REFLECTIONS

Wordle: ETEC 540

Without a doubt this course has been a rich and challenging experience for me. ETEC 540 was my first course in the MET program. I was quite apprehensive about my initial foray into Graduate School as it had been twenty-five years since I completed my undergrad degree.

Unfortunately, demands at my job did not afford me the time or space to immerse myself in the course activities as much as I would have relished. However, when I was engaged the readings, discussion forums and assignments were incredibly insightful, thought provoking and rich in content.

I found it fascinating to learn about the evolution of text and technology and the impact the changing spaces of reading and writing has had on the way we communicate and comprehend the world around us. Throughout the course, I placed a particular focus on applying what I’ve learned to my work in the social profit fundraising sector. This has been incredibly helpful as I seek to understand and implement ways to reach donors that span several generations.

Over the 13 weeks my confidence level increased as I became more familiar with participating in an online learning environment. The first several weeks were extremely intimidating and overwhelming as I endeavored to find my way through uncharted territory. Thanks to Brian Lamb for creating a supportive space for me to voice my concerns and work through my challenges. What started as a daunting process gradually became one I felt more at ease with.

I’ve created a Wordle, which articulates my experience in this course. The word layout replicates a snapshot of how I have begun to comprehend these new spaces- fluid and ever-changing in formation!
Please click on the image for a closer look.

Wordle: Reflections

Thanks to those of you who engaged with me during the course. Your feedback and comments were helpful and most appreciated.
Much success to all!

Dee Dee

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Reflections and Connections

This being my ninth course in the program, I found it gratifying in ETEC 540 to have  a “classic” of textual and communications theory in form of Walter Ong’s Orality and Literacy as the axis around which many of the course’s later readings, discussions and insights revolved. It is quite a unique approach in my experience of ETEC courses, as the core courses especially tended to be much more modularized in terms of the range of topics and readings, and less concerned with theoretical continuities and connections beyond the areas of education and technology.

Ong’s book aims at presenting a coherent and comprehensive account of the technological passage from orality to literacy, which is a huge project, and one that would require many volumes in the hands of a less able theorist. This is not to say that his positions are not very contentious, right up from his use of the smallest anthropological details to his grand theory of literacy shaping the language, consciousness and culture simultaneously.

Of course, there is much to oppose in Ong’s quite monumental work, and our approach in taking on the dimension of technological determinism in particular seemed to be only one of many ways of reading against the grain of Ong’s book.  Coming at the subject of literacy and technology in this way tied in well with the fundamental debates we covered over the nature of graphical writing systems and their cultural significance, taken from both totalizing and relativist perspectives. When we started to look at some of the ‘Continuity’ theories (e.g. Gaur, Chandler) of writing and literacy, it soon became clear that the many complexities of literacy in the digital context would require, at minimum, a thorough revision of the historical and anthropological approach that Ong takes to the subject.

Yet there’s no question that the basic terms that Ong brings forward served us quite well in tackling developments that are quite outside the scope of Orality and Literacy, the most important being the rise of hypertext and digital technologies for producing and disseminating texts. It was really thought provoking to look back to Ong’s work when we encountered Englebart’s take on hypertext and word processing, and to start to notice how Ong really doesn’t fully engage with the implications of electronic technologies for literacy, or orality for that matter, that come through in Bolter’s excellent and far-sighted book. I really enjoyed reading that one. This was a very effective turn in the direction of the course, and it helped my to connect contemporary spaces for writing online with the larger phenomena of “new media” as we moved through the latter sections of Module 4.

I’d like to thank everyone for sharing their work on this blog and in the discussions, and I look forward to reading more of my fellow students’ commentaries and projects in the coming few days. Happy holidays to all.

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Finding Personal Writing Space

For this project I created a blog focusing on the issues and trends of open education in higher education today.  These trends represent an important development in the evolution of text.  History teaches us that the way text is published and made accessible to society, and in particular students, can have profound effects on society. Earlier in this term I wrote about how shifting economies of book production has impacted the way we learn, do business, pray, and form social relationships. In this project I have interpreted the concepts of the course in ways that have direct meaning and influence on the trends my colleagues and I are facing at our college.

