Featuring James Gee, Henry Jenkins, some teachers, and a great MIT game being used to teach US History…
I think this video is fast becoming the latest meme to show up everywhere. It’s touching, poignant, and has a beautiful message and yet… is it wrong that I feel somewhat creeped out by it as well?
Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?
You’re Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen!
Take this quiz!
A little literary identity meme silliness between meetings today… now where is my Mr Darcy?
(original image from Junku’s “airborne cat” set on flickr)
Oops!! Lois tagged me for this meme a few days ago and I missed it til now. She asks: “What five items for enhancing your productivity and/or creativity can you not be without?”
Mine on the other hand is much more basic and lowly I’m afraid. I have an OLD OLD computer and before I can do anything exciting I desperately need an upgrade first!
1) powerpoint: because it manipulates images and makes charts and drawings so much easier than other programs
2) google images, flickr and photoimpact: I’ve combined these because I use them all for the same purpose: to find inventive ways of expressing my ideas visually / metaphorically, as well as catering for all different learning / reading styles or preferences
3) you tube (and any other site with downloadable video clips): because using a couple of apposite video clips in lectures keeps the students awake and also caters for different learning styles / preferences
4) blog: well, because my blog helps me to stay in touch with the discourses surrounding my field of research, it has given me…well, the usual
5) camtasia studio: because it is fabulous for making screencasts to use for both research and teaching purposes
I’ve just started using skype for electronic interviews, but my attempt at using audacity failed because of the old computer. I sometimes use other people’s bloglines and delicious tags but generally not. None of these things fit into the “cannot do without” category. Ummm, I also use birthday alarm to remember friends and family member’s birthdays because I am terrible at keeping track of things like that (does that one count Lois?). Sorry to be so dull *grin*
If other people have more exciting things than I have then by all means, please consider yourself “tagged” and do tell me :>
(and yes, I am giving a lecture this coming week on “verbs” and how to teach them to children!)
I wish I could have had a wireless laptop to live blog the conference because now that its over it feels rather odd doing a retrospective post. But as promised, here goes! Oh and a disclaimer: I was soo exhausted that I didn’t make as many sessions as I listed, and also, there was an unfortunate clash or two in the program which meant that I couldn’t listen to everybody I wanted to.
So, the first session I went to at the conference was Julia and Guy’s session about blogging:
Inside Out: academic blogging and new literacies, an autoethnography
Julia Davies and Guy Merchant
This was a fun session and I looooooved the aesthetics of the presentation, with gorgeous images and fun transitions. I was also cited, which was very flattering! I liked the way they moved quickly beyond the descriptive (how come so many conference presentations focussed on the descriptive only at the expense of theorisation and analysis???) and into the analysis of posts and comments, discussing theoretical issues and critiqueing notions of “affinity spaces” and “communities of practice” as far as they relate, and don’t relate, to the blogosphere. We had many casual conversations about blogs and identity and narrative after this presentation and I’ll be blogging more about those later! Anyway this was a great session and stimulated much discussion and thinking.
Next was our session:
Out of Bounds: Some social, psychological and pedagogical implications of new literacies for young people’s learning, lifeworlds and social futures.
Angela Thomas, Kevin Leander and Michele Knobel
I have already blogged about my talk, but the slides are here if you missed it.
Kevin Leander spoke about his study of girls in a girls school that had wireless technology. Essentially he critiqued the institutional use of technology and the low expectations of teachers when the students were able to work at a very sophisticated level.
Michele Knobel spoke about memes and ‘big L’ ‘little l’ L/literacies. It was a really fun talk too, but also stimulating as she spoke about counter-meming as a social critical literacy practice - and I liked the links to the work of Adbusters.com and the strategies for counter-meming outlined at memecentral.com/antidote.htm, and allyourbrand.org/why.htm - I need to look into these more at some time!
Our discussant was Cynthia Lewis:
Cynthia made some lovely remarks and raised questions about “what counts” as literacy as far as schooling is concerned. I thought Cynthis was very insightful!
