winning entries will appear on BBC tv)

Professor Sean Street, Bournemouth University speaking about Online Access to the Archives of Independent Radio

Challenge: how to make available radio archives: radio.bufvc.ac.uk

(just tried to access the site but, sadly, my athens account doesn't give me access...so is this really accessible?)

We're being shown a radio documentary on Albert Pierrepoint called "The Hangman." Though a sound piece they're using windowms media player and have the image randomization turned on so we're all feeling slightly hypnotised.

Sean decides to show us how the search function works on this radio archive and decides to search for "suicide"..funnily enough: "no clips match your terms." The archive is still under construction. What is available is Brodsky and James Stewart, The Glen Miller Story (with some typos but we're told "it's a work in progress"). The idea of making independent radio clips available

The problem: the digitisation of clips. sticky-tape syndrome, some take was left to oxidise and that means part of the tape would be unreadable. The British Library figured out a way to *bake* the clips which could then be played ONCE and digitised then, if not the clips would be lost. This is restoration as well as access.

Nipan J. Maniar, head of advanced interactive multimedia research group (what a great job title!) at Uni. of Portsmouth. He's talking about the university's use of streaming media.

  • there are security issues, DRM
  • right now the database has to be updated manually so out of 3000 uploads only 380 are available
  • available in different kinds of quality because "bandwidth is not an issue" hrm...I think it's a huge issue in this country, some parts don't even have the possibility of broadband (lack of providers or inadequate lines etc..)
  • they track the usage of any media that *leaves* portsmouth
  • how to combine the teaching with the showing of streaming video? it shouldn't be a case of spectatorship but should be interactive
  • look at www.lifesign.ac.uk and stream.port.ac.uk but nanonet.org.uk seems to have a really useful tool that allows people to upload ppts and video so on one side of the screen there is an image (ppt or page of text) and on the other side of the screen is a video of a lecture or presentation.

Here is a sample of Nipan using streaming media in his lectures:

  • One stop media shop

  • securing media
  • http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif
  • log usage

  • tools for teachers - helpful way of encouraging/enabling academics' independency
    access to streaming media server

  • "it is good to give academics some weapons to make media interesting"

Nipan's idea to have educational media online for people to download as and when (like any other kind of video store but online and for educational media): www.sourcelearn.com.

Chris Lane: "Presentation of DVD player/text commentary software (DPTCS)

This seems to be an idea that allows DVD content to be re-edited and integrated with other media such as text etc...

as teachers, we are moving from film educators to film makers, enacting while teaching

why is more sohpisticated DVD control important - prepare a teaching presentation, embed production in student learning

There is a really great idea - add GIS information to films so that students can literally track not only the shots but how the events/timeline unfold - the actual physicality of the more ephemeral film.

They have also created a massive database of their films that means all film files are searchable by character (how many shots and types of shots, close up etc...), by mood, by lighting...a major taxonomy behind each film but how great a resource would this be in any classroom?

We've just been shown a little clip of how users can add commentary to a dvd: AMAZING! I wish I'd had this software for my thesis. It means I would have been able to annoted web fictions with my different points of view. The clip we've been shown is a "traditional" reading of Vertigo, then a commentary employing theories of the male gaze and finally a third commentary with suggests a feminist interpretation.

But, right now this software seems only available for DVDs.


[learning on screen - part quatre]

"How to Write and the Question: Is it Still Necessary to 'Write'?"
Neil Rose, Sonic Arts Lecturer at Plymouth College of Art and Design (his myspace page)

"Writing is important but putting pen to paper seems not so..."

What is Audio Writing? - radio documentary, radio play (The Archers), more examples in the electro-acoustic (think K. Norman, J. Cardiff etc...)

Although audio writing comes out of a history it is still difficult to assess.

How to quote in audio? What are the quotation marks? Having another voice say the quote?

Problem with assessment - students never really know how their grade is broken down?
Relies on exploring technique and process, most film art, fine art and sound students work with concept and the amount of work (and time) required to create the artefact may not be proportional across disciplines.

To assess fairly: skim reading no longer applies, would increase marking time (so lecturers would need more time), are lecturers really equipped to mark this work - do they *know* the media techniques?

If we can use audio work as a viable outcome then we can learn and figure out how to assess it.

[learning on screen - part trois]

We've had a little break (yummy biscuits not so yummy instant "coffee") and I'm now going to be reviewing Seven Steps to ICT Integration. Now it's time for Tony Grace (University of Paisley) to tell us about "Visualising and Producing the World of Sociology."

