31.10.08

[transdisciplinarity and knowledge cartographies]

As I discuss research projects, aims and future developments with IOCT researchers and affiliates, I'm realising more and more that we're often talking about the same (or at least similar) things though we're using a different language to describe our systems and processes. A recent paper by Josianne Basque, Gilbert Paquette, Beatrice Pudelko and Michel Leonard on "Collaborative Knowledge" suggests the use of a mapping tool as a way of tracing where knowledges crossover and supports the "externalising" of knowledge. Although this tool (MOT) is primarly discussed in terms of sharing knowledge between experts and novices, something like this visual mapping would be useful in the sharing of knowledges between disicplines too.



There are loads more interesting papers in the edited collection Knowledge Cartography: Software Tools and Mapping Techniques including ones that focus on knowledge mapping and curriculum development.








28.10.08

[attack racism]

Apparently "Margaret Wente is one of Canada's leading columnists." Apparently "she provokes heated debate with her views... Fine. I think we'd agree that heated debate and discussion are central to the sharing and deepening of knowledge. However, read these statements: "it is simply not permissible to say that aboriginal culture was less evolved than European culture or Chinese culture – even though it's true" and "The fact that North American cultures never evolved further."

I think most open-minded people would agree that there are some huge (unfounded) generalisations being made here. Wente begins her "article" with a nod towards the recent racist comments made by Dick Pound (International Olympic City) [he said: "We must not forget that 400 years ago, Canada was a land of savages, with scarcely 10,000 inhabitants of European origin, while in China, we're talking about a 5,000-year-old civilization."]. While Wente admits that Pound's remarks were "stupid" she explains why, not simply because his line is hugely offensive, but importantly because "The last thing they [B.C. government and VANOC] want is for native protests to
"steal the spotlight. Comments about “savages,” in whatever language, are not helpful." Nice. So basically, say what you like, offend whom you like, as long as business can carry on as planned.

As Nick Reo at Turtle Talk notes, "her conclusions are poorly founded, contradictory, and backward-ic."

Wente attempts to support her views by referencing an "academic" text about to be published by McGill-Queenh's University Press called Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry (I won't add a link as they really shouldn't get any more publicity - plus, since when is a culture an industry?). In this book, Wente explains that the authors

"knoc[k] the stuffing out of the prevailing mythology that surrounds the history of first peoples. That mythology holds that aboriginal culture was equal or superior to European culture. At the time of contact, North America was occupied by a race of gentle pastoralists with their own science, their own medicine and their own oral history that was every bit as rich as Europe's.

The truth is different. North American native peoples had a neolithic culture based on subsistence living and small kinship groups. They had not developed broader laws or institutions, a written language, evidence-based science, mathematics or advanced technologies. The kinship groups in which they lived were very small, simply organized and not very productive. Other kinship groups were regarded as enemies, and the homicide rate was probably rather high. Until about 30 years ago, the anthropological term for this developmental stage was 'savagery.'"

and

"Today, “traditional knowledge,” which generally resides among the elders, is sought after by governments, studied in universities around the world, and recognized in environmental assessment processes. But Ms. Widdowson says most of it is useless – a heap of vague beliefs and opinions that can't be verified or tested. Why have the muskoxen drifted west? Because, according to the elders, the animals were “following the people because they missed them and wanted their company.”

The references in the book by Widdowson and Howard also cannot be taken at face-value, as substantiation of their wild views because also those academics and their ideas have been "distorted, taken out of context, and at times used to support conclusions that are diametrically opposed to our own [those of us who have been writing on indigenous oppression and self determination] perspectives." As Deborah Simmons further explains:

"In short, Widdowson and Howard have the temerity to argue that indigenous societies are a throwback to an anachronistic Neolithic stage of social history. In the face of rational modernisation, indigenous people are inherently inferior and constituted by lack: they are illiterate, dysfunctional, dependent and corrupt. The population explosion in their communities is causing serious problems.

