The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

Connecting a Course

Strength of Weak Ties

As other 540ers have confessed, I also did not devour every word posted in our multiple places. It truly would have been overwhelming (at least for me!) to keep up with the assigned readings, interactivities, and assessment for multiple courses and then read everyone else’s assessments and commentaries. It tended to mirror the overall information overload of today that was an undercurrent or tangent of many 540 discussions. In many ways it felt as if ETEC 540 were a mini-information overload all its own. To cope, after the course’s first, few weeks, I tended to zero in on posts from particular people. Initially, I fooled myself that running eyes over the screen on everyone’s entries constituted reading their posts. This could almost be conceived as a double cheat given the course’s focus! However, I did favour certain contributors over others. I do wonder what I missed by this concentration, but it does seem to suit the course content. Discussions in the last two modules communicated heavily around the students of today soaking up and using information differently and I do view it as a coping mechanism. Part of the changing spaces of reading and writing is organization. Ordering how we locate, access, evaluate, and synthesize the data and information as personal sense-making and way-finding. The ambush of information in 540 made me realize I need more work in this area. Owning up to lacking organizational skills is an extremely difficult truth for a librarian to face!

Another Kind of Divide

Many interesting posts centred on the digital divide in every sense of the word – age: natives to immigrants; economy: haves and haves not; format: print versus digital. Another splice of this was the divide between practice and theory. I believe this was most apparent in Module 4’s “Modern Literacy and New Media”. Rise of the spectacle took a back seat to discussing personal and practical observations on the benefits of using images in delivering curricula. This was representative of another personal challenge with 540. The breadth of posts provided great interest, but made depth difficult. With such user-generated content and course direction, the possibilities are truly endless. It was a hurdle to contribute to postings that really did come from every possible angle. I suppose I learned too long another way. My experience with education began with “sage on the stage” and progressed through to “guide on the side”. ETEC 540 evolved as we went and was based on participants’ experiences. Since we are speaking of making connections, I never fully transitioned to free form. Perhaps I am too used to guiding principles and regulations – to prepping for a focused discussion of material.


I cannot say that the postings’ positions, although persuasive, changed my approach or understanding. (Perhpas I am just stubborn…) However, my formerly strong notion of advancing continuum did collapse. The prompts and postings highlighted the recursive nature of technologies and introduced the notion of how much of the previous is taken forward and revisited beyond that.

On a practical note, the interesting ways colleagues are using web 2.0/social media did inspire. Although my focus is on post-secondary faculty, I can easily tweak (steal!) class colleagues’ innovative ideas. It was also comforting to find (especially though the Rip Mix Feed strand) that not all MET candidates think in code and text in their sleep. The mix of what appear to be innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority. and perhaps a few laggards was very non-threatening. The heterogeneity of MET courses continues to impress.

Although not a benchmark recognized outside of me, the readings and postings of 540 provided the most number of entries to my notebook of pull quotes. I can predict they will be heavily consulted and used moving forward in the MET program and my work.

December 19, 2009   No Comments