What the publishers say:
World of Sociology is a comprehensive, subject-specific guide to the concepts, theories, discoveries, developments and pioneers related to the field of sociology. Coverage includes approximately 1,250 alphabetically arranged topical essays, definitions and biographies, intelligently organized and written in clear, concise and easy-to-understand language.
There is no video clip available though...

Design of the DVD:
  • Wide interest of topic
  • Exciting teaching interchanges
  • Angela McRobbie's Seminar
  • Working with Sociology

"You're no going down a one way street!" (nb that's not a typo but a Glaswegian's view of the job potentials with a soc. degree)

Participatory Production - some ways
Strong working relationship
Response to contributors

Arg: "people have short attention spans...particularly *the younger people.*" This sounds a bit too much like the digital natives/digital immigrants binary. I think the case is that all learners (regardless of age) have different learning styles but probably all learners just want something *engaging.* I know I do.

While we watch an extract of the video I find myself performing some sociological investigations. Glancing around the lecture theater...I see only white faces and a lot of white hair and bald heads...there are a few women but def. the minority (at least in this session). I wonder what the awards banquet will look like.

[learning on screen - part deux]

Another interesting session led by Sarah Jeans, University College for the Creative Arts - Farnham

(have been searching for links to all the speakers but oddly they aren't googleable...weird)

  • the blending of industry and academia - why is it important
  • challenging, current industry debates, fit for purpose and inclusive experience
  • as an educational institute what do they offer a practising professional and how do they keep them engaged
  • the student experience - raising expectations, first hand knowledge of trials and tribulations, current debates, integrating practise
  • what some students say: "as he was particularly critical, people were put on the spot, and pushed to a higher level." "Not everyone wants to make the same type of style of film. As a result a lot of the film could potentially be a bit samey and nothing would be produced that was groundbreaking or very different..." (students commenting on Paul Watson's role in the classroom)
  • difficulties for industry people coming into edu: scheduling, language, priorities, methods etc...

[learning on screen - york 2008]

Yay the National Science Learning Centre in York has wifi...and it's working!

I'll be blogging throughout the two-day conference when things of interest arise.

Simon Campbell-Jones, former Editor Horizon
BBC Horizon - History of a Science Television Programme

  • importance of beginnings
  • how do you fill 50minutes of lecture...without being boring when science is basically *boring* (at least in the mid 60s)
  • "medicine is not a science"
  • showed an early clip from Horizon dealing with "continental drift" (for all you geologists out there) - this programme led to further programmes on plate techtonics
  • interestingly, Simon says he had to first understand the geology before being able to make a film about it, conceptual learning
  • Horizon did the first test-tube baby film, first "Whisper from Space," first film on absetosis, first programme on hot-blooded dinosaurs and first film on aids but these were not just educational films but these were dramatic and visual
  • need to challenge ideas
  • question on why people *hate* maths - because it's taught like *gospel,* about abstract ideas because "2 and 3 make 5." Interesting clip of video of a teacher asking a little girl (looks about 6) to add 63 plus 7 and she writes it out and adds it up, correctly. But, when asked why the number 7 is placed under the number 3 and not under the number 6, the little girl, after some thought, explained "that's how my teacher does it."
  • "explanation, interpretation, application, implication...."
  • every observation is like a detective story, science (and learning in general) should be exciting

[candy + code @ the ICA]

Shamefully I arrived home quite late lastnight and then had to pack for today's trip up to York (Inanimate Alice is up for a Learning on Screen Award and the Faculty of Humanities is paying for me to go up there AND enjoy the 2-day conference!)...so I didn't really have *time* to blog. Is that a better excuse than the dog ate my blog post?

I'll catch up and post all the notes I made on the three incredible artists: Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, Dr Barbara Rauch and Nicola Naismith? They were all working on different things yet there were loads of crossovers. I was able to ask a few questions too during the final panel session but amazingly, we ended up going over and we had to be kicked out into the ICA bar (darn!). :)

I also want to *shout out* to Helen Sloan director of SCAN who is interested in social media and mapping business networks!

Thanks to Dr. Jane Harris for organising the event and to Lucy for all her help e-mailing updates and organising ppts etc...

Hopfully the National Science Learning Centre will have wireless...