Then we had Don Leu’s Presidential address:
New Literacies, Reading Research, and the Challenges of Change: a Deictic Perspective of our Research Worlds
I found Don Leu’s talk interesting but targetted to a) an audience who needed to be convinced about new literacies; and b) the American audience. So basically he said “new literacies are here to stay and we need to attend to them” and “Americans aren’t getting into new literacies as much as they should”. I thought he was very sweet and humble in acknowledging all of his colleagues and doctoral students in influencing his understandings about new literacies.
Wednesday evening was Julia’s birthday party as I already mentioned in my very quick post, and here is the birthday girl herself, looking gorgeous and glam:
Isn’t her necklace amazing!? Here’s a close-up:
and here’s some of her DIVINE birthday dessert:
I sat between Julia and Jennifer:
and across from the very animated Guy:
Also at the table were:
and several other people whose names I have embarrassingly forgotten (profuse apologies if you are one of them)!
Are we only up to Thursday!? On Thursday Julia and I snuck out at lunch time for a little shopping expedition, which she blogged about here.
Question: what is Julia doing here???
(Click here to find out!)
I also noticed Julia taking a photo of somebody taking a photo of somebody else so I thought I should take a photo of that and continue the chain:
Oh! And we also came across a guy that wrote our names on a single grain of rice! Now I didn’t really want one but purely because I’d seen one of the characters doing it from the digital fiction called The Strand, which I blogged about recently, I thought I had to have one! I think there is something to say there about feeling some sort of identification with a narrative or fictional character that you associate with it through its artefacts, but I am not sure what yet!
One of my favourite sessions was the afternoon session that followed our shopping expedition!
Social Constructions in New Literacy Environments
Chair(s) & Discussant(s): Charles K. Kinzer, Teachers College, Columbia University
With the rise of the concept of “new literacies,” literacy is increasingly acknowledged as including participation in broadly defined communities of practice. Concurrently, literacy has become influenced by new technologies, which incorporate their own social practices. The symposium examines the social literacies surrounding one of these electronic environments: video games.
1. Digital Literacies and Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Constance A. Steinkuehler, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2. Agency and Authority: Social Practices in Interactive Storytelling
Jessica Hammer, Teachers College, Columbia University
3. Playing the Digital Divide: Video-game-related literacy practices and SES
Gillian Andrews, Teachers College, Columbia University
Constance talked about her study of World of Warcraft. I enjoyed seeing the range of literacy practices involved and I liked the analysis of gaming practices as scientific habits of mind. I hadn’t actually heard the term “persistent virtual worlds” before to describe MMORPGs either, so that was interesting.
Jessica talked about agency in role-playing games. I thought Jessica’s talk was wonderfully theorised and enjoyed being taken in a different direction as far as role-playing and narrative construction is concerned. I think she focussed more on adult role-playing and more sophisticated narrative constructions, as the stuff I am looking at is much less pre-planned, so it’s given me lots of ideas! I liked the points she made about interactivity as giving the illusion of free will. It reminded me of when I was a teacher and used to trick kids into doing what I wanted by offering them choices and making the ideal choice so attractive that they had to select it!! (Ummm… I still do that with my undergrad students, but that is another story!)
Gillian (Gus) spoke about the types of games selected by different types of readers - she made some really useful links to Gee’s work and talked about self-as-avatar, which I would have loved to hear more about! (Who made these sessions limited to 20 minutes? Never enough time to take in everything!!)
I also went to Brian Street’s session:
Literacy Across Cultural Contexts: Implications for Pedagogy and Curriculum
Brian covered a lot of ground in this session (too much to remember!) but something he spoke about that was totally new to me was lowrider art as a literacy practice. He showed how this doodle-like art by young non-English speakers was used as a communicative literacy practice, and I’d like to find out more about this.
Thursday evening I collapsed in my room with exhaustion and tried to write some discussant comments for a session I was involved with the next day. It was very unfortunate for me as I missed out on a fun evening with Julia, Guy, Michele, Sarah, Dana, Rebecca and a heap of others *sniffle*.
So Friday morning was the session by Marion Fey:
Gender Issues in Post-Typographical Texts and Talk: Past, Present and Future
Chair: Barbara Guzzetti
Discussants: Donna Alvermann, Suzanne Wade and Angela Thomas
Marion traced her extensive research into issues about gender and technology. Suzanne made some wonderful theoretical links between her work and Marions, and mentioned Susan Herring’s work. I also mentioned Susan Herring, Lois Scheidt, and colleagues in my response. I talked about: debates about language and gender, performativity of gender in online spaces and collaboration and social software.