Notwithstanding their expanding population, according to Widdowson and Howard they do not qualify for nationhood, dispersed as they are in small communities across the continent. Thus self-determination is not an option. The solution for all their “problems” is for indigenous people to submit to the evolutionary nature of history; to recognize the inherent superiority of scientific methods; to relocate from their traditional territories to urban centres; and to become “socialized” (ie. assimilated) into Canadian capitalism. Widdowson and Howard don’t hold out much hope for this solution to be workable in the near term, given “tribal” superstitions and resistance to progressive innovations. Clearly the only logical solution for the present is to cut funding for indigenous organisations and continue what they describe in positive terms as the “warehousing” of indigenous peoples on the margins of Canadian society."

Matthew L.M. Fletcher offers a response:

"First off, broad generalizations about the hundreds and thousands of North American cultures prior to, say, 1492, are utterly worthless, except for persons trying to make a political point. None of the above statements, taken together, is true for any specific group anywhere in the world. I’m from Michigan, as is my family’s communities, and they weren’t so savage. They had enormous agricultural output, even north of the so-called freeze line in mid-Michigan. In fact, these “unproductive” Indians fed the British (later American) fort at Michilimackinac in the 18th and 19th centuries with surplus corn, sqaush, beans, and other veggies."

Though the article is deeply misinformed, unfounded and largerly generalist, scarily, "we can expect it to have a long shelf life and misinform scores of people." Scary too are the myriad of comments to the Globe article that perpetuate and support these kinds of generalisations and misinformation.





26.10.08

[visual literacy periodic table]



Interesting visualisation tool over at visual-literacy.org. I can imagine employing this tool as an educator, as a way of modeling to students how they might go about addressing problems or working through essay development etc... A good exercise might involve asking students to pick two "elements" of the visual literacy periodic table and apply them to the same problem to see which tool works best for the problem and their learning style.

Usefully, when clicking on each element an image appears with an example of the visualisation element. For example, clicking on the RI (Rich Picture) Element brings up:



Similarly, clicking on Tr or Mi elements brings up:



and:




Try it yourself at http://www.visual-literacy.org.





25.10.08

[aboriginal pedagogy and language]

I've just started reading Robert Bringhurst's The Solid Form of Language. A fantastic read and the book itself is a beatiful artifact, all texture and typography, just demanding to be touched.The image of the book on the left is from phil dokas on flickr. He's done a great job of capturing the texture of the book. "Drop a word in the ocean of meaning and concentric ripples form. To define a single word means to try to catch those ripples. No one’s hands are fast enough." ... poet, typographer and linguist Robert Bringhurst presents a brief history of writing and a new way of classifying and understanding the relationship between script and meaning.

Beginning with the original relationship between a language and its written script, Bringhurst takes us on a history of reading and writing that begins with the interpretation of animal tracks and fast-forwards up to the typographical abundance of more recent times. The first four sections of the essay describe the earliest creation of scripts, their movement across the globe and the typographic developments within and across languages.

In the fifth and final section of the essay, Bringhurst introduces his system of classifying scripts. Placing four established categories of written language – semographic, syllabic, alphabetic and prosodic – on a wheel adjacent to one another, he uses the location, size and shape of points on the wheel to show the degree to which individual world languages incorporate these aspects of recorded meaning. Bringhurst’s system is based on an appreciation that indeed no one’s hands are fast enough and that no single script adheres to or can be understood within the confines of a single method of transcription."

As I'm reading this book on typographic and linguistic developments I also have learnt that First Nations peoples of Manitoba (I wonder if this is true for all First Nations peoples?) prefer to use language as their main identifier:

For me this seems to highlight the importance of an oral culture and the tradition of passing on history, stories, teachings - a kind of "collective memory" that wouldn't get passed on if there wasn't the knowledge of language.


Image above of "Plains Cree Inscription" at the Forks Park in Winnipeg, found on wikipedia.





