looking for doug
looking for doug

On Monday evening I joined Doug Belshaw’s etmooc session on Digital Literacies. It was an interesting session, Doug spoke mostly to his thesis What is ‘digital literacy’ and a lovely set of slides T3S1: Digital Literacies with Dr. Doug Belshaw. Doug has archived, video and audio on the Internet Archive. I’ve added my audio recording to the Unofficial ETMOOC RIPCast where I’c collected some of the sessions I’ve attended and some I’ve missed.

Doug took participants though some exercises in thinking about digital literacies working in a ether pad and in the blackboard session. I guess you needed a degree of digital literacy to keep up with it.

Like Doug I do not believe in the idea of a digital native but am fascinated by how folk learn to read and write (watch, create, listen to etc) using digital tech. I believe that I’ve a reasonable degree of web literacy .

This belief was challenged a bit as I watched folk start to define and redefine digital Literacies. It confirmed my suspicion that although I am somewhat digitally literate, I could not define what I mean by this. After the meet I still cannot. This reminds me of a quote, that I can’t quite recall or source, to the effect that a speaker of a language may not be able to make any true statement about that language.


One factor in, if not measuring digital literacy, is a indicator, is the ability to be able to have fun in the language. Make jokes, puns, poetry and be relaxed when using it.

Playing with John on Marratech

I recall, a few years ago(2007), a few Scottish Educators had join in using using Marritech for the first time. We were all, for that time, experienced users of ICT in the classroom , none of us knew what we were doing. All you could hear were gales of laughter as we explored the tools, whiteboard slides and the like making a ton of mistakes.
This feeling of relaxed fun was quite different from the experience of watch many teaching professional using ict. I am not sure how we move folk into this experience other than by modelling it when possible.

Web Literacies

Towards the end of the session Doug explained his current work focuses on the more manageable task of creating a standard for web literacy. Learning/WebLiteracyStandard – MozillaWiki.

This is very interesting stuff, and although I am sure that the grid Doug has produced, see Mozilla Web Literacies White Paper (v0.8) – Google Drive could be argued with it provides a great structure for thinking around the subject.

All in all this episode of #ETMOOC has got me thinking far more than I’ve time to organise in a blog post. I’d love to see helping pupils become confident webmakers become part of mainstream education.

As part of etmooc we are encouraged to use a variety of Storytelling tools. I’ve spent a fair bit of time over the last couple of days animating gifs but though it was time to step out of my comfort zone.

I decided to choose something from 50+Ways – Tools A to Z @cogdogs wiki of online storytelling tools.

My problem was twofold, I need to decide what tool to use and what story to tell. Time for avoidance tactics, a bit of light coding, to come up with a way to choose a way.

I ended up with Which Way? a simple page that will give you a randomised choice from the 50 Ways list.

Still without a story I decided to use one of the tools to explain what I’ve done, a couple of click gave me VoiceThread. I am not sure if it ois the best tool for this particular job but it is quick and simple to use, a bunch of screen shots and a mic.

I’ve been MIA from etmooc for the past week or so, busy time at work, edutalk and life in general have conspired. I’ve been glancing at g+ and reading a fraction of the posts but that is about it.

Daunted from doing much thinking I decided to fall back on animating gifs, one of the tasks in topic 2. I am happy messing about with gifs so this is a restful activity.

Falling back on an old favourite I downloaded a clip from youtube of the opening sequence of Blade Runner.

I quickly grabbed a few very short sections of 9 frames each. Once I looked at them I though they would combine nicely.

blade runner intro

I did this in FireWorks CS3. Fireworks allows you to import gifs quickly and place them on a image. You need to place them in the right place first click so I put on place holder graphics with the same dimensions of my gifs to make it easy to line them up.

This turned out quite well. Caught some of the mood of the opening scene perhaps. I would have been better making a better quality version of the fan gif to avoid the banding. The eye could have done without the extra fireball on the last clip but I like the way it almost mirrors the ‘real’ fireball on the left.

Etmooc Icon 2

My head is throbbing a wee bit trying to keep up with what is going on in etmooc. Lots of interesting stuff not quite connecting up here. I’ve not manage along to one live session yet, but have watch some of the replays available on Archive | #ETMOOC and listen to some more by recording from the replays.


T0S3 – Introduction to Social Curation w/ Jeffery Heil (Jan 17, 12pm) was interesting. I’ve been collecting links, originally in delicious now in pinboard.


I had a fair number of folk in my Delicious network and found it a very useful resource. At one time I used to get a fair number of links and send them out using the for:username tag. I am not sure why that died out in my circles. I also subscribed to the links from my network in my RSS reader. This became less useful when folk started pushing their tweets to delicious automatically.