Next was another FABULOUS session by the team from Teacher’s College:
Conceptions of Narrative in Non-Traditional Environments
New environments are redefining literacy and literacy practices. However, while non-traditional environments incorporate visual elements in traditional print materials, they still may be categorised as either narrative or expository. This symposium looks at various non-traditional environments to explore the question of narrative construction and definition.
1. Considering Narrative in New Environments
Charles K Kinzer
2. Examining Narrative as Sequential “Sense” in Comics
3. Narrative Strategies in Improvisational Storytelling
Charles Kinzer spoke about Second Life - like most of the sessions I saw, I was left wanting more and with more questions than answers.
Jonathon spoke a lot about the role of transitions or break points in the narratives of comics (great stuff!),
and Jessica spoke about issues of narration, improvisation and collaboration in role-playing in general, as well as issues of continuity, consistency and coherence in narrative in particular.
Again, this team of researchers are really doing wonderful and innovative studies - I would loooove to work with them!!!
In fact, on Saturday morning I had a lovely meeting with Charles (Chuck) Kinzer:
and we talked about the possibility of some fun projects we can collaborate on!!
There were other lunches and dinners and coffees and drinks and the “New Literacies Bash” - in fact some of the most interesting and stimulating discussions were those that took place outside of the conference! I had a lovely talk with Guy over dinner on my last evening and we wondered “Are we like our blogs?” - which led to all sorts of fascinating thoughts about literacy, identity, narrative, projection, virtuality/reality and so on!
And, on my final day I had a minor crisis which I won’t go into here but I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Katina Zammit (my fellow Australian traveller) for being such an angel and rescuing me from a difficult situation!!
So, that was my overview of NRC - an interesting conference made fabulous because of the wonderful company - especially Julia, Guy and Michele!
Well, although I am in my office working on the grant application it *is* Saturday after all, and I couldn’t resist this meme, found at Lois’s blog. What you have to do is type “yourname needs” into google and see what comes up. So, here is what Anya needs:
1. Anya needs help
(this should be no surprise!)
2. Anya needs to be at the beginning of the Maggid liturgy.
(ummm… OK. I think the Maggid liturgy is jewish scripture, and I think the beginning of it is something to do with being charitable. so I need to be more charitable? OK… I guess this is as good as any tarot reading to give me spiritual guidance - maybe memes are the new tarot cards?)
3. Anya needs to learn to modulate her shrill voice.
(Pfffffft! Wait til I start podcasting, you will see this is completely untrue! *grin*)
4. Anya needs a different perspective on romantic relationships than she’s gotten from one thousand years as a vengeance demon
(*laughing* OK… my perspective right now is to NOT have a romantic relationship, so that needs to change!)
5. Anya needs to be dealt with.
6. Anya needs help opening a milk carton.
7. Anya needs a big squishy happy hug.
(True, I need lots of these…errr, but not too squishy please)
8. Anya needs time to rest and heal from the chronic illness that plagues her.
(Ummm… I’m going to Tasmania for Christmas, that should do it!)
9. Anya needs no exaggeration. In fact we could write forever and not scratch the surface of the good person that she was.
(This one is my favourite *beams happily*)
10. Anya needs to update more!
(well, if you’re talking about my blog, I update as often as I can!)
You are Schroeder!
[Found via Lois]
Some of these memes are too close for comfort :>
In 2 days, this has become my most viewed flickr photo ever! It’s really amazing to see how fast these new toys spread around and how clever everybody is being with this one in particular. Check out the hundreds of other magazine titles. There are some laugh out loud ones there - so many I can’t choose a favourite :>
Don’t you just loooove funny visual memes that spread around the web! All the people who photoshop an image and submit it to a funny site to create the next meme legend are amazing! Well, today (I don’t know how old this one is) I give you: the KID.
Original kid and the fun begins:
The Kid’s rise to fame:
All found at 33reasons.com. Tres amusant!
Have you played Guess-the-Google yet? It’s fascinating way to make you think about image association, image tags, image naming, image searches, popular images, cultural differences in images and so on and on and on. And its fun :>