Digital Literacy Centre

Digital Literature and Critical Literacy – Dr. Teresa Dobson

October 13th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Dr. Teresa Dobson presents this Thursday, October 15 at the DLC as part of the LLED Research Seminar Series.

Abstract:
“Electronic literature is defined by the Electronic Literature Organization as a class of “works with important literary aspects that take advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer” (ELO, 2006, n.p.). It includes genres such as hypertext fiction, reactive poetry, blog novels, Flash fiction and poetry, generative art, installation, code poetry, and so on. This presentation considers the features of such multimedia literary forms through an examination of two examples and contemplates the value of such literature for critical literacy education.”

Here are some links you might find interesting and/or relevant:

Electronic Literature Organization
Electronic Literature Collection, Vol 1
Digital Literacy (PDF essay by Teresa Dobson and John Willinsky)
Electronic Literature: What is it? (article by N. Katherine Hayles)
In Search of a New(er) Digital Literature
The Alliance of Digital Humanities
Society for Digital Humanities
Electronic Literature Workspace
arts-humanities.net
http://www.wordcircuits.com
Hyperizons: Theory and Criticism of Hypertext Fiction
Electronic Literature Foundation (ELF)

Tags: Digital Humanities · Digital Literacy · Electronic Literature

Networked Book

August 5th, 2009 · No Comments

The following is from http://networkedbook.org/ an interesting project to create collaborative articles and essays in the form of commentary, translation and revision. Its focus is network culture. It still uses the term “book,” which is interesting, perhaps temporary, and perhaps an opening for considerations of predominating frames in discourse. Of course it is as valid to ask why not book, as much as why – taking into account that these terms are as fluid and mutable as any cultural language.

Here is the About section quoted:

“A networked book is an open book designed to be written, edited and read in a networked environment.” — Institute for the Future of the Book

In 2007, Jo-Anne Green and Helen Thorington (Co-Directors, New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. | Turbulence.org) proposed Networked to Eduardo Navas (NewMediaFIX). Along with Sean Dockray (Telic Arts Exchange) and Anne Bray (Freewaves), they developed an application to the National Endowment for the Arts, which funded the project in 2008.

An international Call for Proposals was issued. It defined the project’s Goals and Objectives and invited contributions that critically and creatively rethink how networked art is categorized, analyzed, legitimized — and by whom — as norms of authority, trust, authenticity and legitimacy evolve. A committee of nine reviewed the submissions: four authors were commissioned to develop chapters that are now open for commentary, revision, and translation. A fifth — one of the runners-up — was invited to contribute. Networked is open to additional chapters. See Guidelines.

Networked proposes that a history or critique of interactive and/or participatory art must itself be interactive and/or participatory; that the technologies used to create a work suggest new forms a “text” might take.

Tags: Digital Literacy · Digital Resource · Social Media

The Affordance of Social Media in the Classroom

July 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

This week the Digital Literacy Centre has been offering workshops on the Affordance of Social Media in the Classroom. The workshops are examining a number of typical Web 2.0 applications and the ways in which they can be used in the context of pedagogy. There is growing interest in the educational prospect of these kinds of tools and applications, and particularly since they are part of a Digital Generation’s common literacy.

Here is one example of an attempt to create a collaborative space for educators and students called the Social Media Classroom and Collaboratory (HERE). The Wikinomics blog (here) posted by Danny Williamson describes it thusly:

“The project, created by Howard Rheingold, describes itself as, “an invitation to grow a public resource of knowledge and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media in learning.” The site is a series of Web 2.0 tools (it offers forums, wikis, blogs, chat, social bookmarking, microblogging, social video, curricular materials, resource repositories and an online community of practitioners – available as an install or SaaS) that help to facilitate collaborative, student-led learning across a distance. The value of this project is not simply the ability to slap a 2.0 paintjob on an existing system but rather as a means to enhance the learning process.”