I started using pinboard when it looked like Delicious might shut down and have kept using it. At some point in the past I’ve looked at various other tools, but preferred delicious/pinboard style simplicity. It also has an API which lets you do really interesting things. After listen to Jeffery I might try Diigo again. I have a tendency to prefer simple presentation and some sort of automation.


Given the huge number of links, list etc that are now online I am not sure if it very valuable just sharing links beyond a quick tweet unless we add some value. I very much like the link blog style, for example Stephen Downes or, the not educational, Daring Fireball. I read both in an RSS reader. Daring Fireball is particularly good in the way the posts link points to the original post he quotes rather than his own post and the quote is clearly defined. Sometime I am not sure on a quick glance what is quote and what is Stephen Downes.

I don’t think that this sort of blogging needs a lot of text from the blogger but as Stephen Downes and John Gruber show it needs a great deal of thinking to work really well. I occasionally make this sort of post for example, Zero Privacy or Connections and hope to develop both a workflow and a way of adding value rather than being just an echo.

I used the etmooclogo by Adam Lark (remix from Alec Couros) under a Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic — CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

Create an introductory post, video, podcast, slideshow, etc., of yourself.  Tell us a little bit about yourself – perhaps, where you’re from, what you do, or what you want to be when you grow up – and let us know what you’d like to gain from #etmooc? A few paragraphs of text, or preferably, a form of visual or auditory media lasting between 30 seconds and 2 minutes is ideal. These are very rough guidelines – feel free to break every one of them if you wish.

from: #ETMOOC | A MOOC about educational technology & media – Coming January 2013

I recorded this with Quicktime thinking I could just trim without any edits, turned out I wanted to edit a wee bit so opened in in Screenflow to do a zoom or two. Would have just recorded into screenflow if I had known.

MOOC! by AJC1 Attribution-ShareAlike License

A bit before Christmas I signed up for #ETMOOC:

#etmooc, an open, online experience that is designed to facilitate & nurture conversations around the thoughtful integration of educational technology & media in teaching and learning.

from: Introduction to #etmooc | #ETMOOC

What is a MOOC

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a type of online course aimed at large-scale participation and open access via the web. MOOCs are a recent development in the area of distance education, and a progression of the kind of open education ideals suggested by open educational resources.

Though the design of and participation in a MOOC may be similar to college or university courses, MOOCs typically do not offer credits awarded to paying students at schools. However, assessment of learning may be done for certification.

from: Massive open online course – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I’ve mooced a little before

I at least started a few mooc-like and other online learning things last year:

I found it quite difficult to stick to these ‘courses. ds106 and edtechcc being the easiest to hang in due to the social elements. The MechanicalMooc did have social stuff hooked up but just keeping up with the lectures and exercises took up more time than I had.

I was releaved to see this tweet from the course organiser:

What I am hoping to learn

Apart from the Topics & Schedule it looks like #etmooc with have a few valuable experiences:

  • There is a #etmooc Google Community where folk are introducing themselves, I’d kind of forgotten about Google plus, but this combined with a Scottish Education – Google+ group and a new iOS app will give an opportunity to look at Google+. I find it a lot easier to evaluate tools when using them for a real purpose. After the edtechcc course I understood a bit more about facebook groups. (I still do not love facebook but can see how folk would find it useful).
  • Alan Levine is helping organise the course, he is blogging how he is building the blog hub using FeedWordPress ( Building the ETMOOC Blog Hub (part 1) and Building the ETMOOC Blog Hub (part 2)). I am really excited about FeedWordPress, Charlie has built it into glew blogs and I really hope it is going to be available to Scottish pupils and teachers as glow evolves. (Still waiting for an announcement if we get to keep wordpress or move to sharepoint blogs).
  • There are a ton of folk signed up to etmooc, some I know, some I’ve heard of and some not I’ve already read some interesting stuff in the google group looking forward to lots of serendipity.

Getting Started

Hopefully I’ve fill in the form correctly and this post will get pulled into the ETMOOC Blog Hub | everything everyone publishes about ETMOOC. Next up is creating an introduction post:

Create an introductory post, video, podcast, slideshow, etc., of yourself. Tell us a little bit about yourself – perhaps, where you’re from, what you do, or what you want to be when you grow up – and let us know what you’d like to gain from #etmooc?

and the first #etmooc T0S1: Welcome & Orientation on Blackboard Collaborate. Not sure how that is going to work in with my time and work schedule, I hope they are recorded.