24.10.08

[enactive cinema with pia tikka @ the ioct]


From the IOCT blog:

"PIA TIKKA

Enactive Cinema
The Future of Creative Technologies
IOCT Lab
24th October 2008, 4.30pm

***

A New Concept in Cinema

The Enactive Cinema project introduces a novel kind of interactive cinema genre, which is described as enactive cinema:

How the narrative unfolds, and how rhythm and soundscape emerge, depend on how the spectator experiences the emotional dynamics between the characters. Enactive cinema emphasizes unconscious interaction between the cinema spectator and the cinema. Instead of the spectator directly manipulating the narrative, its unfolding is affected by the spectator’s emotional participation. The project suggests that unconscious and conscious experience interact in an inseparable and complex manner. The cinema experience is more than seeing and hearing. It is about sensing and re-living of one's own experience in what happens to the 'others'. This is, ENACTIVE CINEMA.



  • Wanted to reinterpret Eisenstein's dynamic organic film theory of montage
  • how to capture the dynamic nature of his theories in today's new media
  • so used parachronic reading which is outside of time, recurise: linearity of historical time as put into brackets, or substituted by recursive dynamics of experience, a nowness involving events in a spiral manner.
  • biomechanics: early Eisenstein and montage of attractions (1923)
  • ecstasy : holistic experience auditory and visual
  • She jumps over the other people important to Eisenstein - hegel, darwinism, karl marx, vygotsky, alexander bogdanov (political rival of Lenin, retired himself from political scen and in 1928 he died but founded "techtology"

"unifying all social, biological and physical sciences, by considering them as systems of relationships, and by seeking the organizational principles that underly all systems. His work "Tektology: Universal Organization Science", finished by the early 1920s, anticipated many of the ideas that were popularized later by Norbert Wiener in Cybernetics and Ludwig von Bertalanffy in the General Systems Theory. There are suggestions that both Wiener and von Bertalanffy might have read the German translation of Tektology which was published in 1928. In Russia, Lenin (and later Stalin) considered Bogdanov's natural philosophy an ideological threat to the dialectic materialism and put tectology to sleep. The rediscovery of Bogdanov's tectology occurred only in 1970s."

  • Pia's theoretical background - emotion dynamics, cognitive ecologism (Ulric Neisser), recent neroscientific views of the human mind (Gallese), emmbodied simulation (Gallese), emotions as cognition (Antonio Damasio), homeostasis theory of cinema viewing (Torben Grodal)
  • gallese draws on merleau-ponty: the body is...that strange object...
  • Gallese and george lakoff collabor5ations on embodies role of experience, semantic studies and neuroscience (see this excellent article that i read the other day)
  • toolbox for authoring and describing intersubjective cinematic understanding derived from Theory of Metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999)
  • a way to get a hold of the cinematic experience via the tracking of sensorimotor aspects and spatial dynamics
  • gap between phenomenology and how we describe the experience or gap between the phenomenological and the neurological - how to build a bridge between these
  • embodied metaphors
  • "My goal is to shed light and define novel perspectives especially on the categorization and attribution of emotions within the cinematic narrative. The artistic and scientific outcome is an “intelligent” cinematic system that anticipates and makes inferences about emotional narrative paths suggested by the spectator-participants' bodily actions. "
  • enactive cinema - how the narrative unfolds depends on how the spectator experiences emotional dynamics between the characters

  • dynamic emotion ecology refers to the dynamic interactinon between spectator and psychophysiological states
  • emphasises unconscious interaction between narrative and emotional participation, the invitation to enact is very gentle. 5 chairs invite the spectator to sit down, there are also other biofeedback sensors measuring emotional level etc...
Listening to Pia Tikka's talk i'm wondering what happens with spectators who don't have high or normal functioning mirror neurons (perhaps as has been suggested in the case of autism? And what about gender issues. Some cognitive/neuroscience studies suggest there are gender differences with mirror neurons, deepening the stereotype that women are more empathetic because women's mirror neurons showed signs of stronger stimulation (for one example, see this article - "Gender differences in the human mirror system: a magnetoencephalography study")


Data that was monitored - heart rate, breathing rate, activity monitoring, non-body contact - all of this information can go into a toolbox for authors on how to create a narrative.

