Thursday, December 8, 2011


Literacy Multiliteracy is becoming increasingly important as language, grammar and the spoken word continue to change and evolve (Winch et. al 2009; Mawer 1999). No longer does literacy pertain only to being able to read, and literacy means different things in different contexts. If a student is having problems with reading, they would require remedial reading help, not literacy instruction. I don't think that any one person could be literate in all contexts in this day and age, and neither do they need to be. We do however need to be literate in the areas that will affect the quality of our lives in society and in our careers (Mawer 1999).
I recall when I first came across text talk, I had no idea what all the abbreviations stood for. Someone enlightened me on the basic LOL and ROFL, and I was on my own from there. I had no idea if I was being sworn or laughed at! This deficiency prevented me from interacting in chat rooms as I literally could not understand what was being said. A university e-learning course soon enlightened me enough that I felt literate in this type of communication and skillful enough to participate in online chats. These days if there is something that I don't know or understand, I use my skills to find the required information. I consider this to mean that I am literate in this area.

How then do students go when they are required to read mathematical or scientific texts with wonderfully alien words like mitosis, eukaryotic and differentiation, if their basic reading and decoding skills are lacking? What literacy skills do these students need in order to be able to make sense of these texts?
Well, the required skills will depend on how that information is being disseminated to the students. Is the information linear or layered? Are animations of processes involved, or flow charts and ordered directions?
Students need to be multiliterate in order to interpret and understand information in these various forms as is delivered to them (Kalantzis et. al 2003). After all, we all know that information needs to be disseminated in a variety of ways to allow for the preferred individual learning modalities of each student (Snowman et. al 2009).

Kalantzis, M, Cope, B & Harvey, A March 2003, Assessment in Education: Assessing multiliteracies and the new basics, Vol 10, No 1. DOI 10.1080/0969594032000085721
Mawer, G 1999 Language and Literacy in Workplace Education: Learning at Work, Addison Wesley Longmand Limited, Essex.
Snowman, J, Dobozy, D, Scevak, J, Bryer, F, Bartlett, B, & Biehler 2009, Psychology applied to teaching, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton.
Winch, G, Ross Johnston, R, March, P, Ljungdahl, L & Holliday, M 2009, Literacy: reading, writing and children's literature, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blog book

How timely! I was checking out Facebook today when I came across a posting by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers on how to preserve blogs when platforms are constantly changing format, ownership, becoming fee based rather than a free platform etc.  Apart from showing how to save a back up of various blogging platforms to your computer, Richard provides this link to BlogBooker.
Blogbooker creates a PDF of your blog in book form which can them be printed out if desired.
Richard also points out how handy this is for student blogs at the end of a school year if they would like a hardcopy version of their blog, perhaps to show their family.
Of course after my recent troubles, I have now created a Blog book of this blog so I know that I will always have access to the links and other information that I have saved on my blog over the past three years.
Thanks Richard!

Malaware = Digital Immigrant

Recently I came to my blog and received a malaware warning. This warning served to show me that I am definitely a digital immigrant!
The warning directed me to a page which told me some detail of the suspected malaware and a link to information on what I should do to clean up my site. Well, after perusing the information, I found the first step was to verify the ownership of my blog. I was stuck, I could see the html code but I couldn't alter it (not that I know too much about what to do there. The most I've done with html is changed the size of something!).Verification took me the good part of a day and was only successful after some help from a digital native (Thanks Peter! I am definitely NOT above asking for help in regards to all things digital).  Even with this help, the next stage of getting the tracking code on my blog home page for Google Analytics  took another couple of hours.
Finally, success!! My blog was verified. However, I now had to remove the malaware. I removed a gadget, which it turns out had nothing to do with the malaware, and it made no change to the warning. I didn't really need the gadget anyway, so no big loss there and I kept searching for answers. By this stage I was close to giving up, and no amount of trolling through the help forum was producing any suitable answers. My feelings of inadequacy were increasing.
I finally posted a cry for help to the Google Webmaster tools help forum and received a reply to check out a previously viewed page. So naturally, I decided that my blog was lost forever and thought of a name for a new one...other people then answered my plea and one kind soul even found the code that was causing the flag. I could have tried removing the code but hey, how much quicker to just chop the entire gadget?
Now my blog roll is gone but my blog is clean.

Why this post?
1 To show that a digital immigrant can get there eventually, with a lot of help from friends.
2 So I have a quick link to the help forum (sometimes I can't remember how I found sites \o/)
3 To celebrate my clean blog :-)

Now on to the final year of my BLM. What an exciting year this will be!