Hello everyone


I chose this image because I think that graffiti can be a powerful form of expression. In some regards it was the earliest form of social media and allowed the author to reflect on the moment in space and time when she or he created the work. There is a prolific culture around the concept of 'tagging' that far outdates social media tagging, hash-tagging, poking, and so on, that seems to speak to an underlying need for people to express themselves and be heard in public. From early prehistoric cave paintings, to Ancient Roman scripts scrawled on walls, to posting pictures of dinner on Facebook, the need to share with others that which you find important seems innate.

From this course I'm hoping to do two things. First, I'm hoping to feed the historical junkie in me and reflect on the impact that the medium has on the message. Secondly, I'm hoping to find ways better match the form of writing with the intended outcome for my students. Ideally, if I can refine a few strategies about how to better align what type of writing I assign to what type of learning I'm hoping my students take away then I will be quite happy.

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Hello Everyone,

I chose the above image to represent what I’m hoping to learn the most about from this course. I am a Language Arts teacher and I work with elementary kids with dyslexia. What I used to take for granted, I now see in a different light and am continually searching for methods/technologies that support a Universal Design for Learning model that encompass multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement. I’m hoping that this course will give me insights into how reading and writing with technology effect our decoding/processing of information, what types of online learning platforms are ideal for creating a learning environment for literacy that is multi-sensory (highly visual and audio capabilities), and ideas for accessing levelled electronic books affordably. That’s my wish list!

A little bit about myself..I live in Vancouver with my husband, almost 10 year old son, and 8 month old Goldendoodle puppy. This is my 6th course in the program and I am really excited to learn more about text technologies so that I can support the amazing children that I work with.

Hebaaq Pascal


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QR Codes

QR Code for Study Room Reservation

I chose this image, because I am interested in symbols in text, and the evolution of text. To me this image is an great example both of those aspects. The QR code is a symbol and it is text. It is also a hyper-linked text. We just can’t read it without technology. So in some cases our text has evolved to a point where we can only read it with the assistance of a particular technology. In this case literacy is a function of the availability of the technology. I also found it interesting that many signs like this are in libraries, and so this emphasizes the notion of the changing nature of the idea of text. libraries are not the old stacks I remember from UBC in the early days.

I am Catherine Spinney, and I am in my 8th course here in the Met program. I chose this course because the idea of the relationship between text and technology intrigued me, and I am interested in studying it further. The way we represent and communicate our ideas, understandings, and knowledge is changing, and I believe this course will help me understand the implications of those changes.

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Media Connections: My final reflection

What I learned from the course

I have learned through this course that the meaning of literacy has been influenced by technology both of present and the past. Digital technology has enabled us to view literacy not simply as understanding what we read and write and accepting it, but analyzing various representations of information, and drawing connections with other related information to create our own knowledge network. Bolter (2000) emphasizes that although cultures have previously promoted a unified, homogenous, traditional community through print, radio, television, and now computer technologies, the preference now is to use the emerging technologies to “…promote multiplicity, heterogeneity, and immediate, if temporary, connections” (p. 204). Therefore, Bolter claims that the ideal of a unified high culture has been replaced by a network of several interest groups, which are free to create and share information without permission or even awareness of a central authority.

Connections made with the work of others

Although the information shared within the course was heavily text-based, there was a good variety of sources provided such as ebooks, journal articles, podcasts, videos, webpages, etc. However, much has been learned through working collaboratively with peers (both in person and online) to complete the final project, and through reading and responding to the work of others.

Lisa’s video in the introduction section of our Flipped Learning presentation provided a great overview for me to understand exactly what it means to flip a classroom and how technology can be used effectively in various ways to create this environment. By researching literacy within the context of flipped learning, I was able to find specific information in literature both within and outside class that supported the (proper) implementation of this teaching methodology in schools to help students develop 21st century literacy skills. Heidi’s feedback section further supports flipped learning by effectively summarizing why teachers, students, and parents are in favour of it. Her overview of the tools provides those with an interest in creating, presenting, and/or sharing videos some insight as to the benefits and drawbacks of a few options.

Stacey and Jose’s final project included great videos and graphic organizers to present information about the technology behind cameras and photography. I particularly found the video on the 14 Principles of Multimedia Learning to be particularly helpful when thinking about how to use images effectively in a presentation.

Ashley, Ben, and Dan invited us to experience first-hand the excitement of learning via a Choose Your Own Adventure presentation. Although the creation of such a project can be very time-consuming experience when working with new technological tools, as they mentioned in their artist statement, the result is that students can be highly engaged when they can choose their own learning path, each with its own fantastic mix of multimedia combining meaningful words and images. It was even more special that they created this unique CYOA experience using a Weebly site that many of us are already familiar with, and by sharing their presentation map on the blog, we could see the required planning behind such an endeavour.