Have a look at the following video for an interpretation of Eisenstein's visual "vocabulary"


23.10.08

[breathing earth]

During my presentation yesterday for the Creative Writing & New Media Online Master's students (who met in Leicester f2f for one week) I referred to some interesting narratives that are merging story with geographic information and/or maps. Two projects I referred to were The 21 Steps and a school trip project by Emerson College. In line with my developing interest on the role of geographic information (and the like) in narratives, the following project fits right in - linking cultural narratives (of co2 emissions, births and deaths) with countries. Thanks to a tweet today by @fromthehip aka Ingrid Kopp, I found The Breathing Earth Simulation:


The countries in red (at the time of this screen capture) - US, China and Saudi Arabia - are "currently emmitting 1000 tonnes of CO2." It's also interesting to see how the birth/death rates compare:
Someone dies/is born every:
China: 3.5 seconds/1.8 seconds
Saudi Arabi: 8 minutes/42.7 seconds
US: 12.8 seconds/7.3 seconds

In Canada: 2.1 minutes/1.5 minutes
In the UK: 51.8 seconds/ 48.9 seconds - so in the UK deaths and births seem to be pretty balanced. While Greenland seems to be the country with the slowest death and birth rates: 20 hours/9.8 hours


The project is created by David Bleja.






22.10.08

[writing and publishing panel session]

Chaired by Kate Pullinger, speakers include Sara Lloyd, Michael Bhaskar and Chris Meade.


Chris Meade: "How new media writers do, could and will make their way in the world"

  • How to earn money? No business model.
  • Andy Campbell says: "The ratio of research/theory documents to actual quality work in the field is embarassing."
  • consulting, teaching, writing
  • "Presentation skills can be really useful" - Tim Wright
  • need to be amplified individuals (i think this is from andrea saveri)
  • there are all kinds of webby businesses that new media writers could get into - blogging, args, projects, e-learning
  • think of project i mentioned this morning by the hon brothers, 21 steps geo taagging project and others. dan hon says "there's still a stigma attached to writing for the online world"
  • how to collaborate - showcases, clusters, events, making the case together, spindlers are doing it for themselves
  • Christine Wilks has uplifting quote: "you may find your source/s of income are around the edges of your main area of creative interest. It's an experimental field, so be flexible and inventive, and be prepared to learn, learn, learn - never stop learning."

Sara Lloyd
  • talks about the manifesto she wrote on publishing in the 21st century
  • publishers won't be needed in the future unless they get their act together
  • did this to stir lethargic publishers, start a debate
  • lesson in new media publishing, the journal that officially published the manifesto, allowed sara to publish it independently on her site
  • means there's a value to sharing content
Michael on how Pan MacMillan's the digitalist blog interacts with the world
  • the digitalist blog began as an internal newsletter
  • place to try ideas
  • converse with readers
  • access knowledge of the readers by following links, this is engaging in conversation and enabling a level of transparency
  • "we're not just giving the pan macmillan line on things....using it to sell more books...actually we're trying to make an argument...not a standard bs corporate blog"

[african writing and new media]

(live blogged)

2 presentations on african new media writing

first up - Nur Yaryare of the Sommali Afro European Media Project
  • SAEMP an online community TV station based in Leicester
  • currently piloting the broadcasting of a number of prerecorded channels
  • programmes that are presented range in social health, education, faith, local events, news etc...
  • see www.saemp.org.uk
  • tackles image of arabs are terrorists with the online site and the paper newsletter
  • see www.saemp.org.uk/videos.php for videos and podcasts
2nd up - Anieti Isong, current phd student with Prof. Sue Thomas as supervisor. He is a novelist and his first book is to be published this year

  • see youtube video on kenya - big differences since the use of mobile phones (see kenya's mobile revolution - part 1)
  • huge technological leaps happening in kenya including paying for items using mobile 'phones - "using phones as wallets"
  • what is african writing -goes back to Chinua Achebe who published Things Fall Apart in 1958, father of modern african literature
  • there was the Heinemann African Writers series started in 1962
  • then wole soyinka awarded nobel prize in 1986
  • emerging african writers liks helon habila, chimamanda, helen oyeyemi, pettina gappah, mary watson, toly ogunlesi, brian chikwava, afolabi, binyavanga wainaina, monica nyeko, chika unigwe
  • these writers are willing to experiment: homosexuality, crime, take risks
  • some journals - eclectica, open wide, author-me, story south, g21, in posse review
  • but now african online journals - african writing online, farafina, african writers, new gong, kwani, sentinel, chimurenga
  • key issues: how has the internet influed writing and what do the readers make of this?
  • the reach for online stories is global - everywhere there is an internet connection
  • see great video poem about nigerian going back home after studying in england - cifeozo, "homecoming"
  • blogs as form of storytelling - Diary of a Randy Man: "I woke up in the middle of the night to discover the duvet on the floor. she was lying on her side facing me, her nightie had opened..."
  • Confusednaijagirl - deals with child abuse