References are text free

Research projects are based on the sound methodology of researching peer reviewed journal articles.  The reading of course material has been invaluable in informing my opinions on this subject matter of this project. However, all references cited in this project are from audio or video files. As much as I would also like to challenge the idea that only published subject matter experts should be cited in academic projects, those referenced in this project are widely recognized experts in open education.  However their ideas cited are oral, fluid, often spontaneous and, for the most part, free of the publisher’s lock-down mechanisms. Chris Anderson (2010) speaks of how online video will be an equalizing movement in power and knowledge.  Watch his recent TED talk here:  Chris Anderson: how the web video powers global innovation

The decision to reference only audio-visual material was an outcome of my reflection on this course.  The web is creating substantial social change through the quantity of content disseminated.  Is this content really being consumed in modalities other than text to any significant degree? Is it deemphasizing the value of text and legitimizing other media? Is there enough quality multi-media content legally accessible for educational purposes? These are some of the practical considerations I explored through this project.

Text Technology

A popular notion of text is that it lives forever.  This is certainly true for those belonging to certain social and academic circles that publish and promote each other.  Until the birth of the web the publishing system was very efficient at running a closed system of thought where only the ideas of an exclusive club had a voice.  The web of course changed much of this by allowing everyone with internet access the opportunity to be heard.

Extraordinarily, the education sector has found a way to counter the great social equalizing quality of the web by creating the Learner Management System: the fluorescent lighted room on the internet as Campbell (2009) calls it.  Many of the computer mediated communication tools used in online education ensure the death of ideas.  Submitted assignments are read by one instructor (two if you count “Turnitin”).  Then there are the discussion forums that some instructional technologists hold as the foundation of quality online learning environments.  Ideas in discussion forums are read by a few more people creating a sense of collaborative learning before being wiped at the end of the semester.  It is a certain death that is somewhat of a blessing as the nature of LMS forums promotes an artificial style of communication where students post and respond to tally points on the rubric rather than engage authentically with peers, content, and the instructor.

An innovative step taken at Gardner Campbell (2009) and his peers was to create a learning system through WordPress Multi User. This system breaks out of the LMS box allowing students to post their ideas in the web community.  In this way, learners engage with the community in an authentic learning task where content will live for at least four years. Although it does represent an openness in design, it is still a project initiated and administered by an institution.

The writing space for this project blog is self-hosted at: www.chrisaitken.info

References

Anderson, C. (2010). Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation. TED:Ideas worth spreading. (video) Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation.html

Campbell, G. (2009, March 15).  Edupunk: open source education. South by southwest interactive. (audio podcast) Retrieved from http://www.downes.ca/presentation/215

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Connections – shifting demands

One connection, in particular that resonates with me is Neill Postman’s notion of surrendering culture to technology, as discussed in chapter 3 of Technopoly and the emergence of a multiliteracies pedagogy.  The ground is shifting, the skill demands are changing, and many educators are only focused on content.  I participated in an executive meeting this week discussing the role of educational technology in our institution.  When I raised the issue of multiliteracies, and the need to integrate the use of ET in to the application of course assignments, one Dean suggested not all students wanted to use technology.  I responded by stating, if in trades a certain tool was required would we make it optional?  I think not.   There has been a shift…multiliteracies is about employability skills not just a cool way to do something.  Tapscsott discusses the challenge changing  “talk and chalk” instructional methods, and this is particularly evident in educational environments where instructors cannot be required to do specific types professional development.  This view is expressed by Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis, when they highlight the research that has been done on multiliteracies since the New London Group, yet they suggest not much has been done in schools in this same time period.  It is difficult to adopt a multiliteracies pedagogy when those instructing are not multiliterate. 

The challenge as an educational administrator is how to engage faculty in the use of multiliteracies pedagogy?  This is my long-term assignment that I hope will provide a return to all concerned.  Regardless, the demands are changing due to the labour market demands.  Therefore, this transformation will happen, but are we going to be a beneficiary of the change or is it is going to leave us behind?  As a community college, our practices must be responsive to the labour market otherwise we will surely die the death of a thousand cuts.

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Making Connections and Reflections

This course has been one of the most difficult and busiest for me thus far in my MET experience, and yet one of the most enjoyable as well. The birth of my son (almost a month early!) threw things out of place for a while and I am still trying to get myself into a routine.

I have enjoyed all of the readings though i must admit that early in the course I found a few of the readings a little dry. Looking back now over the entire course I certainly see the connections made to the earlier readings and I find myself going back to re-read some of them. For some of the additional readings, since I have not had the time to read them all, I have bookmarked the ones that I could and will return to them over the Christmas break.

