Friday, 30 May 2008

Mmmmmmm, social ice-cream

Fits in quite well with our current module 'Media, Culture and Digital Texts'...

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Online identities

During a visit to my in-laws yesterday, I read about Emily Gould in the Independent. A couple of things struck me really. Emily describes how she always found a way to communicate her thoughts to the world and how:

'Some of my blog's readers were my friends in real life, and even the ones who weren't acted like friends when they posted comments or sent me email. Some of them had blogs, too, and I read those and left my own comments. As nerdy and one-dimensional as my relationships with these people were, they were important to me. They made me feel like a part of some kind of community, and that made the giant city I lived in seem smaller and more manageable.'

She also points out that 'the big difference between these youthful indiscretions and my more recent ones is that you can Google my more recent ones. '

Possibly another argument for educating young people in how to navigate the online community spaces that have become so important to many.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008


I don't know about anyone one else, but I love a good mind-map. They're so useful and I'm contantly forcing them on students to TRY to get them to plan. Well, Exploratree may be able to help next time, offering a free online library of thinking-guides. Year 10 are currently blogging and I might get them to plan their final piece using this site and post it online so they can all refer back to it.

And I might use it to write my 'reminders' lists, lol!:

Thursday, 15 May 2008


This week we’re considering the meme over on the MA New Literacies board. Memes are often so much part if Internet culture that you don’t even notice them. Do you forward that daft email or that scary Funwall post automatically? Do you risk the 5/10/20 years of bad luck forecasted if you neglect to send the meme onto the requisite amount of unsuspecting friends? Many blogs consist of replicated items that the blogger has found amusing on their daily stagger around the Internet (see the Geek Hierarchy!).

My current favourite has be to the Hitler series (sorry), particularly 'Hitler is a Meme':

I also love the meme parodies and mashups provided on a regular basis:

(Warning: contains language not really suitable for children!)

Was followed by:

And many more!

In fact, all of this meme-ing reminded me of South Park, who, when it comes to social commentary, often do it for me:

Whew! Think I need to come back to this one tomorrow.

If you want to track the popularity of your favourite meme, Google Trends provides an insight!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Virtual Classroom: Continued!

Today I took the plunge and had my first group of Year 7's in the virtual classroom for a looksee. 7Y3 are a busy bunch but we had the chance to look through a few of the programs including the Medieval Hall, the Whaling Village and Under The Sea (had to stop them diving through the screen to grab the fish) as inspiration for descriptive writing.

The control is like a handheld mouse. To move directions you move the mouse. Simple. But not as simple as it looks! However, everything went swimmingly (haha) once I handed over the controls to the 11-12 year olds I was attempting to indoctrinate into the joys of writing to describe. "Years of computer games", I told myself. Or maybe they were just better at it than me.

Anyway, the response was pretty good, even from the initially blase ("Can't we walk IN it Miss?". Umm, no, not quite up to Holodeck standards yet, soz honey). Word spread around the school like wildfire and my second Year 7 group wanted to know when they were going by the next period. So we're going again tomorrow! Yay!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Cultural Activities

We're now well into Module 3 on the MA New Literacies: Media, Culture and Digital Texts. The discussions have been fantastic. One of the most amazing things for me is how our different cultural backgrounds have made the exchange of views a richer experience. It's one of the things I love about the fact that the course is online.

During a recent conversation about popular culture and who is responsible for it (!?!) Jackie mentioned The Sandpit, a 'monthly playtesting night for Hide and Seek' as an example of a popular cultural activity that has been built up by a community.

Do you think this counts: Neg's Urban Sports? Sorry, it IS Sunday morning!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Time Wasters

Me in particular. And the people who forced Stumble Upon and Digg on me are to blame. I wonder how many work hours around the globe have been lost because of these sites?

Only kidding, I love them both and think they often counteract the media's influence on popular culture, a prime topic of conversation at present on the MA New Literacies.

Stumble Upon and Digg are part of a global popularity contest, but they also allow content that has been parodied, developed or altered, along with works without the backing of huge organisations to be displayed and promoted in the online community: a free, open method that hasn't really existed before now.