[reader 2.0]

Here is some info from my presentation on how I see readers who engage with born digital works.

Links to the web works I mentioned in my presentation:

http://twitter.com/manyvoices
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lynetter/2099009488/in/set-72057594139269787/
http://www.viddler.com/explore/hughgarry/videos/12/97.564/
http://emersoninbeijing.com
http://www.wetellstories.co.uk
http://thewhalehunt.org
http://transition.turbulence.org/Works/dynamo/index.html

Screen shots and the presentation to follow.

[creative writing & new media masters campus week seminars]

Following yesterday's slog, the students get a bit of a break today when they can sit back and listen to a few presentations including one by me on reading multimodal narratives, a panel on african digital literature and Peter Howard on digital poetry.

From the programme:

10.00-11.00 Meet your Reader Dr Jess Laccetti presents a reader�s eye view of new media writing.

11.00-11.30 Break

11.30-12.30 African Writing and New Media
Chair: Professor Sue Thomas
IOCT PhD student and novelist Anietie Isong introduces his research into African Writers and the Internet, and Nur Yaryare of the Somali Afro European Media Project presents his plan for a new media African heritage project in Leicester.

12.30-13.30 Lunch break

13.30-15.00 Writing and Publishing New Media
Chair: Kate Pullinger
Sara Lloyd and Michael Bhaskar, digital editors at Pan Macmillan, discuss Sara�s Book Publisher�s Manifesto for the 21st century, and Chris Meade, former CWNM student and Director of if:book London, presents Digital Livings, a report commissioned by CWNM to assess the potential of new media as a career path for writers.
Preparatory Reading for this session:
Book Publisher’s Manifesto for the 21st century by Sara Lloyd
Digital Livings by Chris Meade

15.00-15.30 Break

15.30-16.30 E-Poetry
This year CWNM offers an E-Poetry workshop for the first time. Tutor Peter Howard presents an introduction to E-Poetry including a selection of his own work.



Read more at the ioct blog.

21.10.08

[creative writing and new media campus week]

This week, four weeks into the Online Masters in New Media and Creative Writing, is an opportunity for all the students to get together and meet each other in real life. Yesterday was their first day, a chance for all to catch an English breath and today they're all hard at work giving presentations. I've had the lucky chance to participate as a second marker on the presentations which have been incredible. As we break for lunch, I'm able to grab a moment of thought to ruminate on the presentations and then after lunch we'll finish with the final two presentations.

This morning I've learned about writers. Not writers in general, but writers, dreams and creators who are very specific entities. Thinking about the presentations is making me reconsider my previous thinking that I might be able to group "writers" and "readers" and individual groups (though of course some may blend between both groups). Based on the the writers/creators this morning, there is no such thing as "writers" but rather "a writer" in a singular and sense unique to each creator. Everyone today has been influenced by different people, occasions, thoughts and feelings. Poignant, for Barrington Salmon, is the role his mother (mother, worker, creator, chef, inspiration) in his poetry and stories. Leo, instead, finds creativity in the work of Rollo May, Daniel Pink, Banksy, Ken Robinson and more.



Melodie Daniels spoke about not liking The Old Man and the Sea, but interestingly she doesn't like it precisely because of Hemingway's gift with language. She, like me, doesn't want to be stuck out on the boat with the old man who was "thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck" (http://www.scribd.com/doc/21616/The-Old-Man-and-the-Sea). Even though Hemingway's language, at least in this story, is "spare and compact," everything is so vivid. Hemingway's language makes the reader feel there, in the boat with Santiago.