Language and literacy has always been an interest for me and I have always enjoyed teaching literacy in the classroom. With digital literacies, I have increased my knowledge and understanding through this course and that can only mean positive things for my students!

I want to thank all of my course mates for their patience and understanding when I tapered off at the end of the course as I was spending more time with my family. And I wish to thank Jeff for the support and encouragement to continue with the course when I felt a little more than overwhelmed! Thanks Jeff.

Tyler

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Commentary 3: Why Professor Johnny Can’t Read

Why Professor Johnny Can’t Read

Engaging today’s learner has become a difficult task for many of today’s educators. Teachers, administrators and schools are, in many cases, frantically trying to decipher what is needed in order to teach the learners of today. The notion that simply adding technology into the mix of our regular classroom and expecting student engagement to merely ‘happen’, is a false hope all around, though this is what some are indeed hoping to occur. As Mabrito and Medley discuss in their article Why Professor Johnny Can’t Read: Understanding the Net Generation’s Texts, teachers and instructors need to do more than simply understand the environment in which their students engage and learn, they need to work within it as well.

Mabrito and Medley call the new generation of learners the “Net-Gen”, or “Net Generation”. This group of learners is different from previous generations of learners because of their digitally enhanced world and that their knowledge of the world comes primarily from digital sources. This generation of learners is, due to the fact that they have been born in a digital age, the “first generation of virtual learners – learners accustomed to seeking and building knowledge in a technology-enhanced environment” (Mabrito and Medley, 1).

Mabrito and Medley go on to discuss the characteristics of the Net-Gen student and how they are different from the students who came before them. They discuss the ability to multitask and how their brains are “literally wired differently from previous generations, their brains shaped by a lifelong immersion in virtual spaces” (Mabrito and Medley, 2). Their learning spaces are different from those experienced by previous generations, with opportunities for collaboration and interaction, much of it online and virtually, that was not possible in schools before this.

The implications for schools of today are massive. Most schools today, though some have begun the shift, are still trying to engage learners using methods of yesterday. Schools today do not understand, at least not fully, how today’s learners construct their social identity and how important this is for both their personal lives, as well as their educational lives. The people that today’s students make connections online with socially, are often the same people that they share ideas with, collaborate with and create content with, both inside as well as outside of the classroom.

Mabrito and Medley argue that in order to truly engage the learner of today, teachers and schools need to do more than simply understand how they learn, they need to take part in this new learning themselves, and I could not agree more. There is a shift happening with schools that are beginning to take notice and trying to engage learners in this new digital space, but there is still much work to do. Medley and Mabrito mention a couple of different universities that have begun to do this (they give the example of Second Life environments) but they are few and far between.

I recently attended another Apple institute for educational leadership and it dawned on me, yet again, how all we are trying to do at this stage is get school leaders to understand the new environment – we have not yet begun to try and get school leaders to engage learners in this new environment. Educational leaders are invited to institutes such as these and, hopefully, most walk away with the understanding that there is much work to do and that there is much change needed in the traditional classroom we still see today. However, they walk away with the idea that they need to get someone else on their staff to engage these new learners, when really it is they who we need to do this work. It has to be ‘top-down’.

This reading has really resonated with me because it is a frustration I continue to feel on a daily basis. Being a young administrator who is fully engaged in technology and digital learning spaces (though I admit I cannot keep up entirely!), as well as an Apple Distinguished Educator who runs workshops for other administrators, this is a frustration I feel quite often. We continuously argue that the classrooms need to change to engage these digital learners and yet the seminars and workshops that we run to make these arguments frequently still look and interact the same way that the traditional classroom runs. It reminds me of the one and a half hour lecture I once sat through on the topic of differentiation.

Schools need to encourage their teachers to use the same learning spaces that their students are using in order to better understand their students. This is fine, and I agree with this entirely, but I also think we need to encourage our administrators and school leaders, at the top, to use these learning spaces as well. If the leadership at the top are the ones who are able to affect change in their schools, then they certainly need to be able to understand it properly.

References

Mabrito, Mark and Medley, Rebecca (2008). Why Professor Johnny Can’t Read: Understanding the Net Generation’s Texts. Innovate: Journal of Online Education, Vol.4 Issue 6.

