Digital Literacies

Researching New Literacies, Learning and Everyday Life

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identity kits

with 5 comments

Vic mentioned this wonderful new project, which takes the ‘What’s in my bag’ idea a bit further.

A long time ago I contributed this to the pool:


(Showing a bag I continue to use and will be using again this weekend when I go to this conference.)

It is clear that people do not reveal ‘all’ but construct images in a manner so that they represnt themselves in a way that they feel OK about going online. To do this, they need to think about how people might read the images – (what will they think? what associations do the objects have? what do they ‘connote’?); they need to know something about how objects represent aspects of their persona; they need to consider what to leave out as well as what to include. Maybe they arrange things so they look smart/show their label/hide their label/ look casual/ appear expensive/cheap. And the inclusion of images of faces taken on a scanner connotes something ludic; maybe a cross-reference to office parties and ‘parts of the body image making’ and a presentation of self that says @I am game’ ‘I am fun’ – ‘I live life madly’.

I am really interested in the ways in which we display online identities and have noticed the continuities in the ways some people present themselves across sites. For example they may begin a persona on a flickr stream and then deepen it through displays in other spaces… like Niznoz’s stream and his two blogs here and here; or Gamma’s stream and his blog. They are serious reporters of the city; they show something of ‘life as it is’; of the history and the way things are changing. NizNoz has two blogs, each with a different function.

People often use their blogs as a way of SPECIALISING. People use different parts of the web, different types of software to perform different tasks. And they are getting good at working out what is good for what task. This is a digital literacy skill; not everyone will ‘GET IT’ intuitively and so there is a role for researchers in working out what the conventions are and a role for educators in teaching about these things.

It has recently become trendy to represent oneself as a Simpson on Flickr and use the image as an icon of identity. YOu can get one via a new gadget available over at The Simpsons new movie website here. Obviously a lot to be written about re avatars and icons people use on websites, but no time here… must go.

But I’ll just leave you with the image my dear partner in life made of himself on Sunday. What kind of impression does he give here? (Answers on a postcard please).

Written by DrJoolz

July 2nd, 2007 at 2:54 pm


without comments

Guy posted about this website where you can get essays written for you … and the essays are guaranteed to be ‘plagiarism free’.
“Are they ‘aving’ a larf??”

Yes. I think so. The website has lots of videos where a lovely lady explains to you how the site helps you learn by writing ‘model answers’ just for you… It is really spooky and although I am not sure how most students will afford the service, it is just another example of how those with the cash will retain their social status even in the age of democratic social software.

I am all FOR the sharing of expertise and so on; I am into the idea of learning from others and I understand that information these days is easy to access and ubiquitous anyway. Online textmaking has allowed us to collaborate over text making and a feature of this is that content is often multiply authored – making it hard to credit individuals. This sharing is based around ideals of democratic access and process as well as credit where it is due – to the group. It is about time we started thinking about assessing differently. I hate the whole idea of assessment anyway. Why not just teach people to learn and and help them explore ways of enjoying learning? Why do we have to measure everything? Asessment is of course all a social construct anyhow and abstract standards have become ludicrously reified. It’s quite a weird currrency. (You can hear teachers sometimes say things like ‘she is a level 4’, for example).

Anyway ….paying an anonymous person to write your assignments and take the credit is something different.

I am shocked by the site but don’t think it is an indication of the evils of the ‘digital age’; it is an indication that we are shoving people off to university when they don’t really want to do the courses. The whole notion of widening participation, while sounding like a great idea, has been far less about choice for 18 year olds, and more about obliging them to take part in something they perhaps don’t want to participate in.

What are the repercussions for universities and the academics who work in them…. are they the moonlighters who are writing the essays for these crappy companies?

groan ups

Written by DrJoolz

June 8th, 2007 at 12:43 pm