These are just a few of the many great collaborative projects that I enjoyed exploring and learning from in this course. Michael Wesch (2008), whose video lecture was one of my favourite resources among the course material we covered, discussed what students need to be literate in this digital world:
• A storyline which provides the meaning and context for education
• A learning environment in which the students are valued and given control over their learning
• Both of these things must be done such that recognizes and empowers the existing media environment as an effective tool for learning

Thanks to the efforts of my instructors and peers in this ETEC 540, I have a better understanding of how to design my future curriculum to meet these literacy needs, and what media tools can be used to achieve them. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Bolter, J.D. (2000). Writing space: Computers, hypertext, and the remediation of print. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Wesch, M. (2008, July 10). A Portal to Media Literacy [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4yApagnr0s

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Making Connections

I once walked into a McDonald’s in a low income, working class neighbourhood and was stunned to see that the menu board was completely devoid of words—it was all photographs and numbers to order by. It made me wonder if this was a new trend in literacy—were we moving away from text towards imagery?—or was this an intentional strategy on behalf of the management to address the perception that most of their customers lacked basic literacy? They’ve since switched back to a regular sign filled with words, but it certainly threw me for a loop that day.

To say that literacy is dying would be misleading, for it is in a perpetual state of death and renewal as each new generation explores and reinvents it. Literacy and what it means to be literate is always changing. With each change in literacy, from orality to print to multimedia, arguably something is lost, gained, and/or transformed. I’m both excited and terrified for what the future of literacy holds. I love words, grammar, and physical books. I also love the new possibilities afforded by digital mediums and love to explore and push the boundaries with what’s possible. The thing is, I’m not sure that there’s anything really new going on except the speed at which information is disseminated, the ease at which it is possible to rip.mix.feed, and the democratization of voice. When I look at all the possibilities afforded by all the new tools, I see them for their constituent blocks: text, images, video, and audio. Every tool uses these pieces in some way and adds a fifth piece: the ability to connect socially around the first four. To that end, the content hasn’t changed in the last century, only the mediums. I don’t mean to downplay all the amazing tools online and the myriad possibilities to create and share. I love technology for the opportunities it gives my creative side to play. However, I still believe that content is king. Without substance, flashy tools are just flash.

All this reminds me of the countless abandoned blogs strewn across the Internet. When I started my first blog back in 2003, I was so excited. The trouble was that I had nothing exciting to write about. I didn’t want to keep an online diary. And so I stopped writing and my blog joined the Internet’s detritus. I’ve since learned that blogs are about writing and that blogging is about community. That is the connection that I have made. The spoken and written word both require an audience. The success of all the new technologies lie in their ability to connect people. The ability to create an amazing motion comic isn’t the point until it can be shared. An idea that is not shared has no value. And so as long as their is someone to share with, literacy will be just fine.


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Connections of a Selfie

About two weeks ago, the people of Oxford Dictionary named ‘selfie’ as the word of the year. I think in one moment it encapsulated the journey of this course. Hear me out.

We started way back when with Walter Ong, who taught that writing was a skill to learn and that language is especially important in areas where reading and learning isn’t open to the average person. This means that language and learning develops, especially in writing and especially through rote learning. We touched on Postman who clearly demonstrates that we are amusing ourselves to death, that the way we communicate and view technology essentially becomes an extension of ourselves. We also met Bolter who showed that text can be active and take on a life of its own. Mostly he taught us about remediation, which basically states as technology is replaced, each subsequent modality keeps a piece of the previous one.

How does this equate to the selfie?


Selfie is short for self-portrait. It is a form of communication…language even. It began years ago, and like the way we viewed language and text, it changes. The old polaroid, is the codex and scrolls, remnants of the text before our time. The time when language and communication may not have been open to all. The digital camera is the printing press changing everything. For the first time the technology is open many. The digital camera, instantaneous, allowing all to be photographers. The printing press, instantaneous (well somewhat), but opening up education and scholarly pursuits to all. Finally, the camera phone is hypertext, a new language of communication. The ability to not just use language but visuals as well. The new way of viewing things. Each subsequent technology changed and kept elements of the previous generation. This course has taken us from the beginnings of language to the ever-changing language of hypertext. It also shows how technology impacts the language around us. 10 years ago, would you have known what a selfie was? Me either. So as technology changes , the language it impacts changes as well.

One element or assignment in the course I found very beneficial was rip.mix.feed – there are times, especially in a forum such as the MET program when we are pressed for time and rely on what we already now and may not venture out into uncomfortable territory. Rip.mix.feed challenges us to learn and experiment with a ton of web 2.0 tools, which may take some out of their comfort zone.

In addition, the fact that we comment on blogs, in an online degree, show how much technology changes the written word and learning.


