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PP 107: Multiliteracies for Collaborative Learning Environments - 2007

Links from the Moodle:

Optional reading:

Course topics (links to be filled in later):

What is this course about?

1 Week 1: Sept 10-16, 2007 What is multiliteracy? The mechanics of online communities: social networking and collaborative learning portals / Skypecasting

Mechanics of an online community Event cycle 1: September 10 - 12, 2006

2 What is multiliteracy? Event Cycle 2: September 13 - 15, 2007

The New London Group coined the term multiliteracies in 1996 and since then much has been written on the topic. Please Google the term and write what you find in the forum below. You can also surf links turned up by the past two groups of contributors to this course in the link to Extra Information below.

3 Week 2: Sept 17-23, 2007 Managing information: Utilizing RSS and bloglines, podcasting and podcatching AND Theoretical frameworks for multiliteracies and how they apply to collaborative learning environments:

Managing Information Event Cycle 3: September 17 - 19, 2007

Here are some quick reads on information overload and how to cope

What's RSS? What's an aggregator? How can these contribute to professional development and be used in class? Listen to this presentation by Will Richardson and download his Quick Start Guide for Educators for a no-nonsense and concise how-to. Have a look at ElderBob's resources, current and directed at this course.

Bee's comment, not sure how it fits here, but worth looking into: Downes (2003) defined an RSS format to be used for the syndication of learning objects. This format (RSS-LOM) will make it possible to distribute learning objects to courses without having to depend on the content libraries provided by a learning management system; it also will allow authors to distribute learning objects without having to work through an intermediary such as a publisher.

You can use Bloglines to aggregate your RSS feeds. Feedreader is another you can use if you feel like experimenting. Delicious is another tool that helps you organize your 'bookmarks' and share them with others via a system of tagging.

TAG: You're IT

Resources for Further Study

You can have a look at these and see if there is anything here that resonates with you in particular. Suggested activity: choose at least ONE item (or something else you find on the topic, that you think would interest us) and write a concise (a few paragraphs or a page) description of it in your blog or in the forum below (and if you put it in your blog or wiki, let us know via the forum where it is, although those of us following your blog or wiki in our bloglines will know when you post it; or better yet TAG it appropriately - tags to use to be decided soon!)


4 How multiliteracies apply to collaborative learning environments:

Theoretical framework for multiliteracies Event Cycle 4: September 20 - 22, 2007

If the materials here seem a bit volumous or dense, don't worry about it. I don't expect you to read them in depth. I mean for some of these to be references. Peruse them to see what you are already familiar with, and read what you are interested it. I'll tell you however what I'm interested in and why I chose these materials.

The first e-book not only illustrates a concept: distribution of materials through creative commons licence, but was chosen because it presents a comprehensive overview of learning theories (conveniently in one place online). You are probably familiar with many or most of these. They are here to remind you, and to make you think about which of these theories might be most applicable to education as you practice it or envisage it.

George Siemmens has thought about which of these theories might be most applicable to education as he envisages it and called what he came up with Connectivism. You should read these materials with more attention, and you might find the presentation materials 'edutaining'.

The next two readings deal with multiliteracies specifically

Michael Coghlan mentions emerging literacies explicitly but his talk and Vance's article touch on impacts of developing technologies on teaching and communities of practice that promote teacher professional development.

These are meant to be appreciated for scope of insights provided, but no need to examine these in depth for now.

5 Week 3: Sept 25-Oct 1, 2007 Types of multileracies: Functional, critical - Web 2.0 and an overview of free presentation portals

Functional literacy Event cycle 5: September 27 - September 29, 2006

What's Web 2.0?

Podcatching - using aggregators to harvest audio automatically online

The Saga of Lonely Girl 15 (and Lonely Senator, you can be his friend)

6 Critical literacy October 1 - October 3, 2007

7 Week 4: Oct 1-Oct 7, 2007 Types of multileracies: Rhetorical and others - More read/write Web and other media

Rhetorical literacy October 4 - October 6, 2007

8 Who's who & what's what?

George Siemens's second online conference in 2007, called Future of Education, ended in early June. The recorded talks are themselves a course in multiliteracies. Until the Moodle started straightforwardly archiving the event, I was tracking it as follows:

Recorded presentations:

Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay - My seatmate lives in China: In days when the media polarizes nations, Vicki Davis has seen greater cultural understanding and technical proficiency through Global Collaborative Projects such as the Horizon Project ( and the Flat Classroom Project ( Find out how it's done, why it's beneficial, and where she predicts such projects need to go in the future.