"The Old Man and the Sea could have been over a thousand pages long and had every character in the village in it and all the processes of the way they made their living, were born, educated, bore children etc. ...I have tried to do something else....I have tried to eliminate everything necessary to conveying the experience to the reader so that after he or she has read something it will become part of his or her experience and seem actually to have happened."

nb. the image on the right of this post is a scanned in version of Melodie's first poem.

Sukai Bojang is also interested in language but she's focusing more on the oracular version. Recovering folk talks and translating them into English, Sukai is hoping to not only reach a different set of readers, but also to pass on cultural artifacts and help literacy rates in The Gambia. One of her inspirations is Chinua Achebe.

Still to present are Tia Azulay and Jaka ┼Żeleznikar. I'm looking forward to hearing how and if South Africa has had an impact on Tia and her writing. I'm thinking of Andre Brink, J.M. Coetzee, Breyten Breytenbach, Nadine Gordimer, Mongane Wally Serote and and and...

20.10.08

[guest lecture: MEDS 1100 - Media Texts and Representations]

I'm presenting a guest lecture for the Media Texts and Representations module today (Monday, 20 October 2008)!

Welcome to all the students who will be participating.

If you're happy to engage in public, please feel free to address the following questions here on my blog, otherwise we (DMU students) can meet in Blackboard.








19.10.08

[howard rheingold's social media classroom is live]


Thanks to funding from the MacArthur Foundation, Howard Rheingold has been developing: "an online community for teachers and students to collaborate and contribute ideas for teaching and learning about the psychological, interpersonal, and social issues related to participatory media. This digital learning space will both feature and analyze the use of blogs, wikis, chat, instant messaging, microblogging, forums, social bookmarking and instructional screencasts for teachers and students."

Sarah Perez at Read Write Web explains the impact of a Social Media Classroom:

"Social media and the participatory web have had a greater impact on our world beyond just how we connect and socialize with our friends online. The base concepts surrounding how these interactions take place has influenced a whole new generation of web users who now expect to participate in discussions and not be dictated to...whether online or offline. We've seen this influence occur in the workplace, where millennial employees demand to know "why" they're being asked to do something instead of just doing it. We've also seen it effect the business of marketing as social media users now feel strongly that brands (companies) should be listening and conversing with them in an open, transparent matter. So why not bring the social media revolution to the classroom, too? It only makes sense.

Those involved with this project believe that today's students need more than a class where a professor lectures for an hour - that has no hope of engaging their interest. Students need a classroom where learning is a more participatory experience and where the tools they use in their everyday lives - social networking, videos, chat, aren't checked at the door. The Social Media Classroom is an important project to make those types of tools available to educators who might not be as up to speed with the latest technology, while also simplifying the use of those tools through the introduction of a single platform that integrates the best of the Web 2.0 world."


Read more here and here.

Join the community of practise here.





13.10.08

[txt spkish and learning english?]

At The University of Toronto there is an interesting development in the teaching of English as a second language...using tv colloquialisms ("eat my shorts man," "how YOU doin'" "I'm wasted"). Though these examples don't exactly suggest an "intellectual quest", they do however help students pick up "real-life" English.

"You can have academic English down pat, but that doesn't help when a classmate says `Catch you later' or `Get out of here!'" says Damjanovic, who dreamed up the notion of teaching conversational English through shared viewings of popular shows, with a cram session first on the phrases the class is about to hear.

When Damjanovic moved to North America as a high school student, she spoke English yet had no clue what kids meant when they talked about getting "wasted" on the weekend.

"I thought, `Wasted what? Wasted time? Money?' But these little phrases mean a lot when you're trying to communicate on a day-to-day basis, and sitcoms are surprisingly rich."

Damjanovic is careful to note which phrases are considered rude, a distinction the students carefully write down."

Read the whole article here.




9.10.08

[web 2.0 and education report]

Interesting report issued by BECTA on the use of web 2.0 technologies in elementary classrooms in UK schools.


Report 2: Learners' use of Web 2.0 technologies in and out of school in Key Stages 3 and 4 (June 2008)

This report focuses on learners' use of Web 2.0 technologies both in and out of school, including their use of social networking sites, online multi-player games, instant messaging and other web-based activities.