[candy + code at the ICA, London]

On Monday night I'm going to have the pleasure of listening to three female [digital] artists who interestingly incorporate textiles/textures into their work which seem to (at least to me) question the role of code/coding (among other things). A kind of digital/textural semiotics perhaps? My job, after their presentations, is to ask them *riveting* questions. Hrm...anyone out there in the blogosphere have any questions they'd like to put to Rachel Beth Egenhoefer, Dr Barbara Rauch or Nicola Naismith? I won't be the only one asking questions though. Dr Jane Harris, Director of TFRG, and Helen Sloan, Director of SCAN will have their interviewing caps on too.

This what the ICA says about the event:


[assessing digital/new literacies]

I'm still trying to craft a pedagogically-sound rubric for the assessment of digital narratives (ones undergraduate students create) and am finding it really tricky. Bryan Alexander has been updating his finds on web 2.0 storytelling and education and he also wonders whether there are any rubrics out there tackling both the medium and the content. Since I originally blogged about this, I have come across interesting resources but my latest find is from Sheila Webber at Information Literacy. She shares with us a fantastic resource for developing a module on information literacy. It sounds somewhat similar to the Education Pack I've made for teaching Inanimate Alice.

"there are five 'chapters' with titles like "Learning Theories and Information Literacy" which provide summaries of some theories and issues, and short reading lists. There are also supporting documents, including an example assessment briefing and mark sheet for an assignment "Design and prepare a training event to develop information literacy skills."

Though this resource by Barbara Chivers is aimed at those teaching librarians, I'm sure all educators will find cross-overs and aspects they can use in other learning environments.

It might be more interesting to read Chivers' IT Literacy pack alongside Lynne Spichiger
website assessment. (via Bryan Alexander) Lynne says:

"In developing a website that depicts a controversial subject from a variety of perspectives, we wondered if visitors to the site would be interested in exploring each of the perspectives, or if they would be partial to just one or two perspectives. Would they be partial to the European viewpoint that has predominated for hundreds of years, or would they explore competing views? Although we do not know the backgrounds of our visitors, we do know something about their behavior on the site:

Visitors to the attack scene viewed each culture's tab in roughly equal numbers.
Most of the visitors who viewed each of the non-English cultural tabs, also viewed the English tab: 1,211 of the 1,367 who viewed the French tab viewed the English tab; 1,104 of the 1,272 who viewed the Kanienkehaka tab also viewed the English tab; 997 of the 1,174 who viewed the Wendat tab also viewed the English tab; 942 of the 1,068 who viewed the Wobanakiak tab also viewed the English tab.
866 visitors viewed all of the cultural tabs.
This data suggests that many of the visitors to the website were indeed open to viewing multiple perspectives. But did they learn anything about the event and its competing viewpoints, and did they change in any way as a result of their experience?"

Read the case-study here and see the site in question here.

Don't know your learning style or want students to figure out theirs? Have a go at testing yourself at VARK. After doing the test myself, VARK rightly concluded that I'm a multimodal learner though I didn't realise I heavily favour kinesthetic learning...hrmm...will give it a think:

Your scores were:

Visual: 10
Aural: 6
Read/Write: 5
Kinesthetic: 12

You have a multimodal (VARK) learning preference.


[auditory learning styles and education]

I've been working with a small group of teachers (key stage 3) to design lesson plans that include various types of learners and learning styles. The idea of having students tell stories (i.e. re-tell what they've learnt) seems to play a key role in deep learning. Or, in Dawn Hogue's words, this kind of engagement can push students' learning "up the taxonomy."

Judie Haynes at Everything ESL says auditory learners find these tactics useful:

  • interviewing
  • debating
  • participating on a panel
  • giving oral reports
  • participating in oral discussions of written material

Then I see over on Cool Cat Teacher Blog a video of students *re-telling* what they've learnt in history class. As Cool Cat Teach. says, if students can't tell a story of what they've learnt, maybe they didn't understand the lesson.

NB look at Lynn Schultz's "new" version of Bloom's taxonomy:


[JP Rangaswami on web 2.0, social networking + business]

I've just been watching Dan Farber (ZDNet editor-in-chief) interview JP Rangaswami. Rangaswarmi talks about BT and the role of new media and open source. Some interesting quotes:

"In fact if you look at what I’m doing with Facebook, what I’m really achieving, what any of us who wants to use it in an enterprise environment achieves, is to say that you’ve taken what happened at the water cooler or at the coffee shop and made it persistent, made it shareable, made it teachable, made it learnable. That’s a huge win because we’ve spent years talking about the value of the water cooler conversations, of the coffee shops, of the more amorphous softer discussions. Now we have the ability to actually understand what these relationships are, how information and decision making migrates horizontally, laterally through an organization, rather than through the published hierarchies, how people really work, and what people do as part of that work."

and, BT is no longer simply a telecoms company but (here's a mouthful):
"a platform based software driven networked IT services company."