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Rip.mix.feed connections: Or coming late to the party

This semester has been a bit of a personal struggle, but I wanted to try and participate in the rip.mix.feed activity. While I thought I would create a digital story about the life I have in SecondLife using JayCut or Animoto, I felt like I wanted to create a repository of the information I have learned not just from Ong and Bolter, but from you. So this project became more of a making connections post.

Ong was an interesting read. Although it was (as many others have mentioned) a tough go of it. For me part of that was realizing how immersed in print my life has been. I always escaped into print, reading or writing, and still do. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like not to have some kind of print at hand. I just finished reading my first book on my iPhone. Which, I suppose, is a new space for text along with other eBook readers.

Bolter was a bit of a revelation for me. The idea of the remediation of one media by another made a great deal of sense to me, and the idea that we are becoming more dominated by graphics and visuals, as opposed to text, seemed at first glance to be right. I still agree with most of that, but while looking at Chinese websites for the major project I came to the conclusion that the take-over of text by the visual may be a completely Western idea. Check out some of the pages from baidu.com, a Chinese-language search engine. Over a billion people can’t be wrong…

I think what I take away most from this course is a reinforcement of the idea of losses and gains. O’Donnell spoke of this, with regards to technology, in the podcast we listened to and also in the article we read. Plato wrote (or should I say spoke) about the destruction of memory that was going to come from writing, and there may have been a loss of a certain kind of thought (as described in Ong), but we have also gained from each new version of communication.

There was a great discussion on the forum about the degeneration of spelling and the loss of cursive writing. As a lousy speller and a rotten, left-handed writer and compulsive text-er, I can only see this as a good thing. But, I can understand that for many, who enjoyed learning the magic of spelling and have beautiful handwriting, these are precious arts that should not be lost, and should be taught to young children at all costs. This may be why I was not the most successful of kindergarten teachers… So perhaps the losses and gains of the new spaces of reading and writing are very subjective?

I read/watched/heard/viewed as many of the rip.mix.feed projects as I could, and I was constantly amazed. Brian Farrell’s “All thing Braille” struck me especially since it was still images, collected from flickr. I use flickr, and had sort of forgotten that it was a way to access and incorporate the art of the crowd into your work. I also enjoyed Barrie’s “The Life of Salmon” for very different reasons. In fact, I enjoyed/appreciated/wondered so much about all the different projects and tools that I decided that my rip.mix.feed would be to aggregate the applications and web tools that we all used for the project.

I used Symbaloo.EDU (the free version of Symbaloo for educators) which visually, as tiles, displays a set of websites or blogs. It is sort of a social bookmarking application. Each user creates ‘webmixes’ with tiles acting as links to their own collection of web resources and sites. These can be shared with other users and visitors, like visual bookmarking. This seemed particularly apt to me since this course is about the changing spaces of information and communication, and Symbaloo is all about making text-based links visual. I suppose this is a a sort of visual hypertext, or hypermedia to be more exact (although there are text labels…)

I created two mixes: One for the rip.mix.feed tools, and one for my exploration and fascination with virtual worlds. I think you will be able to view and use them without creating an account.

My Symbaloo.EDU ETEC 540 webmix

My Symbaloo.EDU Virtual Worlds webmix

I truly wish I had been able to participate more in the discussions and comment on more of the excellent blog posts, but illness has hijacked me the past few months. I did try to read all the posts, and I was struck by two things: First, I have been reminded how creative and exploratory a community I joined in the MET program. There are so many talented and dedicated educators here, from many different sectors. Second, many of us are also dedicated to print and text. There were a few who were not so heart-broken that visual communication is becoming more important, but for the most part I felt that the group saw text (print or digital) as a mode of communication that should be preserved and taught as the primary way to use information. Not surprising, given that we are graduate students, in a system that is based on reading and writing.

I am not sure that, even as an avid reader, text is the naturally dominant mode of communication for our species, and I wish I had been able to debate this more with you. While I have many fond memories of libraries, and the smell of musty books, I feel that coming generations of humans will have other, equally salient and valuable memories of other technologies. As a bipedal ape, with good stereoscopic vision, it may be that visual communication is the most accessible to us. Either way, though reading and writing have come late to the party of human communication, they seem to have become the centre of attention for most modern, Western societies. As many have pointed out, while they may be under threat, they will not be going away in the near future.

Thank-you very much to Brian and Jeff for a though-provoking and enjoyable course. Best of wishes for everyone for a safe and happy break. I am taking a course at Athabasca next semester, but I hope to see some of you again after that. Be well.