  • At Key Stages 3 and 4, learners’ use of Web 2.0 and related internet activities is extensive. Despite most learners being confident or even prolific users of Web 2.0 sites, use is not generally sophisticated. Broadly speaking, learners may be characterised as consumers rather than producers of internet content
  • Of the 2,600 learners surveyed across 27 schools, 74% have social networking accounts and 78% have uploaded artefacts (mostly photographs or video clips from phones) to the internet. However, nearly all Web 2.0 use is currently outside school, and for social purposes
  • In the sample, the percentage of learners with home access to the internet was high and the range of personal devices used by learners was extensive. However, PC/internet access outside school was often shared, and this could limit its use by individuals
  • Overall, although most learners use the internet for learning, there is only limited use of Web 2.0, and only a few embryonic signs of criticality, self-management and meta-cognitive reflection
  • Many learners lack technical skills, and lack an awareness of the range of technologies and of when and how they could be used, as well as the digital literacy and critical skills to navigate this space. Teachers should be careful not to overestimate learners’ familiarity and skills in this area. There is a clear role for teachers in developing such skills
  • There is a disparity between home and school use of IT, both in terms of the larger range of activities and the increased time spent on IT at home. Many learners do not see some aspects of Web 2.0, such as social networking, as relevant to learning in school.

Download the report summary in Word (311KB) PDF (182KB) or ODT (224KB)

The points that I've bolded are exactly aspects which I've been attempting to address through my pedagogical work with the digital story Inanimate Alice. There are quite a few educators who are employing I.A. for many of these reasons and I know several, like Angela Thomas and her students, have had great success. It seems a key to many of these bolded points comes down to teaching...and teachers receiving appropriate training/time/resources to bring web 2.0 into the classroom and encourage both critical and digital literacies.



There are five parts to this report with statistics (quite helpful) and suggestions for further reading.




[conference: IT and teaching]

SITE 2009 LogoSITE 2009 - Charleston, South Carolina - March 2 - 6, 2009
Proposals Due: October 17 2008
Call for Presentations

Presentation Types

Proposal Submission Guide & Form

Advance Program/Registration

Deadlines

Topics

Proceedings Guidelines

Presenter Lounge

Corporate Participation

Overview

Registration Rates

Hotel & Travel Information

Charleston, South Carolina

Program Committee

Review Policy


GENERAL TOPICS:
* Assessment and E-folios
* Corporate
* Development of Future Faculty
* Digital Video
* Distance/Flexible Education
* Electronic Playground
* Equity and Social Justice
* Evaluation and Research
* Games and Simulations
* Graduate Education and Faculty Development
* Information Literacy
* Information Technology Diffusion/Integration
* International Education
* Latino/Spanish Speaking Community
* Leadership
* New Possibilities with Information Technologies
* Web/Learning Communities
* Workforce Education


See more at the conference site: http://site.aace.org/conf/


8.10.08

[employment: lecturer in digital literature]

Although this position isn't called lecturer in digital lit., the job description more than suggests it:

Jobs at Association of Universities in The Netherlands - VSNU

Lecturer in Literature and Media Studies

Universiteit Maastricht Department of Literature and Art

Further Details



5.10.08

[21st century learning...4 educators]

As educators we are aware of the necessity to share with students ways of understanding and interacting with 21st century literacies. Not only should we help students use online resources but we must help them develop an appropriate digital literacy - a literacy which is critical of resources (the same goes for offline stuff: who wrote it, when etc...) while helping them navigate the plethora of information. Reading Dean Groom's excellent post on "No Teacher Left Behind" raises several other issues which I think are often overlooked. What about equipping teachers with a 21st century literacy? They too need to learn. And, as Dean and his blog readers note, once that shift into digital literacy is enacted, how does one manage the blurring of work into home time?

"If we want to get more teachers engaged in reading, learning and participating in the exponential growth in the use of social networks as professional development vectors, then there is a significant cost to those teachers - in addition to their normal workload.

This is a personal, not school or government burden. They do it at home – and may are awake at ridiculous hours to do it - because they see the benefits for the kids - not just talk about them.

