Digital Literacy Centre

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.

Tags: Digital Literacy

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 Literacy · Digital Resource

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

“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

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

Control Freaks Need Not Apply

March 4th, 2009 · No Comments

“…if you try to control or constrain a social network too tightly, you will choke it. Far better to set in place the minimum precautions necessary to ensure nothing blows up or melts down, and then let the participants work their magic. If you start obsessing too much about policies governing access to or use of social media tools, chances are you’ve missed the whole point of social media and may well end up being a hurdle on the path to success for your Enterprise 2.0 initiative.”

From Above and Beyond KM :

What are the limits of this position?

Tags: Social Media

Innovating e-learning online conference 2008

December 4th, 2008 · No Comments

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) held an online conference on e-learning November 4 – 7 of this year. You can look at its full program here. And documentation related to the query: Does Web2 fundamentally alter the learner-teacher relationship? (amongst other presentations) is here with a good discussion summary here.

Tags: Digital Literacy

Google Searchwiki

November 24th, 2008 · 1 Comment

You may already think that Google is an essential tool as a leading search engine. But perhaps, like me, you are sometimes unsatisfied with the results of your search, and wish, for instance, that you could reorder them or add results that do not appear. Google’s new search function allows you to customize the results. This will certainly provide more welcome convenience. Will it filter out the element of surprise? It may have an interesting impact on strategies used by web developers to push their sites to the top of the list. Does this constitute a shift in what we might call Search Engine Literacy?

Read about it here:
Customize Your Search Results

Tags: Digital Literacy · What is Digital Literacy?

Digital Strategies for Teaching

November 6th, 2008 · No Comments

I picked this up from educauseconnect where it linked to MUVErsLLC, who mentioned it and linked it to blogger Scott Merrick at, who picked it up from David Truss, a blogger at David Truss::Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts
It’s a good introduction to new possibilities for learning and teaching in the digital era.
The original post is here: Blip.TV
[vodpod id=Groupvideo.1739683&w=425&h=350&fv=]

more about “Digital Strategies for Teaching “, posted with vodpod

Tags: Digital Literacy · What is Digital Literacy?