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Making Connections – Dancing to the beat of learning

Creative commons pictureFor me, learning is an exciting process where I absorb other people’s ideas and synthesize material to make my own connections and generate my own ideas. I love to learn. The excitement and joy of “getting it” makes me both figuratively and literally dance around a room. I appreciate this course because I got to do a lot of dancing.

At the beginning of the course, I very much enjoyed reading the Postman article. The connection to Phaedrus and the arguments that Plato brought up against writing opened my eyes to the ongoing struggle to make sense of new technologies. First reading Postman and then the excerpt from Phaedrus itself made me realize the extent and the deep roots of the conversation about how to fit new technologies into the current world view and how society and culture is changed by the technologies themselves. I became very excited about the new ideas that I was learning about and I started establishing my own connections to the learning. I had conversations with everyone who would listen about the way that the arguments for and against writing have seemed to be recycled and reused and are now very much like the arguments for and against computers.

Reading Ong was an arduous process for me. I found the book difficult to comprehend and, like Alison mentioned in her post, https://www.vista.ubc.ca/webct/urw/lc5116011.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct
I had to go back and reread sections constantly in order to really understand what he was getting at. I think that the information in the book was very good but it was difficult to maintain a consistent enthusiasm for the new ideas when I had to work so hard for understanding. At the time, I felt frustrated that I had so much to read and it took me so long each week that I just didn’t have time to internalize the ideas in the same way that I had with Postman. The mental image I has at the time was less like dancing and more like dragging my feet through a knee deep swamp. I realized that I just had to keep reading it and, after a while, the ideas started to mesh and I began to really realize the worth of the book. In my mental image of learning, the swamp was behind me and I began to pick up my feet again.
One of the discussion questions in module 2 https://www.vista.ubc.ca/webct/urw/lc5116011.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct
caught my eye and really gave me a focus for my reading. My excitement about learning grew again as I became very interested in how rote learning works. I wrote my first commentary exploring what rote means and its place in both oral and literate societies. https://www.vista.ubc.ca/webct/urw/lc5116011.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct

Module 3 began the process of reading Bolter and I was hooked. I enjoyed reading his ideas and fully agree with his idea of remediation. By the time I got to module 4, my excitement was causing me to dance around the room at a dizzying pace. In the Prezi that I created for my final project, I embraced the idea of the remediation of image and print and explored the way that print can be subsumed inside of image. In the course of that project, I wrote a paper about how computers are remediating image and print and I used the prezi itself to illustrate the idea. Along the way, I learned how to use Camtasia studio to record the computer screen and edit my videos. I also learned how to embed video into Prezi. Although I didn’t write about it, I was aware of the multimodality of my work and the impacts of that multimodality on communication and understanding. Perhaps in another course, I’ll have an opportunity to explore those impacts in greater depth. But for now, all the dancing has made me tired and I am going to take a short rest. See you all after Christmas when we can dance together again.

Heather
References
Ong, W. J. (2002). Orality and Literacy. London: Routledge.
Bolter J (2009) Writing Space. New York and London; Routledge
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, Inc.
Plato. Phaedrus. Retrieved from https://www.vista.ubc.ca/webct/ContentPageServerServlet/Imported_Resources/etec540demo_det_course_20070517151759/module02/m2-phaedrus.html?pageID=3758072946121

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Rip,Mix,Feed

YouTube Preview Image

It never ceases to amaze me how stressed I can get over something and then I don’t really understand how, but I do manage to do what I spent hours trying to do earlier. Well, finally my Photostory. Thanks for the no comments, as it didn’t work the first time that I tried. Anyways, now that I have vented, I want to comment on Photo Story. I discovered Photo Story several years ago at a Technology workshop and I knew that it was a good program to use in my Primary classroom to encourage oral literacy and digital literacy. This download is free from Microsoft and it is user friendly. I have made many photo stories with my classes. They are great to present at Student Led conferences. Enjoy.

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Digital Literacy and Law Enforcement

INTRODUCTION:

Policing organizations in Canada have an onerous responsibility with respect to providing disclosure in criminal cases. The courts have decreed that police must provide “full and frank” disclosure of all relevant information collected during the course of a criminal investigation to the accused party’s defence team, so that the accused may answer to the charges.

The disclosure of major investigations such as homicides, sexual assaults, and frauds almost always involve volumes and volumes of data. When provided in paper form, the disclosure of many of these investigations can fill the back of a moving truck.

