Digital Literacy Centre

Current Website

August 6th, 2010 · No Comments

Thank you for visiting. Please note that the DLC website is now located here:

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Dr. John Willinsky at the Digital Literacy Centre

December 10th, 2009 · No Comments

This Friday, December 11, at 12:00 pm Dr. John Willinsky will give a lecture at the Digital Literacy Centre. Dr. Willinsky is a Professor of Education at UBC and at Stanford University. The lecture, titled Intellectual Properties of Literacy and Learning: The Missing Lessons, is part of the Digital Literacy Centre Speaker Series.

Intellectual Properties of Literacy and Learning: The Missing Lessons: This digital age has raised the profile of intellectual property in
ways that may well warrant inclusion in all forms of literacy education. This presentation will review the principles of intellectual property that appear most pertinent to work with students and teachers. It will then focus on what might be termed the intellectual properties of learning, which, it will be demonstrated, have long possessed a special legal status, which amounts to a public trust, that we may be able to do more, in this digi tal age, to honor.

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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.

“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
Hyperizons: Theory and Criticism of Hypertext Fiction
Electronic Literature Foundation (ELF)

→ 1 CommentTags: Digital Humanities · Digital Literacy · Electronic Literature

Siva Vaidhyanathan

September 29th, 2009 · No Comments

Siva Vaidhyanathan is presenting at the Digital Literacy Centre on Monday October 5th. The event is co-sponsored by CCFI and the DLC. The title of his talk is The Googlization of Everything.

The following is a quote from his blog:

This blog, the result of a collaboration between myself and the Institute for the Future of the Book, is dedicated to exploring the process of writing a critical interpretation of the actions and intentions behind the cultural behemoth that is Google, Inc. The book will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through the lens of Google?; How is Google’s ubiquity affecting the production and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and states?

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Networked Book

August 5th, 2009 · No Comments

The following is from 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. | 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.

→ No CommentsTags: Digital Humanities · 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.”

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Popular Culture and Parody – Dr Michael Eberle-Sinatra

July 8th, 2009 · No Comments

Michael Eberle-Sinatra Associate Professor of nineteenth-century British literature at the Université de Montréal, President of Synergies: The Canadian Information Network for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, founding member of Nines (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship), and the vice-president of the Society for Digital Humanities, is at the Digital Literacy Centre’s Summer Institute teaching a course on Popular Culture and Digital Media: Representing Technology, Gender and Sexuality. On Thursday July 8, 2009, at 1 PM in the DLC, he will be giving a talk on Mixing Media and Humor in Joss Whedon’s Fray and Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.

Read more about Dr Eberle-Sinatra and access his blog here.

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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

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The Social Production of Email … and Games Theory

May 27th, 2009 · No Comments

There have been some interesting ideas floating around about how to deal with spam lately, and it is possibly intriguing to consider how the cultural production and perception of email has changed in light of both spam/corporate/commercial email as a standard and the shift to communications through more terse systems like Facebook and Twitter. This article from Wired online is interesting for its attempt to  create a strategy  for “intelligent use of email.” One might wonder about the critical judgment at play (definitions of “intelligent”), but the concept of recycling or repurposing in this context is perhaps interesting.

Then again, there is another whole area this article covers with respect to game theory and its applications for behaviour modification that may warrant some close consideration (expressed to some extent comically in the comments to the article).


The Game of Life

By Clive Thompson | 05.26.09

Everyone complains about “e-mail overload” — getting so much stupid corporate e-mail that you miss out on important messages. But Byron Reeves has figured out a way to solve the problem.

How? By turning corporate e-mail into a game.

Read the artcile here.

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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.

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