The opening synchronous meeting for the Critical Literacies course was very interesting, as unlike for CCk08 where we just pitched in and sank or swam, here we were given advice on how we might go about learning on this course.
The overall message was the same. It is an open course. We can and should pick and choose when, where, how, what and with whom we learn – all as in CCK08. We can come and go as we want – but Stephen suggested that we take part in 4 activities:
Aggregate: gather content using Google reader (www.google.com/reader). The course newsletter (The Daily) is an example of aggregation. I don’t use Google reader. Perhaps I should. I have found in the past that it just fills up with stuff that I never look at. Perhaps I am not using it correctly.
Remix: Pick and choose from the content and find a way of recording/keeping track of this, e.g. using an online bookmark tracker such as Delicious, or create a blog, or take screenshots and post on Flickr or record yourself on video. I have a Delicious account, but its another thing that I tend to put stuff in and then never look at again. I already have this and two other blogs. I also have a Flickr account but I do not use it for work purposes. Me and video do not go together. I am camera shy!
Repurpose: Recreate content for your own purposes. There are 4 major ways of repurposing
- Describe/description – ( the simplest kind of critical literacy)
- Infer/ argumentation, inference, drawing conclusions, responding – taking what you have and moving beyond it
- Explain/ explanation – to go beyond appearance – identify underlying forces that make things the way they are
- Define – to assign meanings to words (this is needed for all the others)
All 4 things play a different role. They form all of your cognition – every sentence – everything you think falls in one of these 4 things.
Critical Literacies are not simply critical – they are creative – they are about adding value to content
Feedforward: Presentation of work and sharing rather than competing. Produce learning materials for other people to aggregate, remix, repurpose and feedforward, so starting the cycle again.
This seems to me a useful way of thinking about how to work online.