Even in 2010, police are still using paper disclosure as the standard. In fact, defence teams can demand paper disclosure in cases where some other form of disclosure is provided. Paper disclosure is cumbersome to transport, difficult to store, and can take months and months to process and analyze.

The purpose of this paper is to apply the research of Teresa Dobson and John Willinsky on Digital Literacy to support the use of Supertext software as an alternative to paper disclosure for criminal cases.

ANALYSIS:

“Supertext” is a computer based program which allows a Crown Brief to be prepared electronically and burned to a CD or DVD. The program has a magnificent indexing system and a search function that can take the reader to a section of the document and conduct searches of words and other data which take the reader to that searched field in the blink of an eye. Supertext permits the author to store truckloads of data on one or more DVD’s at little cost (compared to paper). The document could be easily carried in a briefcase, is easily copied, and can be viewed on desktops, laptops, IPads, etc. While it would seem to be academic that everyone in the Justice field would be embracing this technology – quite the opposite is occurring. There is significant resistance to utilizing the technology and it is extremely underutilized in field. How can this be when, as asserted by Dobson and Willinsky, “digital literacy carries with it the potential for a wider, more global access to knowledge”?

Could it be something as simple as the luminous character of computer display impacting the reader so much as to dissuade a reader from this format? As Dobson and Willinsky assert, “there is some question as to whether screen reading might itself pose a literacy challenge. Certainly eyestrain has been linked to reading on computer” (pp. 5-6). I doubt that this is the issue. In my opinion reading volumes and volumes of print material can also create significant eyestrain.

Could it be that, as Dobson and Willinsky suggest, that “print allows a range of opportunities for interactivity in the form of the addition of intertext or paratext, not least of which is the footnote that acts as a stepping off point into source texts”? This could certainly be part of the issue. I know from experience that defence lawyers do dissect disclosed materials, particularly witness statements, and often insert their own comments, questions and challenges at various points on the document to assist them in preparing their defence. I believe that this issue could easily be overcome and that similar notations could be made in digital form utilizing Supertext, perhaps even with some type of prompting by the program to remind the reader of the added notation.

With respect to comprehension comparison across hypermedia and paper, Dillon and Gabbard (1998) report that the majority of experimental findings of controlled, quantitative studies demonstrate no significant difference. So comprehension is likely not an issue, although studies by Lehto, Zhu and Carpenter (1995) and Marchionini and Crane (1994) presenting findings that support the speed and power of electronic searching. This is certainly valuable insight in the context of Supertext – as it cannot be denied how valuable electronic searching would be for defence lawyers faced with large amounts of word documents. In fact, Dillon and Gabbard (1998) conclude that “hypermedia appears to be best suited to tasks involving substantial amounts of large document manipulation, searching through large texts for specific details, and comparison of visual details among objects.” To that end, Supertext would offers significant advantages and might even be considered a Panacea for the analysis of voluminous disclosure. Dobson and Willinsky speak to the effects of networked (multidirectional) text environments and state that proponents of hypermedia feel that it was “destined to improve comprehension and motivation because it mimics the associative processes of the mind.” (pp. 7) In the context of Crown Briefs, the information may certainly be easier to process and digest in digital form. Further support for this can be found in the work of Rand Spiro and his team positing that readers “are better able to follow connections in a semantic sense, and that the thematic “crisscrossing” afforded by hypermedia documents may encourage readers to apply their knowledge in a more flexible manner.” (pp. 7)

A final benefit of Supertext as a disclosure medium is its ability to provide document maps or “fisheye” overviews. Dobson and Willinsky suggest that these “literacy supports are advocated because they enable readers to discern, variously, the organization of content, the extent of the text and their own location in the text.” This feature is extremely valuable to the reader of a Crown Brief on a complex case due to the detail that these investigations go into – particularly in the area of scientific evidence.

So, why hasn’t this technology become the standard when its benefits seem clear. Although it is clichéd, the wheels of Justice turn slow. I can only surmise that this technology has not caught hold in the Justice field, but when it does – it will do so with a vengeance. It will become the standard rapidly and it will cause police organizations that have lagged in the area of this technology to catch up really fast. I would suggest they start embracing the technology sooner than later.

REFERENCES:

Dobson, T. and Willinsky, J. retrieved from http://pkp.sfu.ca/files/Digital%20Literacy.pdf on November 20, 2010

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