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making connections

I started a bit of mind map in an effort to reflect on everything we have covered in this course.  This is just a start. I think could be branching off for miles in each direction, especially as I look through other peoples’ work. The collaborative and research projects in this course were so diverse and really built on the course material. I couldn’t cover it all from penny newspapers, to 9/11 and the media, to flipped learning, to social media. I didn’t have a chance to read all the projects in detail!  The media tools (video essays, prezi, photo editing, animation tools) that people used were in and of themselves a major a useful and interesting adventure. Usually I like to include images in my mind map, but I was limited by the tool I used.  While it was an accessible app on my tablet, it doesn’t have some of the functionality of fuller programs.  I am sad not to include images, as at the end of this course I still find myself most fascinated by the relationship between image and text, most of all.

Good luck everyone. It’s been a pleasure and a very rich learning environment.


mindmap etec 540

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Making Connections

Learning about text technologies and how they have changed has been both informative and engaging. We remember historical people, icons and events because their words and works were preserved for us by means of different text technologies. I enjoyed studying the historical record of texts and how when we think about text we have to include a myriad of different forms: cave paintings, tattoos, stone tablets, clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, manuscript books, musical scores, maps, printed books, engravings, newspapers, photographs, films, DVDs, computers. Every kind of text is produced by a special technology, but all those technologies share a simple purpose: they were designed to supplement the fragile human mind by providing a more durable and permanent memory system. The changing space of text technologies preserved memories and knowledge that is essentially the foundation of all human culture.

We live in an interesting time where the continual change of technology happens at such a rapid rate we often find it difficult to keep up. Technology has always been changing but it often took more than one generation to notice in the past. Today Technology changes perhaps dozens of times in a generation and it is mind-blowing to think of what the future of text may look like.

I enjoyed discussing and sharing with other students in this course. The commentaries, research projects, and final projects were diverse and each brought a unique perspective to a particular area of interest.

I made a short Animoto video to send off the course with I tried to embed it but it didn’t seem to work. http://animoto.com/play/q4BuNAYgEHuBJoAb3A5DcA

I wish everyone the best and hope that you all enjoy the Holidays 🙂


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Making Connections

My reflections and thoughts from the course (including readings and other projects) are focused on the following:

Newer View for the Technological Shift

The course readings tell us the fact that human have repeatedly criticized and questioned newer technologies whenever a technological shift has occurred. The ignorance of upcoming paradigm shifts cause the fear and denial when there are changes to be faced. In a sense, tracing the history of text technologies gave me a view that will enable me to analyze more objectively when I face drastic technological changes in the future.

Meaning Making and Literacy

The research projects and final projects from classes taught me various modes and technologies: as different technology and modes have different affordance, accordingly, their process representing meaning is different. I become anxious when the students think meanings are in their electronic dictionaries or just something to look up on the Internet. When we express ideas in images and movies, we are consciously or unconsciously interpreting meanings through a certain grammar and understanding. We cannot lookup those meanings in dictionaries, because the meanings are not concrete, and requires our interpretation. I have read about multiliteracy in previous courses, but I felt for the first time, I understand what “meaning making” is about.

Animated Texts and Digital Effects

Now that texts themselves have changed as as our colleague’s project suggested in  “Dynamic Text Presentations”. Digital effects animate texts in the form of movies and images, and that creates additional meanings in the texts and the words themselves. These digital effects should work in their own grammar, but we have not studied enough on the grammar of digital effects on texts. If I could continue this course, I am interested in exploring this area.


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Rip.Mix.Feed. a photoset of images for Flipped Learning

As my group created a final presentation on Flipped Learning, and my contribution to the group was heavily written on the website, I decided to create a photoset of images on Flickr with very few words included. This collection of pictures was gathered from the internet under the creative commons license. Although I have used Flickr several times now in the course, I had not created a set of multiple images before, and I wanted to see what I could do with a collection with regards to education.

I attempted to express what flipped learning is like with only these four pictures. I organized the images in this order so that the complete set resembled the flipped learning process outlined by Ramsey Mussallam and presented in the ‘Introduction’ section of our Flipped Learning website. I chose the first image to show students engaging in an inquiry task designed to build curiosity, the second to then show the teacher creating their lecture video, the third to present a student watching the lecture video, and the final image to show students collaboratively working on a creative learning task at school.

This particular form of production allows for teachers to share with students a created set of interconnected images on the internet, a set that is not accompanied with lots of words. Teachers can use this tool to promote discussion, as students can try to figure out the story that the images collectively tell, the similarities/differences between the images in a group, etc. With a few words to guide the students, teachers can use tools like this one to have students engage in some meaningful discussions in class. Teachers can also encourage students to create their own photoset for various purposes by gathering photos that they have taken themselves or those that they have gathered on the internet. Ofcourse, these sets could also be used to complement written or spoken words when embedded in a website or video.

In terms of drawbacks, teachers and students must be mindful of copyright issues when selecting images from the internet. Although there are several images that a teacher could use to create a more meaningful or effective photoset, he/she must avoid using pictures that are protected by the owner. Furthermore, a collection such as mine may appear to be rather random, and can easily be misinterpreted without explanation or sufficient cues. It is important for the creator of the set to be aware of what the intended message and ensure that the pictures can adequately convey the message.

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