Interestingly Dan Farber asks:
"Now as part of that environment that you’re talking about, the software as a service and exposing the assets to the customer and letting them build upon it, obviously that might deal to some extent with the web 2.0 type technologies, how are you investing in those types of approaches?"

and Rangaswami responds:
"Well as you would expect, I don’t think I could have joined a firm that didn’t believe in collaborative tools and techniques and at BT it’s pretty much part of our DNA. Collaboration is right at the heart of what we do, we have very very large internal use of blogs and wikis, we have considerable use of IM techniques. We also have a growing ability for ourselves to be able use various forms of, I mean if you look at facebook, I think we’re probably up to 6000 people just on the visible BT."

But does social media always work for business? No, not in any generic way, businesses need to use aspects of social media that work for them, their brand and their ethos. The moral of the story:
"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that do not work."

The video of the talk is here. The transcript here and Dan Faber's blog post here.


[business + social media = search engine optimization]]

Reading Blogstorm and I see Patrick Altoft talking about the possibility of SEO resistant searches. In other words, searches can be powered by what Altoft calls the "social graph" but that doesn't mean the death of SEO, just a different kind of instantiation:

"Imagine how hard it would be for a commercial site to get high rankings on a search engine powered by the social graph. The marketing department probably wouldn’t have a clue where to start and are likely to be labelled a spammer at the first social network they target. The only way for a commercial site to see good results would be to hire a social media consultant / SEO to create a long term social media strategy for them.

Search can’t ever be SEO resistant because any signal can be manipulated - a good SEO consultant will figure out what the search engine needs to rank a site highly and give it to them. No tricks just give the search engines what they want whether it’s links, keywords, bookmarks, RSS subscribers or anything else."

Tyler Banfield, one of Altoft's readers draws our attention to a post by Vanessa Fox where she sums up her view of SEO rather well:

"The bottom line is this. Yes, if you want your customers to find you using search, then you have to understand search engine optimization. And you should want your customers to find you using search because search is the entry point on the web. But if you are operating an online business, you absolutely should understand online marketing. I don’t understand people who say it should all just work and they should be able to concentrate on their core business. (Looking at this from a search engine’s perspective, however, I think they should and certainly they are working on ways to make sure it all just works, because it’s in their best interest to provide searchers the best content on the web, whether the owners of that content understand SEO or not, but that doesn’t negate the point.)

If you have an offline business, you have to understand offline marketing and customer engagement. If you are opening new stores and your core skill set is painting, you will likely hire others for other aspects of your business: determining the best location for the store, branding and advertising, merchandising. You will probably ensure your store is attractive, both inside and outside. You’ll arrange merchandise on your shelves so that people know where to find stuff and can easily reach it. You’ll make your aisles wide enough for carts.

You wouldn’t open your paint store with no sign and a broken door in a back alley that had a brick wall blocking the road. Why would you do the same on the internet and then blame Google?"

The cool image is from RagePank.


[shameless ego boost!]

Catching up on some blog reading today and happily found myself reading Ruth Page's excellent Digital Narratives blog... her most recent post couldn't have been better (for me anyway!)

Ruth hasn't blogged for a while as she's been super busy and
she tells us a few things that formed part of her hectic schedule...including me:

"...and then examining a PhD (which was an absolute pleasure and successful for the candidate - well done

ahhhh. basking in some good vibes.

Thanks Ruth!

[grading digital storytelling]

For ages now I've been on the hunt for some rubrics geared towards grading digital stories...I mean, how do we mark for both narrative (and all the aspects including point of view, plot, character, language etc...) AND the digital medium (images used, html, sound, user-interaction etc...). Bryan Alexander has been keeping track of web 2.0 storytelling and education and he also wonders whether there are any rubrics out there tackling both the medium and the content. I've found Meg Ormiston's rubrics at tech teachers and another rubric at the bottom of the "Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling" page. The latter is based on rubrics found here, Dr. Helen Barrett's work and Scott County, Kentucky Schools.

Does anyone know of any more?