Want to do a “Certificate in Digital Literacies”?

I’m running a professional development course for teachers interested in getting a Certificate in Digital Literacies (which may also be used as accreditation towards a MEd degree with extra assignment work). Anybody interested? Here’s all the info in a pdf file.

This course will involve a critical investigation of digital literacies, multimodal digital authoring and new forms of social networking, covering the upper years of primary schooling to the HSC years. The course is designed to provide sufficient time for experimentation with materials and ideas in between sessions, and, from Session 2, will include opportunities for participant feedback and sharing. During the sessions students will:

  • Examine and analyse a range of multimodal digital fiction and discuss how they might be included in studies of new forms of narrative
  • Discuss fan fiction and its value in young people’s writing development
  • Be introduced to a range of social networking sites including blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and wikis and discuss ways teachers are currently (and might in future be) using such sites for enhancing student literacy
  • Discuss how video games might be used in the classroom for educational purposes
  • Explore the virtual world of Second Life and see how thousands of educators around the world are leveraging this space for all of its educational affordances
  • Explore the use of digital spaces for identity play, creativity and role-playing and evaluate how these concepts influence, shape or contribute to innovative literacy uses by young people, and
  • Learn how to create a machinima using Kahootz and / or Second Life as a multimedia authoring tool.
Avatar image from Angela Thomas' website

The course format will consist of lecturer presentations, group activities and discussions, virtual world (Second Life) exploration, and workshops. Come spend a few Saturday afternoons with me :)

Book Launch at Gleebooks

Here are the details of my forthcoming book launch!  Its a joint launch with my friend Jon and we’ve been planning it for a while – all welcome!!

Friday, March 14, 2008 / 6.00 for 6.30pm Launch
Jonathan Marshall and Angela Thomas
Living on Cybermind / Youth Online: Identity and Literacy in the Digital Age
Published by: Peter Lang
To be launched by Professor Colin Lankshear

Venue: gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Cost: Free
RSVP: gleebooks – 9660 2333 or Request a place

Cybermind is an Internet mailing list, originally founded in 1994 to discuss the issues and problems of living online. It proved exceptionally fertile and is still going strong thirteen years later.

This book is an ethnographic investigation which follows Cybermind members in their daily lives on the List, and explores the ways they look at the world, argue, relate online life to offline life, use gender, and build community. Perhaps the most comprehensive history of an Internet group ever published, it includes detailed analyses using List members’ own words and commentary, and develops a unique theory of the relationship between culture, the problems of communication, and the ongoing processes of categorisation. Living on Cybermind illustrates how behaviour is affected by the organisation of communication, and how people deal with the paradoxes involved in resolving ambiguity and truth
in a situation in which presence is always on the verge of slipping away.

Jonathan Paul Marshall has an M.A. (Hons) and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Sydney. He has been an Australian Research Council Research Fellow at the Transforming Cultures Research Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney, working on a project on online gender.

Youth Online chronicles the stories of young people from several countries – the US, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, and Holland – and their interactions in online communities over a seven-year period. It examines how young people construct their identities in various social contexts: social, fantasy, role-playing; and for various social purposes: leadership, learning, power, rebellion and romance. It explores the ways youth are deploying both visual and literary cues to
develop a full sense of presence online and to effectively communicate with their peers. Using methods of textual, visual, and socio-psychological analysis, this book illuminates the ways in which young people are making sense of their own identities and their place within broader communities.

Angela Thomas is Lecturer in English Education at the University of Sydney. She specializes in teaching new media literacies and is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on fan fiction, online role-playing, blogging, digital fiction, cyberculture, identity, and learning in virtual worlds, and is co-author of Children’s Literature and Computer-Based Teaching.

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