Tags: Digital Literacy · digital media in the classroom · Digital Resource

Humanities Visualization

July 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Dr Stan Ruecker is at the Digital Literacy Centre’s Summer Institute this week talking about humanities visualization, an alternative strategy to data visualization, and performing workshops with Dr Teresa Dobson (Director of the DLC) on Digital Applications for Knowledge Visualization. One of the tools being examined is the Mandala Rich Prospect Browser.

Here is a site where you can read about and play around with a current prototype:

Mandala Rich Prospect Browser

“The Mandala Browser is a rich prospect browsing concept that allows users to explore a data set using multiple criteria. Unlike boolean searching, the Mandala Browser permits a more nuanced search by allowing users to determine the strength of each criterion. Its design allows enormous flexibility in terms of the number of criteria used, the number of items represented, and the types of items represented.” (From http://mandala.humviz.org/)

Tags: Digital Literacy Centre

Cliff Missen, eGranary & Widernet

May 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Quote: Cliff Missen is Director of the WiderNet Project and an Instructor in the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa. Following a year as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jos (Nigeria) in 1999, he founded the University of Iowas WiderNet Project which has delivered technology training programs for over 4,000  African university administrators, librarians, and technicians. Missen oversees the development of the eGranary Digital Library, an innovative way to deliver the worlds knowledge to people and institutions with inadequate Internet access.

Quote: With installations in over 200 schools, universities, clinics, and hospitals in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Haiti, the eGranary Digital Library provides lighting-fast access to educational materials — video, audio, books, journals, Web sites — even where no Internet access exists. Removing the barriers imposed by inadequate infrastructure and costly connectivity, the eGranary makes it possible to put immense libraries into the hands of the information-seekers everywhere. The current collection, which is both updatable and customizable, contains over 10 million documents. That includes over 1,000 Web sites like the Wikipedia, the World Health Organization, and the Gutenberg Project. Few people in the developing world have adequate connections to the Internet and those that do are spending enormous amounts for their connectivity. For those without an Internet connection, this library is a phenomenon. Even those with an Internet connection experience documents opening 3-5,000 times faster from the eGranary Digital Library while saving enormous bandwidth costs. Our objectives are to grow the application of this off-line technology to provide broader access to whole communities (leveraging local computers and networks), to work with partners to include more of their local content, and to develop social entrepreneurial franchises that will spread and maintain this low-cost innovation.
From: Stockholm Challenge

Cliff Missen talks about meeting the information needs of developing countries at the DLC Tuesday, May 26 @ 1 PM. Bonny Norton from  LLED is the discussant.  See our Events page for more details.

Tags: Digital Archive · Digital Literacy · Digital Resource · E-Learning

World Digital Library

April 22nd, 2009 · No Comments

The World Digital Library, operated by UNESCO & the American Library of Congress launched today with content from the span of continents. There is not a great deal of content, mind you – not yet, in any case. And what there is, is sometimes curious (for e.g. North America: USA: Arts & recreation: Music: … yields 4 pictures: Pow-Wow Princess Song [which is actually a video]; A scan of a letter from Linda Kelly, Sherry Bane, and Mickie Mattson to President Dwight D. Eisenhower Regarding Elvis Presley;  A photograph of two young Polynesian women, one playing the ukulele; and A photograph of Elvis Presley meeting with President Richard M. Nixon at the White House). The navigation is a bit of a puzzle (for instance, it’s not clear why the Heading under North America for Place: United States of America: subdivides into “Narrow Results” that list Cuba, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Canada, Russian Federation, Brazil, Spain, France, Bolivia, Bahamas … and then link to “more” – and following the paths displayed in the blue top box, does not make much sense). Nevertheless, its mission is an interesting one:

“to promote international and intercultural understanding, expand the volume and variety of cultural content on the Internet, provide resources for educators, scholars, and general audiences, and to build capacity in partner institutions to narrow the digital divide within and between countries.[1] It aims to expand non-English and non-Western content on the Internet, and contribute to scholarly research. The library intends to make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from cultures around the world, including manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, architectural drawings, and other significant cultural materials.[2][3][4]” – Quoted from Wikipedia

It is a project with great promise.

