Open Access to MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning

An email from Leigh alerted me to this great set of resources. Check them out:

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning – Series – The MIT Press

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning examines the effect of digital media tools on how people learn, network, communicate, and play, and how growing up with these tools may affect peoples sense of self, how they express themselves, and their ability to learn, exercise judgment, and think systematically.

Thanks to the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, open access electronic versions of all the books in this series are available. Follow the links from each title description below to read these editions.

For more on the MacArthur Foundation’s digital media and learning initiative, visit http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org.

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Musings on Multiliteracies

Since it has been a few weeks since my last blog post, I have been engaged in the first and second week of RCWP’s summer institute, the online discussion for Tech Matters 2007, and a few days offline when we took a long holiday weekend up north. So, there are many, many ideas floating in my head right now — perhaps disconnected — that I want to capture before they slip away.

First, we had a great talk today at RCWP about Teaching and Learning Multiliteracies as well as the new Michigan Educational Technology Standards. You can see some of our ideas captured in our wiki page on the book. This was done to both spur on our colleagues as they write their multiliteracies learning plan and to foreground many of the issues that we want to talk about on Thursday when the state director of technology from MDE visits our site. So, more on that soon.

Second, there are some cool things developing from a social network that Kevin started, Tech Friends. Whether you are an NWP TL or not, this seems to be a great network that is focusing their discussions on issues of teaching with technology, all the while considering critical aspects of infrastructure and classroom practice. Join in!

Third, Tech Matters is next week. Paul Allison has done a great job organizing us into a DrupalEd site and the conversations there are rich, too. I am still not quite sure what is public there and what will be soon, but that is where I will be next week and much of my writing attention will be in that site.

Fourth, I am scheduled to do our sacred writing time tomorrow morning and I want to do something with syncronous collaborative writing. I am just at a loss right now for what to have them do. I might have them begin writing a story, although that could quickly get out of hand. I might try to make it more focused and have them discuss their favorite writing spaces.

Finally, I can safely say that I am feeling overwhelmed with maintaining my online identity right now. I tried Twitter for awhile, but I couldn’t keep up with it. My Flickr feed is all but dead. This blog has been neglected for many weeks. And now I have the TM07 and Tech Friends networks that I am joining in, too. I have been woefully remiss in posting to the Tech Stories blog, and I see that they are going to present at K12 Online Conference — congrats to Bonnie and Kevin — another community that I want to get involved in, too.

At what point can/shoudl we expect our colleagues to engage in learning about and learning to write with newer technologies when even the techies are overwhelmed?

Whew. That was random. But, I wanted to share some of my thinking and see if anyone can help me think about how to collect my online self. I tried Netvibes a year ago, but fell out of that habit, too.

Any ways that you can think of to organize all these ideas, activities, spaces, people, etc?

Whoever said being multiliterate would be easy though, right?

Teachers’ Online Personas (Discussion from My Dissertation Defense)

Today was my dissertation defense, and I am happy to say that I passed with no major revisions. Hooray! There are still some minor things that I need to touch up, but that is to be expected. So, my hope is that I will have this all wrapped up and turned in to the grad school in the next two weeks.

(Sigh of relief) 🙂

Now, on to the more interesting aspects of my defense. What I found very compelling was the discussion that ensued with the audience and my committee once I got done talking. I would say that the topic of the half-hour discussion centered very closely around issues of teachers’ online personas, expectations that schools/colleagues/administrators have of those teachers to develop online personas, and the power relationships embedded in those identities.

We talked about issues of read/write web technology, access to student work vs. privacy concerns, infrastructure and access in schools, the role of technology in one’s day-to-day teaching, and a number of other issues that make it difficult, if not impossible, for some teachers to develop or maintain an online persona.This was a far-ranging discussion, with implications for K-12 teachers hoping to help students develop digital writing and think about how to distribute it, both technically and ethically, as well as teacher educators thinking about how best to inform their own teaching practices.

We also talked about the ways in which newer technologies could/should allow teachers to become more political about the infrastructure and access issues that they face in their schools. For instance, is it a good idea for a teacher to blog about how bad the technology is in her school? Who is the intended audience for a blog like this and what would its purpose be?So, there are many ideas that came from this discussion, and I thank my writing group colleague, Jim, for capturing many of them in his notes. I think that all of these issues are ones that I can pursue in future work — some of which will be happening tomorrow, when I finish up interviews for the podcasting project.

And, more importantly, I am almost done! Thanks to all my friends, family, and colleagues who attended today, both in person and in spirit. I appreciate your support.