Sugata Mitra - Technology and Higher Education — Pedagogy for self organised learning systems - Sugata Mitra opened with an overview of the challenges facing rural communities in countries like India…and provided an example of learners creating their own learning opportunities through the “hole in the wall” experiments.

Chris Sessums - The Future of Teacher Professional Development: Re-Connecting People and Practice - Chris Sessums addressed the challenges of teacher education, presenting the convergence and participation cultures as important cornerstones. The social tools available to educators afford new opportunities of creativity and innovation.

Dave Cormier - Snowclones, Clichés and Memes - Dave Cormier presented his vision of learning in the next 10 years – a world of “disposable learning objects” and personal learning made transparent through aggregation and community formation. "This presentation will try to present an educational encounter from the future. While I've done my best to choose a topic that might be a little out of the mainstream, it inevitably will be familiar to some... image it being how communities are run in ten years time. The premise is that this is the sixth session in a series of live meetings in a community of practice that hopes to improve their understanding of using communities/networks for learning. I am the leader of today's discussion. Take it as given that most of us have met before, that there is a record of the first five meetings, and that we have been using a variety of interactive tools to support and keep our learning, that we are all contributing funds to keeping our educational network supported, and that five different people have led the first five meetings."

Dave Snowden - provided a call for a return to narrative-based conversation – suggesting that our current content-centric education system stifles innovation. Snowden suggested blogs provide an important fragmented conversation reflective of real life, not constructed and structured as much of classroom curriculum is today.

Stephen Heppell cancelled at the last minute. I saw him present at a conference in Abu Dhabi recently, where he used a tablet PC and stood at the back of the room, with everyone mesmerized on what he was doing on the screen in front as he talked us through it. Interesting presentation, so too bad about the cancellation.

The Future of Teacher Education: Herding Cats and Chasing Targets By Cheri Toledo - Teacher preparation will have a decisive impact on the future of education. Knowing this, numerous questions arise: What do prospective teachers need to know? How can teacher education programs prepare teachers to meet the needs of 21st and even 22nd Century learners? These and more questions will focus our discussion on an important aspect of the future of education.

Homo Contextus: connected human and the future of education - By Teemu Arina - Contextus is Latin and it means "connected or weaved together". In english we use the word context to describe the circumstances or setting in which an event occurs. I use Homo Contextus to describe a human who is growing, living, learning and breathing meaning through human or non-human contextual connections fueled by social technologies and driven by shared objects. Other words starting with "homo" have been used in recent times to describe humans living in the spirit of the age, or "Zeitgeist". Homo ludens (the playing human), homo faber (instrument and engineering oriented human), homo aestheticus-informaticus (knowledge-intensive but experience-oriented human), homo creativus (the creative human), homo cyber (human of the technological future) and homo symbolicus (the symbol processing human) have all been used to grasp the changing nature of what it means to be human in modern times. In my talk I will weave together Homo Contextus the connected human with the future of higher education. Where are we going, what patterns do we see emerging and what needs to go?

Derrick de Kerkhove - The City as Classroom - "If the medium is the message, then the user is the content". This oft repeated but less heard aphorism of McLuhan may help us to understand the "user" of today’s networked environment. Much in the way McLuhan suggested that the TV medium from the earliest age transformed the children into tribes of information gatherers in the global jungle, I would like to explore the possibility that networks create their own kind of sensibility in their users. Indeed the whole cognitive environment is changing and accelerating. The question is what/who is the content of FaceBook, Youtube or Wikipedia ? Another quip favoured by McLuhan is: "Why should I go to school to interrupt my education?" The core idea was that people in need of instruction could find outside the walls of the institution much more than within. Is this still true today? This lecture is an attempt, inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s many fine observations on education, to probe the technological and cognitive conditions attending pedagogical initiatives today. Elluminate recording here

Openness and the Future of Education by David Wiley - This talk will discuss learning objects as representative of the current state of the art in educational technology, and then discuss how and why the idea of "openness" is the only viable future for this particular educational technology and for education generally. Elluminate recording here

Teemu Leinonen Computerized, networked, free, open and oppressive education? - This talk will discuss about use of computers and networks in the light of oppression in education. There is a growing demand to have free and open educational resources, as well as computers and personal learning environments for each child in the world. Most production and delivery of free and open educational resource is not taking place in a two-way network. The content is emphasizing the superiority of rational-scientific-white-man living in a consumer culture. Are these universal goods or virtues what we all need? Researchers, designers and developers of education technology should ask: Who is educating whom? What is the education about? Why they (or we) are doing it? Elluminate recording here - starts at the 1 h 20 m mark

Open Educational Resources and Practices by Leigh Blackall - In this talk I take a look at what constitutes an open educational resource and consider the issues and benefits to an educational institution. An institution which is moving to participate in open educational resource development and adopt more open educational practices. There is a description of the initial steps being made by the Educational Development Centre at Otago Polytechnic - a tertiary education and vocational training institution in Southern New Zealand. Elluminate recording here - Starts at the 1 h 56 min mark

Cultural Mutations by René Barsalo - The Society for Arts and Technology in Montreal is one of the main technological art center in Canada and the world. Since 1996, it is in direct contact with the future of culture. In this presentation, Mr Barsalo will present the impact of communication technology on our cultural DNA and on the models of cultural distribution and show some of the main research projects at SAT that will prepare the next wave of connectivity and culture.

