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Effective strategies for applying multiliteracies in collaborative learning environments

Vance Stevens Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi March 2006
Foundation Computing, Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
vstevens @

PowerPoint slides and Webcast recordings:
This presentation was made at the following venues, with minor variations at each. Two of the talks were webcast using Learning Times

Note on the PowerPoint slides for TESOL Arabia and the SQU conference - You may notice the same gearbox graphic on several of these slides. This graphic linked to screen shots of the URLs on my PC. These were used during the TESOL Arabia presentation, where there was no live Internet. I left them in place for the SQU version in case there was no live Internet, but as it happened everything worked fine and the rotating cogs were not used. These links from these GIF images will be inactive for those viewing over the Internet.


Multiliteracy is an important aspect of almost any curriculum nowadays. Teachers and students with good multiliteracy skills have a workable grasp of the many ways that technology intertwines with academic life, and are in position to actively gain control over those aspects directly impacting the learning environment and their professional development. Multiliterate individuals are aware of the pitfalls inherent in technology while striving for empowerment through effective strategies for first discerning and then taking advantage of fast-changing technologies by adapting those most appropriate to their situations. These strategies begin with managing, processing, and interpreting a constant influx of information, filtering what is useful, and then enhancing the learning environment with the most appropriate applications.

This presentation discusses effective approaches and strategies for responding to technology issues in the academic environment. It overviews tools and skills that help cope with information overload and discusses means of communication and interaction in Internet 2.0 environments, including using social networking, RSS, video, web cam, image, and voice technologies to gain familiarity with these tools and their applications in teaching through communities of practice which in turn model collaborative, constructivist learning settings.

It is hoped that teachers will leave this presentation with a greater awareness of the potentials of Internet 2.0 in the enhancement of optimal learning environments, and with some idea of a strategy that they might pursue to learn more about the topic, thus enhancing their own awareness of multiliteracy skills and how they might include these in curricula they develop for students

Web Tour (URL playlist):
All the URLs given in this presentation are listed here

This online 'handout':

Gulf News Article:

Making friends of professional contacts

What is multiliteracies? (defined):

George Siemens: Connectivism:

The Multiliteracy Project in Canada

Other examples of utilitarian teacher blogs:

Communities of Practice:

Push vs. Pull

Stephen Downes's Bloglines links:

Various blogs:

Podcast tools:


The Voice: Michael Coghlan

Podcast and voice examples:

Content management examples


Characteristics of community-friendly content management

Multliteracy awareness, and this just in from Graham Stanley, posting on the Webheads list, July 23, 2006, referring to an:

article published in el Pais ( about a student who has been fined 400 Euros (200 acording to the electronic edition of the newspaper) because of a comment published on his blog Ivan Fresneda wrote about his college, saying that it was incoherent and absurd, complaining about the lack of newspapers in his school, and was extremely critical of the methodology of his Philosophy teacher. Now Ivan has been taken to court and fined because of threats to the Philosophy teacher that were published in the comments section of this blog post. Although the comments were published anonymously, Ivan has been held responsible because it is his blog, and he should (not?) have let the comment be published. Obviously, this has repercussions for bloggers everywhere, who could potentially be held responsible for comments published anonymously on their blogs, and is also related to the cyber-bullying incident I wrote about recently (

The following were noted at my presentation:

Some Web 2.0 software

Other technologies

About this presentation:

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Last updated: July 24, 2006