The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

MIT Lab and the “Sixth Sense”

As one of themes of this course relates to technology and information retrieval and storage, I thought I would share this video. The folks at MIT have created a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data. The device, based on personal criteria that you input, allows you to interact with an environment and call up relevant information about it, simply by gesturing (e.g. while shopping a hand gesture will bring up information about a particular product). What is controversial about this device is that it makes it easy to infringe on people’s privacy. Filming and photographing can occur by simply moving one’s hand. Also, think about how annoying it is to listen to a multitude of mobile users chat in public spaces – this device allows a user to project and display information on any surface. Imagine, hundreds of people displaying information all over the place at once!

November 24, 2009   1 Comment

Reflecting on Spaces in Modules 1 and 2….

I’d like to take some time to reflect on our spaces in ETEC 540. During Module 1, we were introduced to our Vista course space (forums, mail, chat…), Flickr and our Community Weblog. During Module 2 we added to our Orality and Literacy wiki pages and we were encouraged to create pages. We also have our Textology Weblog, which I’ve commented on, but haven’t posted to yet. So far so good, but I have to remind myself this is my 9th MET course. I am now fairly literate in reading and writing in these new spaces. This is a long way away from my 2007 self, who was a little lost in ETEC 510.

In ETEC 510 we had to navigate Vista (tricky your first time!) and edit a class wiki (what’s a wiki?) and I was petrified! I spent one hour with our in-school “techie” just learning to post to the wiki and I remember my heart racing as I thought about what I might do “wrong”. Later MET classes introduced me to social bookmarking, creating my own wiki (!), creating my own Moodle (!!) and creating my own blog (!!!). It was a sharp learning curve for someone who read the class outlines concerning MET technology know-how and thought “Yes, I can e-mail with attachments, I’ll be fine!”  🙂

I can’t believe how quickly I have improved my literacy! I can use a WYSIWYG editor in a relaxed manner, a tool which once frightened me with all its buttons and options. I admit, I did have a little palpitation during my ETEC 540 wiki edit, but I knew I could revert to the old page if something went terribly wrong. Another “new spaces” skill!

I know I am at the beginning of understanding this development from an academic point of view. However, I feel that the various readings in 540 relate to my experience. Two years ago I was literate, but not digitally literate. Now I can  draw parallels between  digital literacy and orality, specifically in knowledge community development and creating a sense of  a cohesive “group”. Now I can navigate new spaces of literacy. Now I know these spaces exist and there are other people in them!

I just wanted to share my growth with the class because somebody out there is new to these writing and reading spaces. I want them to know we’ve all been there and by Module 3, navigating these spaces will be old hat.  I’m left wondering, along with you no doubt, what the next big literacy space will be.

I’ll leave you with a great clip “Learning to Change-Changing to Learn” concerning K-12 students and teachers and the shift from traditional reading and writing spaces to the changing spaces we’re being exposed to in ETEC 540 . My favourite quote: “We have a classroom system when we could have a community system”. Enjoy!

 See you in the forums, or the wiki, or the blog, or on delicious or Flickr….Erin

October 6, 2009   1 Comment


To elucidate the concept of “text” I decided to upload this clip from the documentary series Testament, presented by historian John Romer. The series, which was originally aired in 1988, is about the history of the Bible—how it was created and how it has featured in people’s lives throughout history. In this clip, which actually consists of a small clip from the beginning of episode 3 with a clip from the end of the same episode, a narrator reads from the rules of how a Jewish temple scroll is to be written. (Notice that it says no part of the scroll is to be written from memory.) John Romer also tells an interesting story that illustrates the idea that a text is authoritative. In an oral tradition there is no authoritative version of a story. A person tells the story from memory and can change it to suit his or her purposes, usually in response to the reactions of the audience. I was reminded of this clip when listening to James O’Donnell’s discussion of early Christianity and its dependence on writing.

YouTube Preview Image

September 23, 2009   No Comments

Shedding light on the meaning of technology

Here is a brief video of someone’s description on technology that I found to be well put.

YouTube Preview Image

September 13, 2009   2 Comments