Ontario College of Teachers Standards: Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession & Standards of Practice for the Teaching

"Researching New Literacies: Web 2.0 Practices and Insider Perspectives"
By Colin Lankshear & Michele Knobel

- Relationships: Appropriate and Professional
- Be Wary, Be Wise

Heide, A. and Henderson, D. (2001). Active Learning in the Digital Age Classroom. Trifolium Books: Toronto. (Selected chapters)


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Lucidly Functional Language
From NewLits.org
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James Paul Gee
To cite this article, use the following information:
Gee, J. P. (2008). Lucidly Functional Language. New Literacies: A Professional Development Wiki for Educators. Developed under the aegis of the Improving Teacher Quality Project (ITQP), a federally funded partnership between Montclair State University and East Orange School District, New Jersey.
Available from: http://www.newlits.org/index.php?title=Lucidly_Functional_Language
James Paul Gee: https://sec.was.asu.edu/directory/person/1054842

What is your favorite online "affinity space"?
Posted by Jennifer Koch Lubke on April 20, 2008

An affinity space is any place (virtual or physical) that ties people together based on a mutually shared interest or endeavor. Certainly Classroom 2.0 is one such place, but I was wondering about other virtual "hang outs" enjoyed by CR 2.0 members, places perhaps that are not defined by professional interests and obligations but more by hobbies, passions, or guilty pleasures.

For me, it would have to be the "mommy" blogs that I read daily. I've got about four where I lurk and occasionally comment. I am really inspired by the way these women merge their varying interests in politics, civics, and, of course, technology, with the everyday challenge of parenting. I am even thinking of starting my own mommy blog as the birth of my second child is quickly approaching in mid- to late-June. It's time to start adding my voice to the conversation, and the lazy days of summer seem like a good time to undertake this project!

What is your favorite online affinity space?

My question is inspired by a book I recently finished reading, New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Classroom Learning by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel. It was assigned reading for a spring semester seminar on multiliteracies, and it has given me a lot to think about.

The authors' basic purpose is to shed light on the concept of "new literacies," and to invite educators into conversation about "how the new might best be brought into a fruitful relationship with the already established."

The last chapter is a recommendation or challenge of sorts to readers. Lankshear and Knobel think the first step toward merging conventional schooling and the world of new literacies (remix, blogs, podcasts, social networks, mobile technologies, and so on) is for educators to actively pursue firsthand experience with the social practices of digital "affinity spaces," a term borrowed from James Paul Gee.

So, Classroom 2.0 community, where do you participate on the Web when you are not consumed with school, educational technology, and all that Web 2.0 goodness? And do your interactions and exchanges within digital affinity spaces intersect with and inform your daily classroom practices?

It's nearly now again
Professor Guy Merchant (Univ. of Sheffield)
Blog entry: Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I know over the last few weeks I’ve become a bit preoccupied with Twitter and when someone last Thursday reminded me of Heppel’s idea that the nearly now provides a space for reflection, my interest was rekindled. Reflection in action needs a space. A fleeting moment to capture the thought as it occurs; a space in which to take the backward step; to render the familiar strange. This space isn’t exactly provided by Twitter, a blog, a post-it, or any other kind of technology but the technology certainly comes in handy. So although some commentators are keen to split hairs, and muddy the water with other ideas, we already know that space and time look different in virtual environments, and those who are really interested in learning need to be creative in their engagement with new spaces for learning. Is it now again, yet?

Back and Forth
The 'inbetween' time zone used constantly by children offers great learning opportunities. So why no public investment?
Recently, I was in Sweden for a big national debate about the future of public services and public service broadcasting. This vigorous debate, televised live and podcast echoes what is happening all round the world at the moment. I offered my reflection that it was "inbetweenies" which have caused all the trouble and, of course, it's technology that has brought those in-betweenies sharply into focus.
Let me offer three examples. Once, we simply had two types of time: "now" and "not now". A school lesson happened "now". When children talked about what they had done during the holidays they were describing "not now". But technology has brought us a new time in between those two: "nearly now".
It is not synchronous, but it nearly is. It is our txting, our Facebook profiles, it's Twitter and Syndicaster. It is children with a string of chat windows open on screen as they do their homework, adding the occasional comment to the chat.
If I txt someone I don't expect an instant reply, but I do expect a reply soon, or "nearly now". Children today spend a lot of time in this new time zone - research suggests it's not as pressured or adversarial as synchronous activity; there is more time for reflection and research before responding. But schools, with their rigid "time" tables are largely absent from this new learning space. The Notschool.net project I have been involved with, which has pioneered personalisation for those excluded from school by circumstances or behaviour, has shown that learning can thrive in this "nearly now" space 24/7.
Secondly, a huge amount of private value and profit is being created in the space between our social interactions: eBay, MySpace, Facebook and Google are thriving examples. But where is public service in that space? Of course, to be there requires new investment. When TV began, no one closed libraries to pay for it. These new spaces also need public service investment. To leave them entirely to the private sector misses the opportunity for a balancing, countervailing contribution that moves standards forward.
A third in-beweenie space exists between broadcaster and viewer. In between those two, children are cutting, pasting, editing, contributing and sharing their fun through YouTube or phones. They're neither broadcaster nor viewer. In fact, once you understand the in-betweenies, you realise why children are so disappointed with the BBC's iPlayer because it locks them out from all those creative interactions with broadcast media. You need look no further than the increasingly innovative Teachers TV's forthcoming revamp of its video content to see how it should be done.
Whatever we end up calling this current decade, we will be living increasingly in the "inbetweenies" and public investment needs to be there too. What an interesting century this is already turning out to be.
· Professor Stephen Heppell heads his own global policy, research, design and practice consultancy.