Tags: Digital Archive · Digital Literacy · Digital Resource · E-Learning

QR Codes for Learning

April 17th, 2009 · No Comments

This quote is from an interesting piece entitled ’7 Things You Should Know About QR Codes.’ The full pdf is available from Educause.edu

“QR codes link the physical world with the virtual by providing on-the-spot access to descriptive language and online resources for objects and locations. In this way, the codes support experiential learning, bringing scholarship out of the classroom and into physical experience. They offer expanded pedagogical value in exercises that draw students into creating and contributing content. In history projects, students might research information about local sites, write up what they have learned, generate QR code for their content, post the codes at key destinations, and tour the sites where a network of information from other students has been posted. Such exercises move students outside the bounds of the campus and into city centers, historic neighborhoods, and manufacturing districts, where learning becomes a matter of exploration. Because much of the information in QR codes is browser-based, students engaged in study abroad can use the codes to read websites in their native languages or turn a local destination into a foreign-language lesson. Finally, the greatest importance of QR codes could lie not in their specific use, which may be superseded by newer codes and interpreters, but in the opportunities they offer for moving away from keyboards as input devices in learning environments.”

Tags: Digital Literacy · E-Learning

In the News: Teaching for the 21st Century

April 9th, 2009 · No Comments

LINK
“Teaching for the 21st Century” is a collaborative initiative between British Columbia School District 62 (Sooke) and faculty at the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University. The project is garnering some attention and was highlighted by the Goldstream Gazette earlier this week. Researcher-practitioners teaching in a Victoria-area school are joining forces with university researchers to examine the use of and possibilities for e-readers in high school settings. Two classes of students in a Victoria-area school have been given Sony E-Readers. The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria is building a corpus of electronic texts comprised of classroom readings with the expert help of Serina Patterson, and these texts have been loaded on the e-readers so that students have all of their materials on one machine. A team of researchers, including Teresa Dobson (UBC), James Nahachewsky (UVic), Ted Reicken (UVic), Ray Siemens (UVic), Devon Stokes-Bennett (West Shore Centre for Learning and Training), and Kirsten Uszkalo (SFU) will study the way in which students employ these devices in their learning.

Tags: E-Learning

Learning Spaces

April 6th, 2009 · No Comments

Educational Quarterly has updated its online-only format with multimedia and community-building applications.  Its most recent edition features a special issue on Learning Spaces, presenting some interesting possibilities.

Tags: Digital Literacy

$2.5 Million Grant with an Additional $10.4 Million Funding in Institutional and Research Partner Support to Study Reading in the Digital Age

March 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Andrew Saxton (on far left), Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board, announced millions in funding to social sciences and humanities researchers yesterday, highlighting in particular a multi-million digital literacy project involving members of the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia.

The announcement was made from the University of Victoria, which described the project in its press release thus:

From ancient cave paintings to hand-printed books to Facebook, people have been reading in various forms for thousands of years. But what will the act of reading look like in the future and what can we learn from the past to ensure digital applications enhance and expand the reading experience?

That’s what an international team of researchers led by Project Director Ray Siemens (UVic, far right in above photo) and Research Area Leaders Richard Cunningham (Acadia U), Teresa Dobson (UBC), Alan Galey (U Toronto), Susan Schreibman (Royal Irish Academy), and Claire Warwick (University College London) will be studying over the next seven years through their participation in the “Implementing New Knowledge Environments” (INKE) project. Funded with nearly $2.5 million through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) program with an additional $10.4 million funding in institutional and research partner support, this team of 35 researchers and 21 partner agencies will develop a better understanding of literacy in the digital age.

“We describe our work as ‘the future of the history of the book’,” says Siemens. “We’ll be looking at several thousands of years of societal interaction with book-like objects and examine through them how society mobilizes and interacts with knowledge. We’ll be able to contribute directly to digital developments in this area.”

A full list of researchers (including UBC’s Teresa Dobson and John Willinsky), participating institutions, and partners can be found at the project’s website, www.inke.ca.

Tags: Digital Literacy