The Transformation of Learning in Universities through Online Education? by MaryFriend Shepard - The role of online learning in universities is transforming the way adult learners are gaining access to educational experiences, whether through complete programs offered by online universities, or through individual courses and programs in F2F universities. Online education has become big business as a part of the technological revolution. This session will explore some of the strategies and best practices for successful online teaching and learning at the university level, as well as the challenges that are faced in this arena.

Jay Cross Education is empowered as never before. Web 2.0 connects people the world over and encourages active participation. Incoming students have no fear of technology and are self-reliant "entrepeneurial learners." Let's blend these elements and brainstorm the possibilities. What will globally interconnected education look like? David Snowden's remarks on brain plasticity in children made me want to get every six-year old a phone pal with whom to speak another language. Each one teach one. Reflect on this, and come prepared to share your ideas.

Knowledge beyond Authority by David Weinberger -We have long settle protocols for determining who and what to believe, that is, for determining authority. In the age of the Internet, those protocols are being overturned, or at least surrounded by new types and means of authority. Looked at from the traditional perspective, the Internet is a threat to knowledge. Yet it also clearly is knowledge's future. What will knowledge and authority look like in the age of the Net?

You can watch David Weinberger give essentially this same presentation, as posted by Kevin Werbach July 9, 2007 in Conversations Hub: Supernova 2007: In the video, David Weinberger and Andrew Keen debate Weinberger's thesis in his most recent book, All Things Miscellaneous. For the direct video link

Mark Oehlert - The Biggest Picture

DIY Educators Gone Wild: Where are the Instructional Mash-Ups? by Brian Lamb - What are mash-ups? Where did they come from? Are mash-ups changing how we work the web? Is narrative disintegrating before our eyes? Can educators learn to let go and love the remix? Can universities open up their API's? Are mashups the future of the web, or just a hyped-up angle of the Web 2.0 bubble?

What's a mashup? This ZDNet News / At the Whiteboard video helps explain how API's work over the Internet:

Another interesting series whose archives could be grist for our course:

070903 - MOBLOGS (Images, Audio and Video) Presenter: Leonard Low, Canberra Institute of Technology When: Monday 3 September at 02:00 - 03:00 GMT 12:00pm to 1:00pm AEST Where: Access the session at least 15mins before the session start time What: * What is a moblog? * Try it out! * Why would someone use a moblog in education? * Overview of various sites which enable simple moblogging (using various media) * Creating customised (and more flexible) moblogs by connecting your social web services * Advanced moblogging techniques: geotagging and locoblogging Who: Leonard is Educational Technology Strategist at the Canberra Institute of Technology. He is author of the Mobile Learning Blog (, ACT Representative on the E-Standards Experts Group (EEG), and was Lead Researcher for the EEG's Standards for M-Learning project. Leonard has over ten years of experience in flexible learning as a student, teacher, manager, administrator and developer, and combines these perspectives in his work in flexible and mobile learning The sessions are free and no pre-registration is necessary. Details and direct links to Elluminate sessions here:

070905 - PODCASTING - Stop, look and listen Presenter: Michael Abulencia, RMIT University When: Wednesday 5 September at 03:00 - 04:00 GMT1:00pm to 2:00pm AEST Where: Access the session at least 15mins before the session start time here or go to What: After 400 days (1 year, 1 month, 4 days) from my last workshop on podcasting, what has happened and what do we do next? Put simply, the workshop will discuss 3 factors: STOP - Do you really need to podcast? If so, how should you podcast? LOOK - Let's review some data taken from survey results and feedback from actual users. LISTEN - Come and discuss the next steps in podcasting Who: Michael Abulencia works as a Web Support Officer (eLearning) at RMIT University. His role is involved in supporting, training, and assisting academics develop online solutions and find ways to deliver their content flexibly and innovatively The sessions are free and no pre-registration is necessary. Details and direct links to Elluminate sessions here:

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Last updated: September 9, 2007

Copyright 2007 by Vance Stevens
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