This cost needs to be recognised, these people need to be recognised! – with more than a pat on the back."


My question on work seeping into non-work time of course affects many people, not just teachers, but perhaps remains most silent within educational realms?

As Lisa Dumicich, explains:
"wondering what my school would do if I got rid of the internet at home?? They rely heavily on me having it at home and using it for work………would they pay for me to have it at home? I had to buy my own laptop as Head of ICT. What would they do if I refused to spend my money on one or refused to use my personal computer for work??? Governemnts and schools have a long way to go in recognizing the true workload and expenses of teachers."






2.10.08

[new media writing and publishing, 22 Oct 2008, ioct]

Every autumn, First Year CWNM students spend a week on campus at DMU. This year Campus Week includes a day of discussion open to DMU students, staff, and the general public. It takes place on Wednesday 22 October 2008 at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University, Leicester. Admission is free and booking not required, but space is limited so arrive early to secure a seat.

10.00-11.00 Meet your Reader Dr Jess Laccetti presents a reader’s eye view of new media writing.

11.00-11.30 Break

11.30-12.30 African Writing and New Media
Chair: Professor Sue Thomas
IOCT PhD student and novelist Anietie Isong introduces his research into African Writers and the Internet, and Nur Yaryare of the Somali Afro European Media Project presents his plan for a new media African heritage project in Leicester.

12.30-13.30 Lunch break

13.30-15.00 Writing and Publishing New Media
Chair: Kate Pullinger
Sara Lloyd and Michael Bhaskar, digital editors at Pan Macmillan, discuss Sara’s Book Publisher’s Manifesto for the 21st century, and Chris Meade, former CWNM student and Director of if:book London, presents Digital Livings, a report commissioned by CWNM to assess the potential of new media as a career path for writers.
Preparatory Reading for this session:
Book Publisher's Manifesto for the 21st century by Sara Lloyd
Digital Livings by Chris Meade

15.00-15.30 Break

15.30-16.30 E-Poetry
This year CWNM offers an E-Poetry workshop for the first time. Tutor Peter Howard presents an introduction to E-Poetry including a selection of his own work.

16.30-17.00 Plenary

17.00 End



1.10.08

[digital stitchings: my interview with rachel beth egenhoefer ]

I recently did an interview with digital/textile artist/creator Rachel Beth Egenhoefer for Furtherfield:

Jess: What are the main differences (pros and/or cons) of creating a work that is to be experienced digitally, and that which is contained within physical material borders (sweets, fabric etc...)? - this is very much a question to you as a *creator*

Rachel Beth: In some ways I feel like this is a hard question for me to answer because my work is very much about bridging these two experiences and pointing out that they aren't that different.

There's lots of clich'e answers like the digital being accessible anywhere on the web and that the material has the traditional sense of making and 'aura', but my work really sits between them and is about bringing the two together. Making the digital tactile, and the tangible coded.

Jess: What aspects of the digital would you like to be able to bring into your future work?

Rachel Beth: My most recent work, and the work I did during my residency in the UK uses motion and acceleration tracking. I'd like to continue using ideas around mapping motion and interaction. I'm not so interested in data visualization but rather how mapping actions and systems can make for new interactions or parallels. I've also begun to work with hacking the Nintendo Wii that has just kind of opened a whole slew of ideas. So I can see myself working more with that.


Jess: How would you define a literate reader/experiencer of your work? (I'm thinking especially of the lovely melting sweets...how do you want your IDEAL audience to participate?)

Rachel Beth: I don't really have an ideal audience. I strive to have multiple entry points in my work. I've had computer scientists view my work who know much more about code than I do but never knew that a knitting pattern looks exactly the same, or ludites who hate technology but suddenly realize there are simple, beautiful concepts in computing. Some people see my work and don't realize it's even a piece, some people spend hours coming back and looking at it. I'm okay with either of these extremes. It's my hope that people find something to grab on to or relate to. Leaving a door partly open allows other people to add their own perspective as well. It's always rewarding (well most of the time rewarding) when people discover things in your work you didn?t see before.


Read more over at Furtherfield.